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British Citizenship Basics


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  • 4 weeks later...

One more thing; is naturalisation worth doing?

The advantages?

  • Far more countries allow visa free or visa on arrival entry to British passport holders than do to Thai passport holders. (I make no comment on the rights and wrongs of this.)
  • ILR will lapse if the holder spends a continuous period of 2 or more years out of the UK. Even if an ILR holder makes regular trips to the UK their ILR can be canceled by an immigration officer at their port of entry if it is apparent that they are not a UK resident; although they will be allowed in as a visitor on that occasion. Citizenship once granted will never lapse and a British citizen can leave the UK for as long and as often as they wish in the certain knowledge that they will always be allowed back in.
  • Children born after their parent has been naturalised as British will automatically be British, wherever they are born. Children born to an ILR holder will only be British if they are born in the UK or a qualifying territory; unless the other parent is British otherwise than by descent.
  • ILR can be removed and the holder deported from the UK if they are convicted of any criminal offence which results in imprisonment. A naturalised British citizen can have their citizenship removed, but only if it is deemed to be in the public interest. That basically means being convicted of an extremely serious offence such as terrorism. Even then it would not be removed if the person would be made stateless by doing so. Obviously both ILR and citizenship can be removed if either were obtained by fraud or deception.
  • A naturalised British citizen can take a full part in their adopted home; vote, stand for elected office etc. An ILR holder cannot do this.

The disadvantages?

As both Thailand and the UK allow dual nationality then other than the filling in of the forms and providing the required documents, and the fee of course, I can't think of any.

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  • 1 month later...

when you say you have too pass the kol for citzianship will the esol be enough too ?

Yes, like ILR, KOL can be satisfied either by passing the LitUK test or making progress on an ESOL with citizenship course.

Note that this will change in October 2013.

From then an ESOL with citizenship course will no longer be acceptable and KOL can only be satisfied by

Remember, though, that if KOL has previously been satisfied to obtain ILR you do not have to do so again for citizenship.

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  • 8 months later...

when you say you have too pass the kol for citzianship will the esol be enough too ?

>Yes, like ILR, KOL can be satisfied either by passing the LitUK test or making progress on an ESOL with citizenship course.

Note that this will change in October 2013.

From then an ESOL with citizenship course will no longer be acceptable and KOL can only be satisfied by

Remember, though, that if KOL has previously been satisfied to obtain ILR you do not have to do so again for citizenship.

The date has now been officially announced; 28th October 2013.

All applications made on or after 28th October will have to meet the new language requirement; even if the old one was met previously in order to obtain ILR.

See the statement of intent and this topic.

A migrant who fulfils the Life in the UK requirement for settlement as it applies on or after 28 October 2013 will not be required to retake any elements in a later application for naturalisation but will be deemed automatically to satisfy KoLL at that later stage.

The situation is different for those who applied or apply for settlement* before 28 October 2013. They will have satisfied the KoLL requirement by either passing the Life in the UK test or by taking an ESOL qualification (probably at a level below B1) and this by itself will not be sufficient should they later apply for naturalisation. They will need to satisfy the new KoLL requirement but if they have already passed the Life in the UK test will not need to retake it. For some people this will mean passing a relevant speaking and listening qualification for the first time. Others will need to pass a speaking and listening qualification at a higher level than they had to demonstrate to be granted leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK.

* By 'settlement' they mean ILR.

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  • 1 year later...

Note that a British citizen has the Right of Abode and cannot be subject to leave (46).

I don't see anything in the judgement that says that a British citizen can't exercise the permissions granted by leave until such time as he demonstrates his citizenship. Are you suggesting that a British citizen without a passport seeking to enter the UK on the basis of apparently extant ILR should be denied entry on the grounds that he is now a British citizen? There was no such argument or ruling in or around paragraph 52 of the judgement.

Section 24A of the Immigration Act 1971 (as amended) leads me to believe it is not an offence to obtain entry to the UK by pretending not to be a British citizen. However, that latitude appears not to extend to foreign dependants of Britons pretending not to be British.

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An Immigration Officer cannot deny entry to a British citizen because a British citizen has the right of abode.

See also British/EEA Passengers without a valid Passport.

If the visa holder had made no claims to being British, then the Immigration officer may not even realize that the holder is British. Then they will consider entry under the Immigration rules, as it applies to people without the right of abode.

If an ILR/ILE holder satisfies the Returning residents (18-19) provisions, then there shouldn't be a problem with entry.

However, the appropriate endorsement in a non-British passport to a British citizen without a British passport is the Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode.

Edited by vinny
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An Immigration Officer cannot deny entry to a British citizen because a British citizen has the right of abode.

It hadn't been clear to me that one didn't need a British passport or certificate of entitlement to enter as a Briton if the immigration officer knew one was a British citizen. A claim to the right of abode has to be backed up by such a document (Immigration Act 1971 Section 3(9), as amended by IANA 2006). I had assumed that such cases were at the officer's discretion, and had envisioned an aged Abu Hamza being refused entry for not having any of his (expired) British passports.

