Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex parte Margueritte: CA 1982

The applicant first arrived from Mauritius in 1972, and was given limited leave to enter for a few months. He over-stayed until June 1974 when he paid a short visit to France. On return he was given one month’s leave to enter, but again overstayed. In 1978 he married a woman who was settled here and as a result was granted indefinite leave to remain. In 1979 he applied to register as a United Kingdom citizen, on the basis of five years’ ordinary residence here, in accordance with a provision inserted into the 1948 Act by the 1971 Act, which provided that a person is not to be treated for the purposes of any provision in that Act as ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom at a time when he is there in breach of the immigration laws. The Court was now asked to say that the judge in the court below had been wrong when he held that the words ‘ordinarily resident’ in s. 5A of the British Nationality Act 1948 meant, in effect, ‘ordinarily and lawfully resident’.
Held: The Court construed the new provision in the British Nationality Act in the same way as applied under the 1971 Act.
Oliver LJ said: ‘the question which we are called upon to answer is not, in my judgment, what is the natural or normal meaning of the expression [‘ordinarily resident’] in general, but what is its meaning in section 5A of the British Nationality Act 1948.’
Kerr LJ said: ‘on the true construction of the words ‘ordinarily resident’ in Appendix A to Schedule 1, viewed in the context of the Immigration Act 1971 as a whole, did parliament intend that a period should count towards the qualifying period of five years if the person in question was then in this country unlawfully?’


Lord Denning MR, Oliver, Kerr LJJ


[1982] 3 WLR 753, [1983] QB 180


British Nationality Act 1948, Immigration Act 1971 33(2)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Barnet London Borough Council, Ex parte Shah HL 16-Dec-1982
The five applicants had lived in the UK for at least three years while attending school or college. All five were subject to immigration control, four had entered as students with limited leave to remain for the duration of their studies, and the . .
CitedMark v Mark HL 30-Jun-2005
The petitioner sought to divorce her husband. Both were Nigerian nationals, and had married under a valid polygamous marriage in Nigeria. She claimed that the courts had jurisdiction because of her habitual residence here despite the fact that her . .
CitedBibi and others v Entry Clearance Officer, Dhaka CA 18-Jul-2007
The deceased had come to live in the UK and obtain citizenship under somebody else’s identity. After his death his wife and children sought clearance to come to live here.
Held: Her appeal failed. The residence of her late husband was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 23 March 2022; Ref: scu.228186