The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 came into force today (13 January 2010) which means I finally "have a right to register as a British citizen" but I will have to pay £540 to claim my British citizenship by descent!
This new law does not allow UK mothers to pass on citizenship to their children regardless of where or when they were born. It requires all those born abroad to a UK mother prior to 1983 to register with the UKBA and pay an exorbitant fee (presently £540) before they can apply for a UK passport. Anyone born in the same circumstances after 1983 or at anytime to a UK father can simply complete a passport application without the need to register and without a fee.
All British women are not equal. My British mother couldn't pass her citizenship to me until today - and it doesn't mean I am automatically British. I have to 'register' and pay £540 and attend a British citizenship ceremony before I can gain my British citizenship.
And it's worth noting that registration can be rejected. The right to register as a British citizen does not guarantee that an application will be approved.
Why isn't a legitimate claim to British citizenship by descent, automatic? Why are we considered less equal to the same right that others can claim? Does this inequality mean that we are second-class British citizens?
It is disgraceful that I (and others in the same situation) will have to register and pay for our right to British citizenship by descent. The British government made us wait all these years for the unfair law to be amended and then decided we are still not equal to children of British fathers.
Many British women who gave birth abroad were war brides (my mum was one). Shouldn't their children have the same right to British citizenship by descent as the children of British fathers do?
The Members of Parliament have passed a Bill that blatantly discriminates against British mothers and their children. And shockingly, the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill - with its blatant gender and age discrimination - has now become law.
If you are BRITISH (British expats can sign too!) or a British resident you can help stop the gender and age discrimination! Add your name to this petition:
People born before 1983 to British mothers
British Citizenship - discrimination
Guardian's Liberty Clinic - query about British citizenship