British Subject/Citizen (but not quite)
I always knew that not all British subjects/citizens were equal. There were those, whose ancestors had been lived in “this sceptred Isle’ since, at least 1066, had an English rose complexion, attended Eton or had a cut glass accent.
I knew this, but still believed, that the fact I was born British, educated and worked within these Islands, I had equal rights, under the law. It turns out not, there are different types of British Citizenship, and mines does not allow me the freedom, that others enjoy ; through no fault of mine.
It turns out, my brother and I are British citizens by descent, because we were born outside of the United Kingdom. It was not an issue, we were aware of, until my niece was born, prematurely outside of the UK, and our government told my brother, in affect to go “home” to obtain travelling document for his daughter. Home, being, his place of birth, which he had left when he was just 2 months old. They said, that as a British citizen by descent, he could not pass on his citizenship to her. We were horrified and spent much time, money etc trying to resolve this. It still seems totally unfair and makes us, feel like second class citizens. It was also distressing to read in the MN1 guidance “It is important to know that someone who is a British citizen by descent cannot “upgrade” their citizenship by applying to be registered or naturalised as a British citizen otherwise than by descent.”
The law seemed clear “All UK citizens are either British citizens by descent or British citizens otherwise than by descent, according to British nationality legislation. Those who are British citizens through birth, registration, naturalization, or adoption are not citizens by descent.
When a person is born outside of the United Kingdom, they can apply for British citizenship based on the status of their parents or grandparents as British citizens. Citizens of British descent are not subject to immigration restrictions and enjoy many of the same rights as other British citizens, such as the right to a UK passport and the right to vote in elections. Citizens by descent, on the other hand, are unable to pass on their British citizenship to their children born outside the UK, whereas citizens not by descent are permitted to do so.”
It made no sense and it seemed we could not do anything about it but, we could not leave an innocent baby stateless. Was this the “hostile environment” our government, was accused of creating in the Home Office. Was it our government, how secure did we have the right to feel?
Anyway, my brother fought the good fight, on behalf of his daughter and ensured she was able to visit the grounds of his football team: Manchester City. (Not my team, I hasten to add).
Football rivalries aside, there is the thorny and important issue of what we we read in MN1 guidance “It is important to know that someone who is a British citizen by descent cannot “upgrade” their citizenship by applying to be registered or naturalised as a British citizen otherwise than by descent,” It does not seem fair and I cannot believe there can be no resolution. It divides families and in our case it does not impact on all the siblings equally. Our younger sister for instance, is only 13 months younger, but was born in the UK so has a different type of British Citizenship.
Any help or advice would be most welcome. Also we would also be grateful if you sign this petition: Grant full citizenship to British citizens by descent, and their children — Petitions (parliament.uk)
Thank you: It would be great if all British subjects/citizens could enjoy equal rights.