All Articles: Nationality

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 By

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 By

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 and de ...

31st October 2018 By

Court of Appeal says statelessness must be proved on balance of probabilities

In AS (Guinea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] 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 By

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 By

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 [2018] EWCA Civ 2064. The case is interesting, thought-provoking ...

27th September 2018 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 [2018] 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 By

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 By

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 By

Can a British Overseas Citizen be stateless?

In Teh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] 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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

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 By

Challenging good character refusals in British citizenship applications

Every few years another “good character” nationality case makes it to court. Usually they arise in the context of adults applying for naturalisation as British citizens at the Home Secretary’s discretion under section 6 of the British Nationali ...

15th March 2018 By

Naturalising as a British citizen: the intention to settle 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: are 18 or over are of “ ...

8th March 2018 By

Landmark Supreme Court decision overrules historic gender discrimination in British citizenship

The Supreme Court has opened up British citizenship by double descent to all children of British women born between 1949 and 1983. Delivering a judgment which makes no attempt to disguise his academic interests as a historian, Lord Sumption delivered ...

8th February 2018 By

Returning from outside the UK to challenge deprivation of citizenship

What procedure should be followed when someone is deprived of British citizenship, at a time when he or she is abroad, to enable return to the UK to participate in a statutory appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC)? Should judicia ...

22nd January 2018 By

Supreme Court boost for people stripped of their British citizenship

A Supreme Court decision handed down today is good news for people who have had their British citizenship taken away because it was obtained under false pretences. The Home Office has accepted that in most cases, deprivation rather than nullity is the ...

21st December 2017 By

British citizen wrongly denied passport and ordered to leave UK

The case of R (Miah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2925 (Admin) concerns a British citizen who made an application for a passport, was refused, and ordered to leave the country. He had no in-country right of appeal against ...

28th November 2017 By

The rise of modern banishment: deprivation and nullification of British citizenship

To deprive a person of their citizenship on the grounds of their behaviour or opinion is to cast them out of society. It is a power of exile or banishment. In Roman law, the punishment of “proscription” was civic and literal death, unless the pers ...

24th November 2017 By

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 Schedule 1 of the British Nationality Act 1981. Wh ...

20th November 2017 By

Worker Registration Scheme extension unlawful, Court of Appeal confirms

In a decision of 7 November 2017, the Court of Appeal unanimously found, yet again, that the extension of the Worker Registration Scheme from 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2011 was unlawful and incompatible with EU law. The case is Secretary of State for Wor ...

9th November 2017 By

New ebook now available: Naturalising as a British citizen

Our new ebook guide Naturalising as a British citizen is now available for purchase for £9.99 (free for Free Movement members). For most people, an application for naturalisation is something they can complete on their own. This ebook helps individua ...

19th October 2017 By

Deception, causation and deprivation of British citizenship

In Sleiman (deprivation of citizenship; conduct) [2017] UKUT 367 (IAC) the tribunal considered the question of how directly causative past deception must be of a subsequent grant of British citizenship in order for a person to be deprived of that citi ...

19th September 2017 By
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