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Changes to the law regarding nationality

Up until 1st July 2006, children born to parents who were not married, could only be registered as British if their mothers were British or subsequently registered as British.

This was felt to be discriminatory, and changes in the law in 2006 meant that children born after 1st July 2006, whose parents were not married could acquire nationality by virtue of their settled or British father as long as they could prove paternity. However, this change did not operate retrospectively so children born before 1st July 2006 were still at a disadvantage.

However, as of 6th April 2015 a new provision in the Immigration Act 2014 will come into force which will enable people to register as British if:

  • they would have become British citizens automatically under the 1981 Act provisions if their parents had been married.
  • they would currently have an entitlement to registration under the 1981 Act provisions but for the fact that their parents are not married.

For further information please see:

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