All Articles: Nationality
Should refugees who entered the UK illegally be denied British citizenship on good character grounds?
Back in January, the Home Office updated and expanded its guidance on the “good character” requirement in British citizenship applications. One of the big changes in the guidance is the long overdue recognition of the existence of Article 31 of th ...13th May 2019
Bad news for overstayers in latest hardening of British citizenship policy
A recent change in the Home Office’s good character policy for citizenship applications is set to have a significant impact on people with a history of overstaying. The department expressly states for the first time that any overstaying in the last ...17th April 2019
The pathway to British citizenship for European nationals in the UK
As Brexit approaches, many European nationals in the UK are turning their attention to applications for British citizenship. Citizens of other countries who have been living in the UK for five years can apply to “naturalise” as British ...2nd April 2019
The Home Secretary can legally deprive Shamima Begum of her citizenship – but he shouldn’t
The UK government did not begin its deprivation of citizenship policy yesterday, when Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an order stripping Shamima Begum of her British nationality. The deprivation of citizenship power has been increasingly used in rec ...20th February 2019
Deprivation of citizenship and “ISIS bride” Shamima Begum
The controversial story of British teenager Shamima Begum has dominated the news in recent days. Shamima left the UK in February 2015 to travel to Syria at the age of 15. She was very recently found in a Syrian refugee camp, heavily pregnant, after sh ...18th February 2019
Naturalising or registering as a British citizen: the good character requirement
Anybody over the age of ten who applies for registration or naturalisation as a British citizen needs to meet the so-called “good character requirement”. This is a mandatory requirement set out in the British Nationality Act 1981. Where a person i ...8th February 2019
Official guidance on the good character citizenship test
The latest version of the Home Office’s Good character requirement guidance published on 14 January 2019 incorporates long-awaited new sections on children and refugees. There are also new sections on absolute and conditional discharges, detention a ...28th January 2019
Court of Appeal: Wikipedia can (but shouldn’t) be used to prove foreign law
In the case of KV v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2483 the Court of Appeal accepts that future statelessness is a relevant consideration in an appeal against deprivation of British citizenship obtained on the basis of frau ...20th November 2018
Special court denies British citizenship to relatives of Bashar Al-Assad
Appellants in immigration cases would normally be delighted if a court made an unambiguous finding that the government had acted unfairly towards them. Not so the family of Bashar Al-Assad. In a very unusual judgment, the Special Immigration Appeals C ...14th November 2018
Renouncing your British citizenship is rarely a good idea
Yet again the Home Office has come under fire for its treatment of a European citizen, this time for denying an EEA residence card to the American husband of an Irish national living in Northern Ireland. The case of Gemma Capparelli and her husband wa ...7th November 2018
How easy is it to buy British citizenship?
To go along with the private jet and luxury yacht, the current ‘must-have’ for a discerning multi-millionaire seems to be a range of international passports. The phenomenon of citizenship by investment has emerged over the last few decades an ...31st October 2018
Court of Appeal says statelessness must be proved on balance of probabilities
In AS (Guinea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2234, the Court of Appeal has in effect rebuffed an attempt by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to make it easier to establish statelessness. The court ruled that the sta ...19th October 2018
Immigration and nationality law for adopted children
Immigration and nationality law as it relates to international adoption is undoubtedly complex and a topic with which only a few practitioners are familiar. There are numerically very few international adoption cases, after all. The inevitable cross o ...17th October 2018
Javid sounds tough note on citizenship in party conference speech
Sajid Javid delivered a speech today at the Conservative party conference that is likely to generate headlines for what he had to say on immigration, integration and citizenship. Upon closer inspection, there is less substance to these pronouncements ...2nd October 2018
Deprivation of citizenship justified by treasonous conduct finds Court of Appeal
A British citizen can be deprived of his citizenship if he shows disloyalty to the state, the Court of Appeal has found in the case of Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2064. The case is interesting, thought-provoking ...27th September 2018
Naturalising as a British citizen: the lawful residence requirement
An adult who is not a British citizen can apply to become one. This process is known as naturalisation. People will normally be eligible to apply for naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they meet certain requirement ...24th September 2018
How can the Home Office tear up the British passport of a six-year-old boy born in Leeds?
