The UK still discriminates against those of us born abroad before 1983 to British mothers.
Prior to 1983 children born outside of the UK to British mothers but foreign fathers did not have a claim to British citizenship. That right was only passed through British fathers.
Last year (13 January 2010), the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 came into force which means you are finally granted the right to British citzenship via your British mother.
However, it was only “a right to register as a British citizen” and you would also have to pay £540 to claim your British citizenship! This was outrageous since anyone born in the same circumstances after 1983, or at anytime to a (married) UK father, could simply complete a passport application without the need to register and without any fee.
There was a public outcry (quite rightly) from myself and many others about this blatant discrimination. Consequently, the law was amended in November 2010 and the application fee (which had actually gone up to £550 during the year!) was removed.
However, we still have to register and must pay an administrative fee of £80 to cover the cost of a citizenship ceremony.
We are entitled to British citizenship by descent but because of our circumstances – born abroad before 1983 to a British mother -citizenship is not automatically granted. Instead, we must apply for citizenship and register (which means providing two referees) and also attend a citizenship ceremony.
It’s blatatant discrimination to require an application (which can be denied) and the ceremony (which is intended for those without a British parent).
The right to “register” is not the same as the right to claim British citizenship (without conditions) which we are entitled to.
I reject this unfair path to British citizenship, and I’m campaigning for citizenship equality. It is time for this unjust law to be corrected once and for all.
I welcome your comments and/or questions about this issue.