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

Home Office messes up deportation of former Malaysian and British Overseas Citizen

Official (rather terse) headnote: The deportation of a former Malaysian national and former BOC is liable to be deemed unlawful where relevant Government Policies relating to inter-state arrangements with Malaysia have not been taken into account or given effect. I’ve got some sympathy for the Home Office on this one. The President asserts that it is “incoherent” to describe a British Overseas Citizen as “a British national albeit that he does not have a right of abode” (paragraph 27). That seems to me actually to be an accurate description: a British national but not a British citizen, the two being distinct for various slightly arcane reasons of colonial withdrawal. Other…

7th March 2017 By Colin Yeo

How to secure legal aid for statelessness applications

Recently, after being introduced to someone, I mentioned that I work on statelessness policy. When faced with the confused look I am growing to recognise when I tell people about my work, I began to explain: some people don’t have citizenship of any country. He (thinking hipster-type ‘citizens of the world’) responded: ‘Wow, cool!’ But the reality of statelessness is decidedly ‘uncool’. In today’s world, not having a nationality often means a very difficult life. Until 2013, stateless persons had no option to remain lawfully in the UK based specifically on their statelessness, although some were rightly recognised as stateless refugees. Others were left living in limbo – unable to…

25th November 2016 By Cynthia Orchard

No child should be stateless

Good campaign and resources on ending child statelessness. The infographics are useful explainers and you can also sign the petition if you support the cause. Source: NO CHILD SHOULD BE STATELESS

8th November 2016 By Colin Yeo

New free best practice guide to statelessness applications for leave to remain published

A new free best practice guide to statelessness applications for leave to remain has been published by ILPA and Liverpool Law Clinic. You can get it here. It equips lawyers with the tools they need to offer high quality legal representation and to press for the best possible implementation of the statelessness procedure. Statelessness occurs all over the world but well-known examples of communities where statelessness is prevalent are the Roma, Palestinian, Kuwaiti Bidoon, Rohingya and Saharawi peoples. Free training is also available.

7th November 2016 By Colin Yeo

Upper Tribunal says children not stateless if they can be registered

The child, born in the United Kingdom, of a foreign national, who seeks to be recognised as stateless, but who can under the law of the parent’s nationality, obtain citizenship of that country by descent by registering their birth, may properly be regarded as admissible to that country , as set out at paragraph 403(c) of HC 395. Though a greater intensity of scrutiny is appropriate in a case such as this, it remains the case that the decision that an individual is not stateless can only be impugned on public law principles. Source: JM, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Statelessness: Part…

15th December 2015 By Colin Yeo

Statelessness, deprivation of nationality, and EU Citizenship…what is B2 in the Supreme Court really all about?

Many practitioners are concerned about the increasing use of draconian powers to deprive people of their citizenship and the related ‘evil of statelessness’ (which is the subject of the UNCHR’s latest campaign.) Last week, a 7-member Supreme Court panel heard the latest round of arguments on these issues in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v B2. The appeal comes in the wake of government proposals to limit the right of British Citizens to return to the UK following suspected terrorist activity abroad. It could have profound implications for the government’s approach to ‘British jihadis’.

26th November 2014 By Pippa Woodrow