British Nationality and Borders Act Update

The new Nationality and Borders Act is causing a stir in the immigration world, as many persons who have not previously qualified for British citizenship will now be able to qualify. It is thus bringing good news for many people with British roots seeking British citizenship.

The Bill has slowly passed through the British Parliament and was signed into law on 28 April 2022. Part 1 concerning nationality came into force on 28 June 2022. This part of the Act inserts many new provisions for registration as a British citizen or British Overseas Territories citizen.

The new sections will create many routes to British citizenship.

What is the aim of the Nationality and Borders Act?

The Nationality part of the Act seeks to remedy past injustices in the law. The new Act thus aims to put persons in the position who would have automatically become British citizens had the past laws been just and fair.

The Nationality part of the Act thus has three major objectives:

To address the historic inability of mothers and unmarried fathers to transmit British Overseas Territories Citizenship leading to a possible entitlement to full British Citizenship.

Register persons as British citizens who could not do so due to historical injustice.

To implement a discretionary waiver of residence criteria for naturalisation.

Who will benefit from the new British Nationality and Borders Act?

Breytenbachs foresee that the following persons will benefit from the Nationality and Borders Act.

  • Persons with a UK-born mother who were born before 1983.
  • People born after 1948, parents married before 1949 with a UK-born paternal grandfather.
  • Persons born in a foreign country at the time of their birth until December 1987 with a UK-born maternal grandfather and grandmother.
  • Persons born in a foreign country at the time of their birth up until December 1987 with a UK-born paternal grandmother.

Clarification on some new routes to Citizenship

Numerous clients have since approached Breytenbachs who seek assistance and want to determine whether they qualify to apply. Following previous articles on the issue, Breytenbachs would like to clarify the following routes to citizenship.

Maternal grandparents and Paternal grandmother born in the UK

Historically, British nationality could only be passed through the male line. Over the years, however, changes have been made to British nationality to correct this discrimination, but these changes were limited. Under the new changes, applicants may be able to register as British nationals if they meet certain requirements.

Who should get in touch with Breytenbachs?

If any of the circumstances below apply to you, do get in touch with Breytenbachs:

  • You were adopted under the Hague Convention by British citizens.
  • You have a UK-born grandparent.
  • You have a parent or grandparent born in a former British territory, such as Northern Rhodesia.

Breytenbachs Nationality Status Trace Service

Over the past months, Breytenbachs has developed a service to evaluate British nationality claims.  Our service allows us to use a systematic, detailed process to investigate all possible avenues to all types of UK nationality and the right of abode in the UK.

We invite all persons who think they might qualify under the new British Nationality and Borders Act to contact us.

Breytenbachs’ premise is to find a way for our clients if one exists.  We’ll find the angles other immigration practitioners might not know or have the resources to look into.


Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Although we provide broad guidelines on who might qualify for British nationality under the new Borders and Nationality Act regulations, it does not mean everyone who fits within these broad guidelines will be eligible. We have to look at the circumstances of every individual case before we can advise. 

Please contact us today for further information or applications.

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