Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Naturalisation signifies anyone becoming the subject of a state to which theretofore he was an alien. Naturalisation can be effected either by Act of Parliament or by the certificate of a Secretary of State. According to the first method, an alien is put in exactly the same state as if he had been born in the kingdom. It has therefore a retrospective effect, in which it differs from mere denization; and, consequently, if a man was naturalised by Act of Parliament, his son born before might inherit land in the realm. In regard to naturalisation by certificate of Secretary of State, it is a modern method, introduced by a statute passed in the year 1844 in order to enable foreigners coming to reside and settle in the United Kingdom to obtain the advantages of naturalisation in a less expensive and tedious way than by procuring a private Act. This statute has, indeed, been repealed, but by the Acts now existing on the subject, passed in the years 1870-72, an alien who has resided in the United Kingdom (or has been in the service of the Crown) for not less than five years, and intends when naturalised either to reside in the United Kingdom or to serve under the Crown, is enabled to apply for a certificate of naturalisation to one of the Secretaries of State, who may, after receiving the necessary evidence in support of the application, issue, if he shall so think fit, to the applicant a certificate accordingly, whereupon, and upon his taking the oath of allegiance, the alien shall, in the United Kingdom, be entitled to all political and other rights, powers, and privileges, and be subject to all the obligations to which a natural-born British subject is entitled or subject in the United Kingdom.