British Nationality: Windrush Generation

Home Office written question – answered on 11th December 2020.

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Photo of Kim Johnson Kim Johnson Labour, Liverpool, Riverside

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will amend the British Nationality Act 1981 (Remedial) Order to include British-born Windrush descendants whose families gained rights to settle in the UK via the Immigration Act 1971.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Individuals born in the UK prior to 1 January 1983 are British citizens. A person born in the UK since 1983 will be a British citizen automatically if either parent was a British citizen or settled in the UK at the time of the birth. This includes any person whose parent was a member of the Windrush generation with indefinite leave to remain granted by the Immigration Act 1971.

A child born before 1 July 2006 will only acquire citizenship automatically through their father if their parents were married. There is a provision in nationality law for such a person to register as a British citizen if they would have become a British citizen automatically had their parents been married. This provision extends to individuals born in the UK to members of the Windrush generation that were granted indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Act 1971. Those applying under this provision do not have to pay a registration fee.

The British Nationality Act 1981 (Remedial) Order 2019 further provides that such a person may register as a British citizen without needing to meet the good character requirement. The Order specifically amends the British Nationality Act 1981 to address the Supreme Court’s finding that the good character requirement for registration under certain routes was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

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