UKers: Quick Citizenship question

In a bizarre twist of events, my husband who is 100% Irish but was born in Essex while his dad was working there temporarily might need to investigate obtaining UK citizenship.

This is the quote I’ve gotten about UK citizenship, but I’m not sure if this is still relevant. He was born AFTER 1983 and had a UK Original Birth Cert.

Does that document alone demonstrate proof of UK citizenship?
'Birth in the UK (for citizenship purposes the UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) before 1 January 1983, with the exception of persons whose father was a foreign diplomat at the time of the birth. "

Umm… Anahita, you meant to say your husband was born AFTER 1983, right? As in, he’s over 19?

Of course, I meant to say BEFORE 1983.

He’ll be fine. Although as an Irish citizen he would have the same rights as a Briton in almost all European situation, and possibly a better reception in some other areas eg USA.

Also we’re not citizens we’re subjects.

Oops, Laur! You’re right!

owlstretchingtime, this might just be the one situation where it does actually make a difference. He’s applying for a fellowship in Ireland. The funding is from an international research body, and one of the rules for eligibility is that the person hired must be a citizen of a country OTHER THAN the one where they intend to work.

We might be able to get a loophole worked into this rule, as I’m pretty sure they don’t have a rule for dual-nationals. If he can prove he’s a UK subject, then he can maybe get the fellowship.

Thanks for the info. I didn’t know about the citizen/subject classification. Interesting!

My passport says British Citizen.

I thought Brits were called subjects rather than citizens. Has there been a change, or did I just have bad information?

This might help, Anahita.

I gather from this page that there is a distinction between a British subject and a British citizen, but I didn’t delve into it enough to figure out what it is.

Thanks, Loopus.

Re: the citizen/subject issue:

Having spent a lot of time in the British Virgin Islands, I recall a rastafarian telling me he thought of himself as a British REject, not a British subject.


There is a great deal of information on that site you provided which probably explains this issue, but I haven’t time to read it. Seems that the British citizen/subject laws changed quite drastically in 1983!

Britons are subjects of the Crown, which is everybody except HM the Q, but are citizens of the EU, including HM the Q.

Don’t know what the situation is for other constitutional monarchies in the EU - Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.

From this website (“British nationality - the Irish dimension”:

Example (as told to me): an Australian is a British subject, but not a British citizen.

Thank you. For our purposes, merely knowing that birth in the UK prior to Jan 1983 is enough.

And still, we wait…and wait…gotta love EU beaurocracy.

This is ridiculous. (Sorry, but there is some weird stuff up there.)

The term “British Subject” vanished years ago, when the UK govt applied definite immigration controls on all (non-UK) commonwealth passport holders. The main losers were residents of UK colonies (except IOM and CI) and some otherwise stateless people in Africa and Asia (typically ethnic minorities in ex-colonies like Uganda, Malaysia). Progressive controls had already taken rights to settle in the UK from people from other Commonwealth countries. However, there is still a thing called “British National Overseas” - people (especially in HK) who have quasi UK passports, but no right of abode in the UK.

The right to citizenship as a result of birth in the UK was scrapped in the early 80s, which is why we have this OP. It is quite possible that Anahita’s husband does not have a claim to UK citizenship unless he has grandparents who were UK citizens. Being Irish, he might well do.

There is no such thing as “EU citizenship”. (The phrase is shorthand for “Citizenship of an EU member state”. The EU does not issue passports. It’s not a country. But its members extend rights on a reciprocal basis to one another’s citizens.)

Indeed there is. Article 8 of the Treaty of Rome (as amended):

“1. Citizenship of the Union is hereby established.

Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union.

  1. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights conferred by this Treaty and shall be subject to the duties imposed thereby.”

It is true that the EU does not issue passports, but citizenship is not just, or largely, to do with passports. It is a complex of legal rights and obligations, the precise elements of which vary from place to place. As it happens, EU citizenship does not involve the issue of passports, but that doesn’t mean it’s not citizenship. The rights and duties which make up EU citizenship are different from those which make up citizenship of any of the Member States, although any EU citizen will also be a citizen of (at least) one of the Member States.

Incidentally, British subject status does still exist, but it confers few rights. In particular, it confers no right of entry into the UK. It can, however, be slightly easier for a British subject to become a British citizen that it is for a someone who is not a British subject.

Not sure why Anahita is commenting about EU bureaucracy. The issue here is whether her husband has British citizenship, and that is entirely a matter of UK law, administered by the UK government. On the basis that he was born in the UK before 1983 my understanding is that he does have British citizenship, and it should be fairly simple to establish this. (Get the birth certificate, apply for a UK passport and see what happens.)

Yes, let me clarify. He was born before the rules changed, so my understanding is that he can be considered a British citizen, for the purposes of this employment condition.

My reference to the EU bureaucracy was related only to how complicated the rules governing this (and I’m sure others like it) fellowship. Sorry for the misunderstanding. It’s a very complicated process where the funding is related to the relative wealth of the nationality of the person applying as well as the wealth of their home country and host country. In any case, western Ireland is considered challenged, so that they get special dispensation for more funding than more developed countries.

Maybe this should be a GD?

In any case, he has gotten the position because the professor explained to the fellowship committee that there were no other applicants who had the qualifications, skills and experience to undertake the job. Well done, hub!

We’re moving in December.

Congratulations to both of you!

Eeep, that second paragraph makes no sense. Serves me right for cutting and pasting while on the phone.

Take out the second part of the third sentence in the second paragraph. Or else just ignore this altogether.

:runs around frazzled:

Thanks, Crusoe, we’re very excited!