However, the appropriate endorsement in a non-British passport to a British citizen without a British passport is the Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode.

A certificate of entitlement costs a lot more than a visitor's visa. Also, does it not prevent one from getting a British passport in slower time? Finally, though generally not applicable to Thailand, isn't it a red flag alerting some countries to the illegal assertion of a second nationality.
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In 1984, the fee for the initial certificate of entitlement was reasonably set at £10.

In 1991, it was £15.

In 1996, it was £20.

Then, transfers to new passports were also free!

Today, the fee is disproportionate, compared with the fee for a British passport.

Moreover, currently, you can't have both a certificate of entitlement and a British passport simultaneously.

Edited by vinny
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In my pinned topic above, I wrote this :

"A child who is a British citizen ( in this case, by descent) cannot be issued with a visit visa for the UK, even in a Thai passport. We know that applications for visit visas are made to the UKVI in Bangkok, and are accepted as valid applications. We also know that visit visas are sometimes issued by ECOs, but it is not legally possible. By saying “we” I mean the generic “we”, that is many of us here, as I’m sure a few of the members here have had visit visas issued to their British citizen children on their Thai passports.

The law does not allow an ECO ( or an immigration officer) to restrict admission to the UK to British citizens, or to impose a time limit on their stay, as British citizens automatically have the right of abode in the UK. Therefore, an ECO cannot issue a visa which restricts the child’s stay in the UK to 6 months. What should happen is that, firstly, VFS should refuse to accept the application ( but I doubt that they are even aware of the legalities involved). If the application gets past VFS, then the ECO should refuse to consider it. That, basically, is it.

What should actually happen is ( assuming the child holds only a Thai passport) that the applicant ( or parent) should be told to apply for either a British passport for the child, or for a Certificate of Entitlement to The Right of Abode. The visit visa application cannot be considered as it is unlawful to do so.

A CoE to the ROA costs 289 GBP.

If a child already holds a British passport, then a CoE cannot be issued, even into a Thai passport."

The UKVI in Bangkok maintain, quite rightly, that it is unlawful to issue a visa ( in this case a family visit visa) to an applicant who applies as a Thai citizen, if that applicant is a British citizen by descent, but they maintain that it is lawful to refuse such an application. I agree that it is unlawful to issue a visit visa to a British citizen ( as it puts a time limit on their stay in the UK), but I also think that it must be unlawful to refuse a visa to a British citizen ( as that surely denies entry to the UK to someone with the Right of Abode ?).

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The UKVI in Bangkok maintain, quite rightly, that it is unlawful to issue a visa ( in this case a family visit visa) to an applicant who applies as a Thai citizen, if that applicant is a British citizen by descent, but they maintain that it is lawful to refuse such an application.

That's clear, and that can only be overturned by judicial review or a political campaign. For a rational economic being, judicial review is not worth the financial risk for a single application to assert the rights available to a British citizen who has a current British passport.

I also think that it must be unlawful to refuse a visa to a British citizen ( as that surely denies entry to the UK to someone with the Right of Abode ?).

No, a British citizen without a passport or CoE has no right to enter the UK at a 'port'. We have all heard that British citizens do not have the right to a passport. However, as far as I can make out, a British citizen does have the right to buy an inflatable dinghy, hire a yacht to to take him and it to off a sandy beach, transfer to the beach by dinghy and then walk inland. Therefore the right to enter is not denied.

By your argument, it would be unlawful to fine the employer of an illegal immigrant who once held ILR and offered the ILR sticker in an expired passport to him as evidence of the right to accept employment. While such an old passport would normally suffice to enter the UK, because the passport has expired, the sticker does not provide the employer with an excuse against the fine. A fair few legally settled immigrants have had problems because of this threat against employers - they are being denied the right to accept employment because their evidence of the right is in an expired passport.

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The UKVI in Bangkok maintain, quite rightly, that it is unlawful to issue a visa ( in this case a family visit visa) to an applicant who applies as a Thai citizen, if that applicant is a British citizen by descent, but they maintain that it is lawful to refuse such an application.

That's clear, and that can only be overturned by judicial review or a political campaign. For a rational economic being, judicial review is not worth the financial risk for a single application to assert the rights available to a British citizen who has a current British passport.

I also think that it must be unlawful to refuse a visa to a British citizen ( as that surely denies entry to the UK to someone with the Right of Abode ?).

No, a British citizen without a passport or CoE has no right to enter the UK at a 'port'. We have all heard that British citizens do not have the right to a passport. However, as far as I can make out, a British citizen does have the right to buy an inflatable dinghy, hire a yacht to to take him and it to off a sandy beach, transfer to the beach by dinghy and then walk inland. Therefore the right to enter is not denied.

