Section 65 of the new Immigration Act 2014 concerns children of British Citizen fathers, born before 1 July 2006, whose parents were or are not married. As of the 6th April 2015 onwards, a child born before the 1st of July 2006 to an unmarried father who was a British citizen at the time of the child’s birth will be able to apply for British citizenship.
Human Rights Solicitors observed the previous treatment towards illegitimate children born to British fathers before the 1st of July 2006 as contravening the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. Immigration Lawyers UK regarded this as a human rights issue affecting both the rights of children born out of wedlock before the 1st July 2006 and unmarried British fathers (gender discrimination).
Best Immigration Lawyers UK are familiar with this inequality as it means that within one household, some children have British citizenship and some do not. If a child were born after the 1st July 2006 to an unmarried British father, they would have the right to British citizenship by ‘descent’, but a sibling in the same household who was born prior to the 1st of July 2006 would not.
The law until now
Following the enactment of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, the British Nationality Act 1981 was amended so that from the 1st of July 2006 onwards, a new registration process for children of British Citizen unmarried fathers was enacted.
The Home Office released an information document on the 23rd of September 2014 summing up this provision:
“Before 1 July 2006 a child could only obtain citizenship through his or her father if the parents were married. The law changed on 1 July 2006 to allow a person to acquire citizenship through his or her father, irrespective of whether the parents were married, subject to proof of paternity. That change was not made retrospective.”
When the Immigration Act 2014 was going through its readings at Parliament, Lord Avebury proposed an amendment (now known as Section 65) to the legislation, which would allow anyone born before 2006, and whose parents were not married, to have the right to register as a British citizen. To the delight of immigration lawyers UK, the Government accepted the proposal and the Act received Royal Assent in May 2014.
S.65 of the Immigration Act 2014 will insert new registration provisions (sections 4E to 4J) into the British Nationality Act 1981 for persons born before the 1st of July 2006 who would have become British citizens had their parents been married.
As Human Rights solicitor we regard S.65 as essentially ‘filling the gap’ for children born prior to 2006 to fathers who are British Citizens, but who were/are not married to the child’s mother.
Who does it apply to?
It provides a registration route for certain circumstances that were previously unclear. For example:
- Those who would have become a British Citizen automatically under the 1981 Act if their parents had been married
- Those who would be entitled to register under the previous 1981 Act but for the fact that their parents are unmarried
Immigration lawyers UK will be able to advise you regarding your eligibility to apply under this route.
Who doesn’t it apply to?
The provisions will not apply to the following persons:
- Those who would have become British citizens but for the fact that their grandparents were not married
- Those who acquired British citizenship in another way but have since renounced it or been deprived of their status
- Those who could have become a British citizen had their parents registered their birth or registered them as a British subject, but did not do so
Evidence and Application
The guidance stipulates the standard requirements for proving a child’s ‘natural father’, such as the father being named on the birth certificate within one year of birth or “other evidence” such as DNA or Court orders. The best immigration lawyers in UK will be able to advise you on the evidence required.
Those applying under section 4F will need to pay an application fee. Those applying under sections 4G – 4I will not pay a registration fee, but will have to pay a ceremony fee of £80.
People who would have become British citizens automatically under the 1981 Act provisions if their parents had been married should apply using a different application form from Children who would currently have an entitlement to registration under the 1981 Act provisions but for the fact that their parents are not married . It is prudent to contact immigration lawyers UK or Human Rights Solicitors in the UK to help you determine which form you must complete and assist with organising the documents required.
If you have been affected by any UK immigration matter, please contact Solicitor Tito, a UK immigration and human rights solicitor, for a free initial consultation about your legal options.
Call 07544 669131 or on Skype: tito.mbariti.