Guest post: citizenship for sale – at a cost stateless people can ill afford

Stateless people in the UK face enormous hurdles in the road to becoming British citizens. One of those barriers is the extraordinarily high cost of acquiring British citizenship, writes Asylum Aid’s Cynthia Orchard. The UK government has taken some steps to ensure its approach to statelessness complies with international law. In many respects, British nationality law complies with the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Further, the UK introduced a statelessness determination procedure in 2013, which was an important step towards achieving compliance with the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. There is, however, considerable room for improvement in the UK’s treatment of stateless persons. This…

5th October 2017 By Cynthia Orchard

Can a child stateless by “choice” be registered as a British citizen?

Under the British Nationality Act 1981, a child who is born in the UK and is (and always has been) stateless is entitled to register as a British citizen. See Schedule 2, Paragraph 3: 3 (1) A person born in the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory after commencement shall be entitled, on an application for his registration under this paragraph, to be so registered if the following requirements are satisfied in his case, namely— (a) that he is and always has been stateless; and (b) that on the date of the application he was under the age of twenty-two; and (c) that he was in the United Kingdom…

6th July 2017 By Nick Nason

Good character citizenship criteria quietly tightened up

The Home Office has quietly tightened up the criteria for granting British citizenship under the good character test. This had passed me by so I thought it useful to flag up – and many thanks to Alex Moran for point it out. A number of undesirable behaviours have been added to the list of disqualifying behaviour, including illegal entry, assisting illegal migration and evasion of immigration control. The changes seem to have been made on 11 December 2014. The previous version of the guidance can be seen here and the new version here. Unfortunately, these changes will prevent almost all refugees from qualifying for British citizenship for at least 10…

8th January 2015 By Colin Yeo

Dual citizenship and Scottish independence

Coming back from my break and looking through various updates, I was struck by a series of articles on citizenship and nationality laws in the event of Scottish independence following the vote this Thursday. Some of these seem to me fundamentally to misunderstand the independence process as it is likely to operate. Citizens of a newly independent Scotland would not generally retain British citizenship: that is the whole point of independence, after all. However, some Scots would qualify for dual citizenship of the new Scotland and the remainder or rest of the UK (‘rUK’). In an article by Nick Barber appearing on the UK Constitutional Law Association blog and on the Scottish Constitutional…

15th September 2014 By Colin Yeo