London, England -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/23/2015 -- Until this year, the UK immigration system routinely discriminated against British fathers who were not married to their child's mother at the time of their children's birth.
Until 30 June 2006 a British father of a child could not automatically transfer his British citizenship to his child if he was not married to the child's mother at the time of birth. The converse was of course not the case: a child born outside of wedlock to a British mother was entitled to British citizenship.
The journey towards this years' abolition of this discriminatory rule has however been a slow one. A few years after the coming into force of the Human Rights Act 1998, this discriminatory rule was abolished for children born to unmarried British father after June 2006. However, the change did not apply retrospectively. Children born in or before June 2006 could apply to become British citizens but that decision was discretionary in the sense that it was entirely up to the Home Secretary whether to grant the application or not. Importantly, no change was introduced for applicants who were born in or before June 2006 and who were now adults; they could not apply to become British.
Fortunately, this year the government finally recognised that it could not maintain such an explicitly discriminatory rule and has rectified the position in law. From this year onwards all applicants, not just children but adults too, born to an unmarried British father in or before will be able to apply for British citizenship.
Georgina Hamilton-Brown of Immigration law firm Article1 said:
This is a welcome change to the law. This illogical and, frankly, discriminatory rule has been in urgent need of - reform for decades and the government has taken the right and fair decision to rectify the imbalance between British fathers and mothers. It is a shame that the change wasn't introduced -sooner; after all the issue was recognised as long ago as 2006 when the government introduced partial amendments to the rule. We have been reaching out to as many of our clients as possible to ensure that all those who have been affected by this unfair rule can now apply to be recognised as British.
Company name: Article1
Tel: 020 3743 1700
Contact person: Richard Gibbs
Address: Article 1
51 Holland Street