From 8 February 1979 until  1 January 1983 the Home Office announced that overseas-born children of British mothers would generally be eligible for registration as UK citizens provided the application was made before the child reached age 18. This was due to upcoming changes that meant that citizenship could be passed automatically in the female line.

by Bruce Mennell | | Blog

Mr David Steel:

‘I am not over-impressed by the Opposition Amendments. I can see that they have a case, on "women's lib" grounds, for saying that there should be equal rights for women in marriage as for men. I accept that as a general principle. What we cannot do is unilaterally change that principle in this country if it is the accepted rule elsewhere. It would be unwise for us to do that. If the hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr Merlyn Rees) wished to assist in an international women's lib campaign to bring about equality of status, which in principle would be hard to resist, then I would join him. But I do not see how we in this country can change such a fundamental principle if our citizens going abroad continue to be treated differently according to whether they are male or female.

Mr Merlyn Rees:

With permission, I should like to make a few remarks. I thought I had made it clear that, because the Bill is concerned not with citizenship but with patriality, our Amendment did not have anything to do with citizenship except in a remote way. We are concerned with the right of abode, which is the right to enter this country. When one dealt in the past with cases concerning people who had been in this country very briefly and who for genuine reasons wanted to bring their fiancés to live here, one did not operate immigration control on the basis of patriality. The bases of patriality are in Clause 2 and we have debated them at some length They are that a person "is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies … by birth, adoption, naturalisation or registration … or …(c) he is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who has at any time been settled in the United Kingdom … or(d) he is a Commonwealth citizen born to or legally adopted by a parent who at the time of the birth or adoption had citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies …"

From 8 February 1979 until  1 January 1983 the Home Office announced that overseas-born children of British mothers would generally be eligible for registration as UK citizens provided the application was made before the child reached age 18. This was due to upcoming changes that meant that citizenship could be passed automatically in the female line.

Many eligible children were not registered before their 18th birthday due to the fact this policy concession was poorly publicised….

If you hold a British passport from childhood because your mother registered you, your children could qualify for British citizenship as well. If you are unable to find the certificate, our caseworkers are able to look for other confirmations that you were registered with the Home office, and not just at the consulate.

If your mother was born in the UK (children’s maternal grandmother) and your father was born outside of the UK (holding foreign citizenship) you could qualify for British citizenship.

If you have children born after 1983 then please contact us as your children may qualify for British citizenship, automatically, even if over the age of 18.

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