All Articles: Nationality

On this day 60 years ago, the first Commonwealth Immigrants Act came into effect

On 1 July 1962, sixty years ago today, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 came into effect. It is hard to overstate the importance of this landmark legislation. Aliens were already subject to a separate, full system of immigration control under the ...

1st July 2022 By

Children can now apply for a waiver of citizenship fees

Families who can’t afford British citizenship for their children can now get it for free. A new “citizenship fee waiver for individuals under 18” policy was published today. It allows under-18s to apply to have the £1,012 fee on app ...

26th May 2022 By

Deprivation of citizenship has legal effect even if later withdrawn

When the Home Office withdraws a decision to deprive someone of their British citizenship, does the person get their citizenship back (prospective) or was it never lost in the first place (retroactive)? This was the deceptively simple question that th ...

20th May 2022 By

Overturning a citizenship refusal based on character concerns is very difficult

Deciding whether someone is of good character in the context of a citizenship application is up to the Home Office. Getting that decision overturned in the courts is likely to be very difficult. This is what we learn from the Court of Appeal’s decis ...

7th April 2022 By

How the Chagossians won the right to register as British

When the Nationality and Borders Bill returns to the House of Lords later today, it will contain a registration provision allowing direct descendants of those born on the Chagos Islands to become British nationals. The Chagossians will be entitled to ...

4th April 2022 By

Home Office not required to help work out whether a child is British

Is the Home Office under a duty to provide information establishing a child’s nationality? This is the question considered by the Inner House of the Court of Session in AS v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] CSIH 16. Unfortunately, t ...

22nd March 2022 By

Victim of brutal domestic abuse loses appeal against deprivation of British citizenship

A mother of three British children has lost her appeal against the decision of Amber Rudd to take away her British citizenship in 2017. The judgment of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) makes for very grim reading.  The woman, anonym ...

10th March 2022 By

Nobody has been refused citizenship for lack of CSI

Regular readers will remember the problems caused by Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, or CSI. Essentially, certain EU citizens in the UK pre-Brexit were expected to have private health insurance. If they didn’t, it can still cause them legal pr ...

4th February 2022 By

Supreme Court upholds government’s right to set child citizenship fees as it chooses

The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the level at which the government has set the fees for children to register as British citizens. The court held that the government has been authorised by Parliament to set the level of the fees as it cho ...

2nd February 2022 By

Stripping people of British citizenship without telling them is definitely illegal – for now

The UK government’s attempt to strip a British-Pakistani woman of her citizenship without telling her was unlawful, a split Court of Appeal has confirmed. Lord Justice Baker and Lady Justice Whipple held that the regulation allowing notice of ci ...

27th January 2022 By

British citizenship can be taken away if criminal offending not disclosed

The Upper Tribunal has affirmed the continuing obligation to disclose material facts in applications for naturalisation as a British citizen, including facts which arise after submitting the application. The case is Walile (deprivation: self-incrimina ...

24th January 2022 By

How many people have been stripped of their British citizenship?

At least 464 people have been stripped of their British citizenship since the law allowing it was relaxed 15 years ago, Free Movement analysis shows. Home Office figures record 175 people being deprived of their citizenship on national security ground ...

10th January 2022 By

Windrush victims win citizenship rule waiver

Two victims of the Windrush scandal have won a High Court challenge arguing for citizenship law to be applied more leniently in special cases like theirs. Mr Justice Bourne held today that a seemingly inflexible provision of British nationality law re ...

16th December 2021 By

Court of Appeal tells SIAC to pay more respect to Home Office on national security

Secretary of State for the Home Department v P3 [2021] EWCA Civ 1642 is about how much SIAC should defer to the Home Secretary’s view about national security concerns. The answer is quite a lot, but not too much. The background to this case is t ...

26th November 2021 By

Government to deprive Brits of their citizenship without telling them

The Home Secretary can take away anyone’s British citizenship when it would be “conducive to the public good” but would not make that person stateless. She can also take away naturalised citizenship if obtained by fraud, false representa ...

4th November 2021 By

Deprivation of citizenship for fraud after Begum

In Ciceri (deprivation of citizenship appeals: principles) [2021] UKUT 238 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has applied the guidance given in R (Begum) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission [2021] UKSC 7 to deprivation of citizenship appeals on grounds ...

27th September 2021 By

After deprivation of citizenship comes months or years in limbo

The Home Office is routinely missing its target for issuing new residence permits to people who lose their British citizenship, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show. Those deprived of their citizenship for (often historic) decept ...

