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British Citizenship

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 26 April 2007

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether, in light of the United Kingdom's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, they would register as a British citizen a minor who is born abroad in the following circumstances (a) both the father and the mother of the child are British citizens by descent by virtue of their registration under Schedule 2 to the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990; (b) both the father and mother of the child became British Dependent Territories citizens otherwise than by descent on commencement of the British Nationality Act 1981 but ceased to be such citizens by virtue of Section 2(2) of the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990; (c) both the father and the mother of the child have no nationality or citizenship other than British citizenship; (d) the child is and has always been stateless; (e) the child is not entitled to acquire the nationality or citizenship of any other country; (f) both parents consent to the registration; (g) there is no reason to refuse the application on character grounds; and (h) neither the father or mother is ordinarily resident or domiciled in the United Kingdom nor is it clear that the child's future clearly lies in the United Kingdom. [HL1365]

This is a complex matter, which will require some research into the intention behind the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990. I shall write to the noble Lord and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will register as a British citizen under Section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 a child who satisfies all the requirements for registration under Section 3(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 except the requirement specified in Section 3(3)(b) because the father or mother of the parent in question became a British citizen otherwise than by descent under section 1(1) of the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990. [HL2053]

Discretion to register a child under Section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 is unlikely to be exercised in the manner described while they retain an opportunity to register under Section 3(5). I am writing separately to the noble Lord regarding the reasons why beneficiaries of the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 hold British citizenship by descent.