The Independent and the Telegraph are reporting on the upsetting case of a little boy, born in Leeds, who is being denied re-entry to the UK because the Home Office has revoked his British passport. Mohamed Bangoura, aged six, was staying with relat ...6th September 2018
Yemen-born Somalis in High Court fight for British Overseas Citizenship
Despite our remarks in previous blogs about the useless nature of British Overseas Citizen status, a series of judgments handed down by the High Court this summer demonstrate that this unusual version of British nationality is sufficiently valuable to ...5th September 2018
Briefing: Parliament never intended for children to be charged sky-high fees to register as citizens
The British Nationality Act 1981, which took effect on 1 January 1983, introduced British citizenship into UK nationality law. In doing so, it removed the principle of jus soli – the principle by which citizenship is acquired by being born on the te ...4th September 2018
Comment: the Home Office must adopt a principled approach to DNA testing
In 1985, immigration solicitor Sheona York read an article in the Guardian about a new technology for proving someone’s identity. She called the inventor, Professor Alec Jeffreys, at the University of Leicester to see whether this “DNA tes ...3rd September 2018
What happens if you mistakenly apply for British citizenship instead of indefinite leave to remain?
What happens when an American graduate, about to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain having lived lawfully in the UK for almost a decade, incorrectly thinks that he is eligible to apply for British citizenship and applies for that instead? ...17th August 2018
How is the government using its increased powers to strip British people of their citizenship?
Yesterday’s judgment in Aziz & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1884 saw the Court of Appeal uphold the Home Secretary’s decision to use her power to strip members of a notorious Rochdale grooming gang ...9th August 2018
Part of the British Nationality Act 1981 found incompatible with human rights law
It is said to be a wise child who knows his own father. It might be thought, having read the facts of this case, that it is an even wiser child who knows who is deemed to be her father for the purposes of the British Nationality Act 1981… The openin ...30th July 2018
Home Office unlawfully nullifies British citizenship in hundreds of cases
New figures from the Home Office show that hundreds of British citizens have unlawfully had their citizenship nullified since 2013. A Freedom of Information request by the author revealed that there were 262 decisions to nullify British citizenship be ...18th July 2018
Can a British Overseas Citizen be stateless?
In Teh v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1586 (Admin) the High Court has found that a British Overseas Citizen (BOC) can be stateless under the Immigration Rules if he or she has no other nationality. This is an interesting and ...6th July 2018
Home Office makes almost £100 million from children registering as British citizens
Home Office profit on the fees charged to children exercising their right to British citizenship comes to nearly £100 million over the past five years, Free Movement analysis has shown. The controversially high fee for the citizenship process known a ...4th July 2018
Briefing: What are the barriers to British citizenship for EU nationals?
The recent case of Inga Lockton is the most high-profile recent example of growing problems that EU citizens and their families face with applying for British citizenship. Ms Lockton lived in the UK for 39 years, was married to a British citizen and h ...14th June 2018
How quickly could Meghan Markle get British citizenship and what are the requirements?
So, the Royal Wedding approaches. But once the bunting is bought, the flags are flown and the merchandise marketed, what happens next for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? Will they live happily ever after and, if so, where and with what visa? Princes a ...14th May 2018
High Court remedy for woman embroiled in disputed citizenship claim
Before she travelled to the land of her fathers, Yasmeen Din was born to Pakistani parents in the Churchill Hospital in Oxford on 26 June 1968. By virtue of section 11(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, read with section 4 of the British National ...14th May 2018
Comment: the fee for children to register as British is the next Windrush scandal
Like Commonwealth citizens unable to pay for residence cards, children entitled to register for British citizenship are prevented from taking up their rightful status in the UK by swingeing Home Office fees, write Solange Valdez-Symonds and Steve Vald ...20th April 2018
Tribunal reclaims jurisdiction to review deprivation of citizenship discretion
The number of cases of deprivation of British citizenship has risen sharply in recent years. For an in-depth look at the issues, see my earlier post on The rise of modern banishment: deprivation and nullification of British citizenship. The increasin ...22nd March 2018