The author of the communication, Constance Ragan Salgado, was a British citizen born who resided in Bogotá, Colombia, at the time of the communication’s submission. Her eldest son, Alvaro John Salgado, was born in Colombia in 1954 of a Colombian father. At that time, the author made an application to the UK Consulate to obtain British nationality for her son and was told that the entitlement to British nationality came through the paternal line; as his father was Colombian, her son was considered an alien.
The British Nationality Act 1981 (“the 1981 Act”), which entered into force in 1983, amended previous nationality legislation and conferred equal rights to women and men in respect of the nationality of their children under the age of 18. The author was told that her son still did not qualify for British citizenship under the 1981 Act. The author protested by letter to the British Consul and to the Home Office, claiming that, had her son claimed British nationality through a British father instead of through her, no age limit would have applied to him.
British nationality legislation again changed when the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”) entered into force on 30 April 2003 and added s. 4C to the 1981 Act (“Acquisition by Registration: Certain persons born between 1961 and 1983”). Children — by now adults — born abroad between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983 of British mothers would now be eligible to register as British nationals if they satisfied certain other conditions. In early 2003, the British Consul in Bogotá contacted the author to enquire as to whether she had any children born after 7 February 1961. She replied that her youngest son was born in 1966 and had acquired British nationality, but that her eldest son still had not. She was told that he did not qualify due to the fact that he was born before the cut-off date established under the 2002 Act.