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New guidance on deprivation of British citizenship


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New and accessible guidance has been released by the Home Office on the deprivation of British citizenship under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, detailing the approach caseworkers should take when deciding such cases, replacing previous Deprivation and nullity guidance.

The guidance covers instances where an individual may be deprived of their British citizenship if the Secretary of State is satisfied that it would be conducive to the public good and they would not become stateless as a result (section 40(2)). Or that the person acquired citizenship through registration or naturalisation that was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of material facts (section 40(3) and section 40(6)). 

Under section 40(4), a decision to deprive someone of their citizenship on the basis that it would be conducive to the public good cannot be made if the Secretary of State is satisfied that it would leave the individual stateless. However section 40(4A), introduced by the Immigration Act 2014, provides that a decision to deprive someone of their citizenship where it would leave them stateless can be made if they have “conducted themselves in a manner seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK and if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to become a national of another country or territory”. 

The guidance also covers the service of deprivation notices, deprivation without notice, and appeals.

The Home Office have also published updated guidance on nullity of British citizenship, which has been updated to included clarification of the use of nullity following the Supreme Court’s judgment in R (Hysaj & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 82.

You can read more about the general principles of deprivation and nullity here, and about the Supreme Court’s judgment in Hysaj here.

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