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Home Office can revoke British Citizenship as well as deny it for civil offences | Immigration Matters

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The Home Office or the Home Secretary has the power to revoke British Citizenship under the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act.

Increasing numbers of British nationals are being stripped of their citizenship under Home Office powers introduced in the wake of the 2005 London bombings, the Guardian reports this week.

The number of people subject to the power, under which the Home Secretary can deprive dual nationals of their British citizenship if it is deemed to be in the public interest, has increased since the coalition government came to power.

The measure was included in the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act as a direct result of the July 2005 bombings in which 52 people died and more than 700 were injured. It was used only four times in the following four years, but has been used nine times since last year’s general election.

Five of the dual nationals deprived of their citizenship were British Pakistanis, while two were of dual British and Sudanese nationality. The remaining six were Australian, Iraqi, Russian, Egyptian and Lebanese dual nationals.

To date 10 of the orders have been appealed against.

The figures were obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act after the Home Office refused to release them. It also refused to offer any explanation for the increase, saying: “British nationality is a privilege and the home secretary has the ability to remove it from dual nationals when she believes it to be in the public good.”

Under the terms of the act the home secretary can deprive an individual of British citizenship if she believes it to be “conducive to the public good”, a test historically applied to non-Britons facing deportation.

Previously home secretaries could act only if the British citizenship of a dual national was said to be “seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK”, usually because individuals were spies. Immigration lawyers and some MPs have criticised the power, saying the public interest test is set too low. Some are also concerned that British citizenship can be stripped from individuals whose other nationality is meaningless to them.

At least one of those who have lost their British citizenship is understood to have been born in the UK, while others are thought to have lived in Britain since infancy.

The Australian who lost his British dual nationality is David Hicks, who spent more than five years as a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay after being detained in northern Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The Russian is Anna Chapman, the spy deported with nine others from the US last year. She acquired British nationality through marriage before travelling to the US to join a network of sleeper agents.

The Home Office refused to explain the reasons for depriving the remaining 11 dual nationals of their British citizenship, maintaining it still has responsibilities to them under the Data Protection Act, although officials briefed journalists about Chapman’s case. Source: The Guardian.

Although rarly used, the UK Government can strip a citizen of their passport or Indefinite Leave to Remain.

There are also a number of factors which could damage your chances of obtaining further or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

Migrants should be aware of the revised declarations and questions on immigration forms for further leave or extensions of stay.

Most people are aware that criminal convictions, involvement with terrorist organisations or illegally claiming benefits could lead to a refusal.

However, many are unaware that even a non-criminal less serious civil judgement may also affect your application to stay in the country. 

For instance, the FLR (M) Form (Version 04/2011) includes the following question: 

Do you or any dependants who are applying with you have any criminal convictions in the UK or any other country (including traffic offences) or any civil judgments made against you? 

A civil judgement could be a county court judgement (CCJ) for an unpaid bill or debt. 

Hundreds of international students are currently being sued by their former colleges or universities for unpaid fees according to debt collection agencies.

Others have run up credit card debts or leave behind unpaid utility bills or rent arrears.

Moving house and burying your head in the sand will not get you off the hook. 

A civil action for debts can be heard and judgement (CCJ) awarded in your absence, so ignoring the problem will only make things worse for you as court costs are added to the debt. Interest may also be added to the debt. 

A ‘Default’ for an unpaid credit card bill can be registered without even going to court. 

A CCJ or Default will stay on your credit file and history for six years or more and will have to be declared on immigration forms.

Some universities and colleges will chase debtors even when they flee to their own country.

The UK is a land of easy credit compared to the rest of the world, but for those who abuse the system the consequences can be serious.

