There is coverage in today’s newspapers and on broadcast media of the case of a man born and raised in the UK who had found he was not considered a British citizen. We have since clarified the facts in this case.
The Times, Guardian, Mail, Sun, Star, Metro and ITV’s Good Morning Britain report that Shane Ridge, a 21-year-old man from Lancashire who was born and raised in the UK, has received a letter from the Home Office saying that his driving licence would be revoked because he has “no lawful basis” to be in the UK.
Mr Ridge received this letter after having an application for Right to Abode, a form of immigration status that entitles someone to remain in the UK indefinitely, declined because he was judged at the time to not be a British citizen. The letter advised him that he should regularise his stay by applying for another form of immigration status or make plans to leave the UK.
We have now established that the decision to decline his application for Right to Abode was incorrect. We did not identify at the time of application that his maternal grandmother was British, his mother was born in a Commonwealth country and that as a result his mother had settled status in the UK at the time of his birth. Since 1 January 1983 those born in the UK to mothers settled in the UK are automatically British, irrespective of the nationality of the mother at the time of birth. Therefore Mr Ridge is already a British citizen.
We have spoken with Mr Ridge to apologise for this error and the distress caused.
A statement for use by the media can be found below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
We have now established that Mr Ridge is automatically a British citizen. We have spoken with Mr Ridge to apologise for this error and the distress caused.
When Mr Ridge applied for Right of Abode, we did not identify that his maternal grandmother was British and that as a result his mother had settled status in the UK at the time of his birth.