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The past week, a fellow British nationality and UK immigration firm has released a press release that vaguely explains a change in British nationality laws.
Move Up has since received several calls looking for clarity in the transaction and solutions moving forward.
It is true, the UK Government introduced legislation in 2002 and again in 2009 attempting to address gender discrimination in previous British Nationality legislation. The older legislation affected those born before January 1983. However, elements of gender discrimination still existed until now.
Those who were born to British mothers (mothers that were not born in the UK) could not take advantage of the various double descent provisions of the earlier law that were available to men.
This was because their mother would not have been able to take the necessary steps in the past to make a claim in the second generation.
A recent Supreme Court Judgement in the UK has made it clear that it is unlawful for the UK to implement further discrimination. The court ruled that Government (Her Majesties Passport Office) impose a change of decision making on new applications for British citizenship where it was previously not lawfully possible for that requirement to be met at the time.
In South Africa, for example, it was possible for a child’s birth to be registered at the British Consulate between June 1962 and January 1983 where the child’s father was British. During that British Consulate period, it was permitted to register foreign births with the British government (ie. South African born applicants could be registered with the British government as British nationals).
Interestingly, this facility was not available to applicants with British mothers (only). Applicants could only register their “foreign birth” with the British Consulate if their father was a British national.
Since birth registrations at the British Consulate was permitted, it granted a potential route for citizenship by double descent in the male lines. South Africans born during the British Consulates registration period are affected by this judgement.
To summarize, three conditions need to met for the applicant to consider this approach feasible.
a). Applicants need to be born in South Africa between June 1962 and December 1982 and,
b). Their mother was British (not through being born in the UK) and,
c). Their maternal grandfather was born in the UK, the applicant may have a claim to British Citizenship now.
How does Move Up differ?
First and foremost, Move Up offers free assessments.
Move Up does not charge applicants who don’t qualify and Move Up does not believe that charging qualified applicants a fee to only say “you may qualify” is justified.
Rather Move Up looks to identify if applicants can qualify and if so, Move Up can offer representation in successful submissions.
Hence Move Up maintained a 97%* success rate (*based on 2017 submissions) in their represented applications.
Move Up believes their approach is far more ethical, putting their clients best interests first, especially when clients have straight forward cases.
Ryan Rennison, Director of Move Up says “It doesn’t make sense to charge a full assessment fee if one can see that the immediate qualifying requirements can be met.”
Recently Move Up has secured the skillset of one of the above mentioned competitor firms senior caseworkers. Jason Trudgian. Jason has been in the industry for the last 9 years and has facilitated both UK immigration and British nationality claims.
Now, Jason operates as Move Up’s senior caseworker.
Jason insists that a tracing fee for some birth right claims is justified. More specifically in cases where applicants are looking to lodge colonial birth right applications. However Jason agrees with Move Up’s ethos that charging assessment fee for straight forward cases is not justified.
What other firms are not telling their clients?
Three important aspects that our fellow British nationality firms are not telling applicants.
1. Birth certificates are needed.
Birth certificates are needed before a claim can be lodged. It sounds simple when these words are read however applicants will find that fellow British nationality firms often will charge for assessments based on facts given (and not based on supporting documents/ certificates on hand).
Applicants often sign up for a trace of birth right claims, only to be told they could maybe qualify (if they have birth certificates on hand).
British nationality claims are made on based on records that applicants have on hand. Emphasis is placed on government issued original certificates.
2. Consequences for dependents.
Getting a British passport sounds great and it is great. It is great for the British passport holder (only).
If the applicant has family dependents, specifically married like dependents or minors joining them (for relocation purposes), getting a British passport will negatively impact their dependents.
The current UK legislation makes it more difficult for British passport holders to bring SA family dependents into the UK when compared to the UK Ancestry work visa.
It is easier, cheaper and quicker to claim Ancestry rights when applicants have family dependents joining them. It has more risk, more cost and much harder qualifying factors for British holders to bring South African dependents into the UK.
Our Ancestry versus Settlement page further elaborates this.
3. Publicly listed case fees.
What are they hiding? Isn’t it strange that they first ask what the applicants employment status is before they offer representation in a case?
Move Up’s fees have been publicly listed since the company started in 2010. Standardize case fees based on time taken for administration and degree of difficulty applied.
If you are looking to make a claim through double descent (having a maternal UK born grandfather), please upload your birth certificates on our free birth rights assessment link.