By your argument, it would be unlawful to fine the employer of an illegal immigrant who once held ILR and offered the ILR sticker in an expired passport to him as evidence of the right to accept employment. While such an old passport would normally suffice to enter the UK, because the passport has expired, the sticker does not provide the employer with an excuse against the fine. A fair few legally settled immigrants have had problems because of this threat against employers - they are being denied the right to accept employment because their evidence of the right is in an expired passport.

I can see what you are saying, but if that British citizen turned up at a "port" without a CoE or a British passport he would not be refused leave to enter the UK and removed. He would be given the opportunity to prove he is a british citizen. Similarly, a visa applicant should be given the opportunity to prove he is a British citizen ( and apply for a CoE) if there is no lawful mechanism for issuing a visa to him. It is surely disingenuous to say that "we have to refuse you a visa but we'll take your money anyway". That's not cricket.

What would the grounds be for judicial review if, as you say, it is not unlawful to refuse a visa to a British citizen ?

Edited by Tony M
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I can see what you are saying, but if that British citizen turned up at a "port" without a CoE or a British passport he should not be refused leave to enter the UK and removed. He would be given the opportunity to prove he is a British citizen.

I've had a look at Chapter Section 1 of the Immigration Directorate Instructions, and it says he should be treated as subject to immigration control. As British nationals are not visa nationals, he would not be in need of a visa for a visit, so presumably then it would be appropriate to 'impose' leave to remain upon him if he could prove he was a British citizen and only intended to visit. The law requires a passport or CoE to prove right of abode, not nationality.

What would the grounds be for judicial review if, as you say, it is not unlawful to refuse a visa to a British citizen ?

I sad 'no' to your argument, not to your conclusion.

I'm not sure what happens financially in cases where one gets something different to what one applies to. The most striking one is where one applies for a settlement visa as a spouse but instead gets indefinite leave to enter as a returning resident. That happened to the Japanese wife of a colleague; she'd lived in England as a child. I've also heard of an ILR BRP card holder who applied for a BRP replacement visa (£72+) and instead got ILE as a returning resident (nominally £289).

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I can see what you are saying, but if that British citizen turned up at a "port" without a CoE or a British passport he should not be refused leave to enter the UK and removed. He would be given the opportunity to prove he is a British citizen.

I've had a look at Chapter Section 1 of the Immigration Directorate Instructions, and it says he should be treated as subject to immigration control. As British nationals are not visa nationals, he would not be in need of a visa for a visit, so presumably then it would be appropriate to 'impose' leave to remain upon him if he could prove he was a British citizen and only intended to visit. The law requires a passport or CoE to prove right of abode, not nationality.

What would the grounds be for judicial review if, as you say, it is not unlawful to refuse a visa to a British citizen ?

I sad 'no' to your argument, not to your conclusion.

I'm not sure what happens financially in cases where one gets something different to what one applies to. The most striking one is where one applies for a settlement visa as a spouse but instead gets indefinite leave to enter as a returning resident. That happened to the Japanese wife of a colleague; she'd lived in England as a child. I've also heard of an ILR BRP card holder who applied for a BRP replacement visa (£72+) and instead got ILE as a returning resident (nominally £289).

Again, I see what you are saying, but the scenario is somewhat different. It is not a "port" scenario, and the ECO had alternatives to consider, including informing the applicant that the only conclusion to such an application could be refusal. It was put to the UKVI Bangkok ( post refusal) that they could have issued a CoE as an alternative to refusal, but they declined to comment on that point.

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  • 11 months later...

Has anyone applied recently for their wife's Citizenship? The £1,005 naturalisation fee does that include the ceremony? My wife is applying and we are not sure because there is a fee of £80 for a ceremony only. Our local council office said if we do the ceremony in a group,then we don't have to pay! Just a bit unsure. Also sending off the documents obviously we will send by recorded delivery but there was no mention about paying for everything to return to us? Will the home office return our documents or do I need to pay to have them returned? Any help would be great cheers.

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The fee does include the £80 for a standard citizenship ceremony; which she'll attend with others having their ceremony at the same time.

She'll be sent an invitation to book one once her naturalisation application has been approved.

If she wants a private, individual ceremony then she (you) will have to pay extra; your local authority will tell you how much they charge for this.

She will have to pay an extra £19.20 to have her biometrics taken. She'll be sent a letter about this when her application has been received. This is to ensure she is the same person as in previous visa and LTR applications.

If she applies by post then her supporting documents will be returned by post.

I recommend, though, applying via the Nationality Checking Service. It does cost a bit extra, how much depends on the local authority you use, but they will check her application for errors and copy her supporting documents, returning the originals there and then.

See Become a British citizen and the links from there for more details.

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  • 3 months later...

I see there's a new twist in the hostile environment for most newly naturalised or registered resident British citizens. They lose most of their rights to travel out of the UK and back until they get their British passports, for their BRPs are now being promptly cancelled and have to be surrendered promptly upon becoming British. This makes it difficult to fly back to the UK.

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