Opinion Number. 339

Subject

BRITISH SUBJECT CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING STATUS

Key Legislation

NATURALIZATION ACT 1903, ss. 3, 4, 5, 9, 10

Date
Client
The Secretary to the Treasury

I. natural-born british subjects

The following are natural-born British subjects:

  1. a person born in the British Dominions;
  2. a person born abroad but whose father or paternal grandfather was born in the British Dominions.

But a woman being a natural-born British subject becomes an alien on marrying an alien, and continues to be a statutory alien during widowhood unless she obtains a certificate of readmission to British nationality or a certificate of naturalization.

A British subject ceases to be a British subject on becoming voluntarily naturalized in a foreign state.

NATURALIZED BRITISH SUBJECTS

An alien may be naturalized-

  1. under the law of the United Kingdom, or
  2. under the law of the Commonwealth, or
  3. (before the commencement of the Commonwealth Naturalization Act 1903) under the law of a State.

Imperial naturalization probably holds good throughout the British Dominions. Colonial naturalization probably only holds good in the colony in which it is granted. The Commonwealth Naturalization Act naturalizes throughout the Commonwealth the holders of State naturalization certificates, but not their wives or children. Whether the wives or children of the holders of State naturalization certificates are or are not naturalized in that State depends upon the State law.

The following are naturalized persons in Australia:

  1. A person who holds a naturalization certificate of the United Kingdom, of the Commonwealth, or of the State in which he is.
  2. As to the wives of naturalized persons:
  3. United Kingdom: The wife of a person naturalized under the Imperial Act is deemed to be a British subject.
    Commonwealth: The wife of a person naturalized by virtue of the Commonwealth Naturalization Act is a British subject if the marriage took place subsequently to her husband's becoming naturalized.

    State: The wife of a person naturalized under the law of a State is, in that State, a British subject whether the marriage took place before or after her husband's becoming naturalized.

  4. As to the children of naturalized persons:

United Kingdom: Where the father (or the mother being a widow) has obtained a certificate of naturalization in the United Kingdom, every child who, during infancy, has become resident with such father or mother is naturalized.

Commonwealth: Where the father (or the mother being a widow or divorced) has obtained a Commonwealth certificate of naturalization, or where the mother is married to a natural-born British subject or a person who has obtained a Commonwealth certificate of naturalization, every child who has at any time resided in Australia with such father or mother is naturalized.

New South Wales: Where the father or mother was, at the birth of the child, an alien, but afterwards obtained a New South Wales certificate of naturalization, or where the mother, being an alien, marries a natural-born British subject, the child, if resident in New South Wales at any time while under sixteen years of age, is naturalized in New South Wales.

Western Australia: Where the father (or the mother being a widow) has obtained a certificate of naturalization in Western Australia, every child of such father or mother who, during infancy, has become resident in Western Australia is naturalized.

Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania: In the Naturalization Acts of these States there is no provision as to the children of naturalized persons; and consequently a certificate of naturalization obtained by a parent under the law of any of these States has no effect with regard to the children.

[Vol. 7, p. 157]

(1) This opinion is unsigned in the Opinion Book, but it is attributed to Mr Garran.