British Citizenship

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Part 14 Immigration Rules (May 2013)

“De Jure” stateless people who are in the UK, and who are not excluded for reasons tantamount to those that exclude a person from recognition as a refugee may apply for limited leave to remain for up to 30 months (subject to Rule 322 on false representation). Spouses, civil partners, de facto partners of two years and dependent children may apply for leave as the family member of a stateless person (on the same acceptation/rejection grounds as the original applicant).

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British Overseas Territory Citizens

Those born in a former colony to a parent who was born or settled in a colony.

S23 BNA 1981 – anyone who had been a CUKC by birth, naturalisation, registration or had a parent or grandparent who was became a BOTC.

This does not grant a right to enter Britain. 

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British Overseas Citizens

S26 BNA 1981 – CUKC’s who did not at the commencement obtain BC or BOTC status.

It carries no right of abode (AL and Others [2009]) and cannot be transmitted to children.

NIaA Act 2002 – provides at S4B BNA 1981 BOCs can register as BCs if they have no other nationality, or had not deprived themselves of such a nationality after July 2002. BOCs who obtain leave to enter can therefore register as BC’s after 5 years residence.

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British Subjects

“British Subjects without Citizenship” who lose BS status if they acquire a citizenship. Includes some Irish citizens.

Registration rights of S4B BNA 1981 apply to this group, as well as BPP’s (a numerically insignificant group). 

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British Protected Persons

May register under S4B BNA 1981 

Very few left, generally found in former colonies

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Those entitled to register are:

1.       Children of a BC by descent, if either the child and both parents have lived in the UK for three years prior to the date of application (s3(5) BNA 1981) or the application is made for registration whilst the child is a minor provided at least one of the grandparents was a BC otherwise than by descent (S3(2) and (3)).

2.       BOTCs, BN (overseas), BOCs, BS, BPPS who have been resident in the UK for five years and are so entitled by the BNA 1981 S4.

3.       Children born in the UK whose parent become British, provided they are still minors (S1(3) BNA).

4.       Children born in the UK who live here until 10 - S1(4).

5.       Persons born stateless in the UK and under 22 (BNA Sch 2 Para 3)

6.       Children of non-British members of the armed forces born abroad

Other people may be registered at the discretion of the SS – BNA S3(1).

Section 47 of the BCI 2009 inserted a Good Character clause for most types of registration of an applicant over the age of ten. 

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The way that a person without the British connection required to register as British can obtain British Nationality by application.

It is open to judicial review. And the NIaA Act introduced a knowledge of life in the UK test, and making citizenship ceremonies more public, as well as the language requirement (Sch 1 Para 1 (1c) BNA 1981).

The requirements which must be fulfilled in order to qualify to apply for naturalisation are found in the BNA 1981 S6 and Sch 1. Applications can only be made by persons of full age and capacity, and they must fulfil residency and character requirements. 

Capacity is defined by S50(11) of the BNA 1981, as being not of unsound mind. There is a presumption to this if they have lodged their own application, and must be rebutted by the HO if they wish to argue it. S49 allows it to be waived if the SS thinks it best in the applications interests.

Nationalisation requires a period of residency of five years (s6, 1) unless married to or in a civil partnership (s6, 2) when it is three years. It is generally required to be a physical presence, and at the date of application the applicant must be free of immigration restrictions on their stay (Sch 1 Para 1(2b)). Those imprisoned do not pass the legally present clause.

Good Character Requirement – Sch 1 Para 1 (1b) – some elements of this are not available for public knowledge, however clearly a criminal conviction would likely lead to a rejection. NOTORIETY will also lead to rejection as well as most clear things such as gang membership, war crimes and fraudulent/reckless bankruptcy. 

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Caroline Sawyer

"Civis Britannicus sum" no longer? Deprivation of British nationality (2013)

"The grounds now include, that the Secretary of State considers that the deprivation is conducive to the public good, and the process also applies to those born British in Britain. The only limitation on the Secretary of State's powers are that in some circumstances a person may not be left stateless...The courts have found a power, where the deprivation is asserted to be ‘conducive to the public good’, generally on the grounds that the appellant is involved in terrorism, to review whether the Secretary of State's ‘consideration’ had a reasonable basis to it"

"A considerable break with the past was made by s 4 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which elicited public concern because, for the first time, it allowed the Secretary of State to deprive a UK-born person of their British citizenship.25 The test for deprivation of a registered or naturalised person in the case of fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact remained the same, but the new sub-s (2) of s 40 BNA 1981 provided that the test for deprivation was that the Secretary of State was satisfied that the person had done anything ‘seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory’, though in this case the deprivation was limited by a new sub-s (5) providing that deprivation on this ground could not leave a person stateless."

"Al-Jedda [/2007] This case is notable for the strong line taken by the SIAC on the assertion that s 56 IAA/the new s 40 BNA should be read very Page6 iterally, to mean that it is sufficient for the Secretary of State to consider that deprivation is conducive to the public good. This would allow for no appeal or review whatsoever, since there would be no grounds of challenge to the Secretary of State's actions, however capricious - a reading that the SIAC found to be ‘[i]nstinctively … profoundly unattractive’"

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Caroline Sawyer 2

"Procedurally, deprivation ‘by order’ as envisaged by s 40 BNA 1981 is relatively informal. There is no hearing of the issue. A person is issued with a notice of the intention to deprive and the deprivation follows. However, following the assertion of court powers in Mr al-Jedda's case, a challenge to a decision to deprive is relatively generously treated in some respects. In Arusha and Demuzi, 57 it was confirmed that the First-Tier Tribunal, in considering deprivation for fraud, has a wide-ranging power to consider, by way of appeal not review, what the decision in the case should have been and, if the evidence does establish that the citizenship was obtained by fraud, whether discretion as to deprivation should be exercised."

"G1 v SSHD [2010] did however bring a challenge to the decision to exclude him from the UK, focused on the procedural provisions and their implications. In particular he took issue with the effect on the ability to mount an appeal against deprivation of citizenship given that such appeals were now non-suspensive.60 He asserted that depriving him of citizenship whilst he was abroad and so refusing him re-entry to the UK amounted to a failure to allow an effective in-country right of appeal, which in turn amounted to a breach of rights to an effective remedy and non-discrimination under EU law. He asserted that, since in the equivalent situation of revocation *J.I.A.N.L. 35 of leave to remain, that leave was extended to cover the period of an appeal, there should be a cognate provision available in the case of deprivation of citizenship. The Court of Appeal, agreeing with the Administrative Court in dismissing his application, held that the legislation had not changed the position that deprivation of citizenship was an exercise of the Crown's prerogative powers"

- This case stated you can be excluded by notice when outside the country and that then you do not have a right to be present at your own appeal at common law

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