7th September 2021 By

Passports can be issued to British children abroad without abusive father’s consent

In April 2021 the High Court held that Her Majesty’s Passport Office was wrong to insist on signed consent for child passports from an abusive father overseas. That judgment has now been robustly upheld by the Court of Appeal following a disastrous ...

5th August 2021 By

Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 1 (citizenship reforms)

We covered the nationality portion of the New Plan for Immigration in an earlier article. Many of those proposals, largely concerning British Overseas Territories citizens and the Windrush generation, were notably less cruel and unusual than the other ...

12th July 2021 By

British citizenship for children whose parents miss the EU settled status deadline

On 1 July 2021, the British Nationality Act 1981 (Immigration Rules Appendix EU) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021 No. 743) introduced a new section 10A to the British Nationality Act 1981. This new section is aimed at ensuring that certain childr ...

1st July 2021 By

Man who won British citizenship by fraud gets to keep it thanks to Home Office inaction

An Albanian man who secured his British citizenship by fraud must be allowed to keep it because of the Home Office’s inexplicable nine-year delay in taking action after it found out, the Court of Appeal has held. The judgment in Laci v Secretary ...

24th May 2021 By

New Plan for Immigration: the proposed changes to nationality law

The New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement of March 2021 (the New Plan) contains proposals to make significant changes to immigration and nationality law and policy. This article addresses the proposals set out in Chapter 3, which concern changes t ...

29th April 2021 By

Good character requirement unlawfully applied in Windrush cases

From ‘Citizens of the UK and Colonies’, to ‘Commonwealth Citizens’, to ‘subject to immigration control’: the legislative erosion of the Windrush generation’s British citizenship rights is laid bare at paragrap ...

27th April 2021 By

British citizenship, polygamy and paternity

Huson v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Entry Clearance Officer) (Rev 1) [2021] EWHC 885 (Admin) looks like a case about a 19-year- old’s entitlement to the right of abode. We don’t see many right of abode cases these days, mai ...

22nd April 2021 By

A first look at the “New Plan for Immigration”

Today the Home Office published a new plan for immigration with the title, somehow both grandiloquent and banal, New Plan for Immigration. It is mainly concerned with asylum and people who enter the UK illegally (those two concepts being subtly mashed ...

24th March 2021 By

Three win appeals against losing British citizenship

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) has allowed the appeals of three people who were deprived of their British citizenship following allegations that they had travelled to Syria and posed a threat to national security. The case is C3, C4 ...

22nd March 2021 By

Sophia of Hanover and the most obscure route to British nationality of them all

British citizenship by descent is underpinned by the principle of jus sanguinis (“right of blood”). This allows citizenship to be passed down “through the blood” to the first generation of children born abroad. Subsequent gener ...

3rd March 2021 By

Shamima Begum loses case in Supreme Court

Shamima Begum has lost her case in the Supreme Court. This means that she will not be able to return to the UK to argue her main case about whether she should or should not be deprived of her British citizenship. But her main case remains outstan ...

26th February 2021 By

£1,012 child citizenship fee confirmed unlawful by Court of Appeal

Upholding an earlier High Court decision, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the Home Office’s £1,012 fee for registering children as British citizens is unlawful. The case is R (Project for the Registration of Children As British Citizens ...

19th February 2021 By

The pathway to British citizenship for European nationals in the UK

Ever since the Brexit vote in June 2016, EU citizens in the United Kingdom have been turning their attention to applications for British citizenship. Foreign nationals who have been living in the UK for five years can apply to “naturalise” as Brit ...

18th February 2021 By

The government can easily fix its policy on citizenship for EU nationals – here’s how

The Home Secretary has a lot of power over naturalisation, the process by which foreign nationals can acquire British citizenship. The criteria for naturalisation are set out in the British Nationality Act 1981, but that Act also empowers the Home Sec ...

15th October 2020 By

It just got even more difficult for EU nationals to get British citizenship

On 30 September 2020 the Home Office updated its good character policy for naturalisation to make it even harder for EU nationals to become British citizens.  The new policy doubles the period of time, from five years to ten years, during which certa ...

7th October 2020 By

Briefing: nationality and children in care

In August, Nath Gbikpi reported for Free Movement on R (Y) (Children In Care: Change of Nationality) [2020] EWCA Civ 1038. In that case, the Court of Appeal found that section 33 of the Children Act 1989 did not entitle the local authority to appl ...

6th October 2020 By
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