Briefing: Parliament never intended for children to be charged sky-high fees to register as citizens

The British Nationality Act 1981, which took effect on 1 January 1983, introduced British citizenship into UK nationality law. In doing so, it removed the principle of jus soli – the principle by which citizenship is acquired by being born on the territory – from the operation of that nationality law. From that date, persons born in the UK acquired British citizenship, under section 1(1) of the Act, only if one of their parents was a British citizen or settled in the UK. This, together with other provisions in the Act by which British citizenship could be acquired (registration and naturalisation), was intended to confer citizenship upon persons on the…

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