See also:

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance now required for Bulgarian and Romanian study work yellow cards

Fake Immigration Adviser jailed

Immigration advisor jailed for 6 years in fake visa scam

Visa scam warning

Sham wedding trio charged

How to avoid the pitfalls when employing migrant workers

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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56 Responses to “Home Office can revoke British Citizenship as well as deny it for civil offences”
Read them below or add one

  1. I was married to a woman from the UK in 2008, 5days after our wedding she left never heard of again and in 2011 I contacted her for divorce and it was uncontested. During the Court Divorce proceedings in 2011, I remarried another woman with the thought that I can remarry since our divorce is in court but I didn’t get the court final judgement until 2012 when the marriage divorce came to life. How do I correct this as I learnt during this period the divorce case was in court and I got married that I committed bigamy. I and my wife have a 2year old daughter and expecting another baby in September. Now me and my wife are planning to submit my application for settlement the problem is she has already submitted her application to the home office for her British passport with the marriage certificate to use my last name. Will it affect me if I still submit my application for settlement with the marriage date in 2011 and the divorce proceedings finalized in 2012 or Do I need to remarry my wife to make our marriage valid or do I need an annulment of our marriage to remarry her? In other to apply for my settlement and does my wife need to cancel her British Passport application? This is complicated what should I do to correct my stupidity.

  2. I am a british Muslim who married a pakistani boy from pakistan I called him uk. I think he using me to get a British passport he keeps argue with me making bad image of me in front of my family I no longer want to be with him what can I do to send him back pakistan and get divorce

  3. nadia al-deyab says :

    my partner came to the uk from st lucia on a marriage visa 2007, a few months later his wife asked him to leave the property, he then started another relationship and informed the home office of this, he was granted leave to remain till may 2014, well that relationship ended and we got together in 2011, he has never lived with me or supported me and my girls finacially, truthfully he doesnt work and its me supporting him out of my disability benefits, anyway to cut a long story short he went back to st lucia for his fathers funeral in april 2013, when he returned back to the uk he was detained by the border agency and refused entry in to the uk, he appealed this on the grounds hes step father to my 2 daughters and im disabled, he was granted temporary entry pending his appeal, he was supposed to stay at my address which he hasnt done, i dont think its right the man can appeal his immigration status on the grounds of me and my children, i am not willing to support him on his appeal and have informed the border agency of this, i was wondering how the border agency can allow him temporary entry in to the uk on the grounds hes a step father to my girls with out asking me first or checking if we lived together etc, im angry and confused with the system and was also wondering how long an appeal can take and if im not backing his first appeal can he then appeal a second and third time? any advice given will be most welcome, thanking you nadia al-deyab

  4. I have just been granted British citizenship can I travel on my old nationality passport whilst awaiting the new British passport?

  5. Hi,
    I wanted to know that any asylum seekers who become ritish citizen ,can influence the politics of another country or spread the voilence in other country can he be removed from UK or is ther any law which can stop him to interfere in other country’s politics.. please reply..

  6. I need help?
    I am British Citizen & married to Pakistani girl. She married me for her Documents, she was very nice but now I relished that she was taking Medicine, so not have kids. After recieving her ILR on the 11/07/2011. She was fighting me & my whole family. I through away all the medicine she was taking (her mother is family planing Nurse, she brought it from Pakistan). In August 2012, she had appotiment on 27/08/2012 with planning Nurse. she has 4months pragnent. she said I will go my parents they will look after me. I did go with her on the 2nd of September 2012 dropped her in her parents I was there till Octuber 2012. When I came back she called me I had miscarrange. I asked for reports, she was making excuse. She said I will stay for 2-3more moths, last month I had operation I called her to come. On 10th May she called me through her Lawyer, that she wants to file case, She took gold worth 2biscutes (111gram each), she took £3000, she said I have to lookafter the baby. Therefore, I trusted her. Now, I don’t understand, Why? she is treating me through her Lawyer for her Jewellery, she said I never give her money and she also said I took her passport.
    I don’t understand, why she has doing all this, we were married for 4.5years. I am so broken & devasted :(((
    Can anyone tell me what to do next?
    Looking forward to hear great people.
    Kindest regards.

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