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frantzgregory, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 766
Experience:  Over 5 years dealing with EEA Law, Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Law.
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My mother is British, with a British passport, born in India

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My mother is British, with a British passport, born in India to parents who were both full British citizens (her father was posted in India with the British army). I have a German passport as my father is German & I was born in Germany in the 70s, but I have spent most of my life in the UK; schooling, study & work. I have never tried applying for British Citizenship before because I haven't needed to due to EU laws & because I have always feared it to be extremely complicated (which it has in fact turned out to be).
However, I applied last year, using the UKM Form, & was refused British Citizenship because the Secretary of State dealing with my case, stated that my mother, according to the British Nationality Act of 1948, holds the status of a CUKC 'by decent', which means she cannot pass on her British citizenship to her children.
My mother's status as CUKC 'by decent' only, is apparently outlined in the British Nationality Act of 1948 under section 12(c), which is a decent provision. I have looked at the British Nationality Act of 1948 and cannot find any conclusive evidence that my mother is a CUKC 'by decent' only and that she cannot pass on her nationality to her children.
Is this something you could look into, or reckommend someone who is familiar with this kind of legislation?
I would be most grateful for your advice - it means a lot to me to finally confirm my identity in this way, as I have always considered myself to be British.
Many thanks Polly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I forgot to add that my mother was born in 1931, in India.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have just discovered another error - my mother's status as CUKC is under section 12(2) of the British Nationality Act of 1948.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The way I see the Secretary of State's ruling, is that he has mistakenly taken my mother (or perhaps her parents) to be of Indian decent. Both her parents were indiginously British - her father was born in the UK, her mother was 2nd generation British military posted in India, of Scottish decent. My grandparents returned to the UK after India was handed back.


Thank you for your enquiry.

For those born abroad, they would be British if born before 1 January 1983 and his or her father was born in the UK (or adopted in the UK by a UK citizen father) or his or her father was registered or naturalised as a British citizen in the UK before the child’s birth. (‘Father’ prior to 1983 means a man legally married to the child’s mother); Mothers could not pass on citizenship before 1983 but there is provision for children of British mothers to be registered.

The Home Office would have said "cannot automatically pass on her British citizenship to her children born abroad". If your grandparents where British citizens otherwise by decent (not by decent) and there is sufficiently strong link with the UK looking back across generation, it would be unfair to deny British citizenship.

It sounds to me that the evidence you may have presented was not sufficiently clear to the Home Office about your case as they do have the discretion to register an adult. You can apply as many times to register as British. But failing this option, you may be able to apply to naturalise as a British citizen under EEA regulations as you are a German citizen and presumably been working in the UK for over 6 years.

frantzgregory and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Frantz,Thank you for your reply.
And yes, the application form I used is the UKM form which is the Application for registration as a British citizen by a person born before 1983 to a British mother, so even though she is femail she can pass on her nationality.But the crux of the matter is really only to establish whether my mother was a British citizen "by decent" only - I am hoping you could help me establish this.Here is the relevant paragraph explaining the Secretary of States reasons for my failed application:" A person is entitled to registration if:1. They were born before the 1 Jan. 1983; AND2. They would have become citizens of the United Kingdom & Colonies by decent before the 1 Jan. 1983 if, before that date, women had been able to transmit British nationality in the same way as men, AND3. Had they been a citizen of the United Kingdom & Colonies, they would have had the right of abode in the United Kingdom and would have become a British citizen on 1 Jan. 1983, AND4. They are of good character>As you mother was born outside the United Kingdom & Colonies (my insert: obviously this is an incorrect sentence), she would have held CUKC status "by decent" at the time of your birth.
Whilst she was born in India and at the time of her birth it was a Crown dominion, India became an independent country on 26 Jan. 1950, and under the British Nationality Act 1948 your mother became a CUKC under section 12(2), which is a decent provision. As she was CUKC "by decent" (my insert: this is what I have been unable to establish, whether this is actually true - there is no mention decent in Section 12(2)) she would not therefore have been able to pass that status on to you. As such, you do not meet the requirements above."that ends the paragraph.So if we can prove that my mother isn't a British citizen "by decent" only, my application will be accepted.Here are some of the documents I have been looking at in my enquiry - I would be really grateful if you can establish the correct answer to this question of whether "by decent" or whether by birth & as far as I can tell the mistake of the Secretary of State might be that my grandfather was in fact born in the UK, and was therefore not a British citizen "by decent" only...: is a very perverse & complicated point on which to deny citizenship, esp as both my mother's parents were completely British.
Many thanks for your help.Best wishes Philippa
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry, and lastly, the UKM form that I used to apply for British citizenship, should ask all questions that the Secretary of States needs to satisfy his requirements, so no, I do not think that I omitted anything regarding my grandparents nationality & birth.
However because my grandmother, who was Scottish, was 2nd generation British army in India, and was therefore also born in India, might this have led the Secretary of States to wrongly think my mother is half Indian??


Yes your mother will be British by decent because she was born abroad to British parents. The definition of decent comes from the fact a person is born "abroad" to British parents. If your mother was born in the UK she would have acquired British citizenship otherwise by decent.

If you applied under the wrong section then obvious your application will fail. What section did you put down on your form?