Is it possible to lose British Citizenship?

For almost all immigrants who come to the United Kingdom, having the chance to obtain British citizenship is the ultimate goal even though it can be a complex and expensive process. Despite the expense, obtaining a British passport is worthwhile because it will provide many benefits such as traveling abroad with ease.

Unfortunately, there are particular rules and circumstances that can cause the citizenship to be revoked. In this article, we will look at the reasons that may cause your British citizenship to be revoked and how to handle such matters.

Under what circumstances can your British Citizenship be revoked?

Based on the 40th section of the British Nationality Act1981, British Citizenship of a person might be revoked for two main reasons as mentioned below:

You have committed fraud

If there is evidence that your citizenship was obtained by fraudulent activities, misrepresentation or the concealment of an important fact. This happens when a person provides any false information when applying for British Citizenship.

Your passport is being revoked for public good

In this case, it’s up to the Home Secretary to decide whether your passport should be revoked for the good of the public, for example that you have:

  • Helped or are helping in acts of terrorism.
  • Committed a serious crime such as a war crime or public offence.
  • Committed any acts which seriously harmed vital national interests, such as spying.

British Citizenship was issued by mistake

This can happen if:

  • They are already UK citizen
  • Are pretending to be someone else and/or falsifying documents to get citizenship for another person

Deprivation of British citizenship Vs Revoked (nullification) British citizenship

Deprivation of citizenship is punished more than a citizenship nullification.

The purpose of nullifying someone’s British Citizenship is to remove the citizenship from a person who received the citizenship incorrectly. They will simply revert to their previous status as if they had never been granted UK citizenship.

Deprivation, is treated more seriously as this form of action is taken against people who tried to defraud the system.

Can someone lose their British Citizenship by living abroad?

Based on the Home Office rules, UK citizenship will not be affected if a UK citizen wants to live abroad or retire in another country.

If you lose your British citizenship will it affect your family members too?

Regrettably the answer to this question is yes. If any of your family member’s immigration status is dependent on yours, theirs will be revoked too.

However, if the parents of a child committed fraud, the child would be regarded as innocent, so in this case, the child will not lose their citizenship.

Another way to keep your citizenship would be to prove that you have a mental health problem that impacted your ability to make a decision at the time the fraud was being committed or that you were under pressure/forced to be a part of the fraud.

If someone loses their British Citizenship, do they have the right to appeal?

Fortunately, in most cases, you have the right to appeal if you were deprived of your British Citizenship. According to Section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981. If your citizenship was nullified, however, you do not have the right to appeal. This is because your citizenship was classed as null and void.

How we can assist you

We appreciate that immigration laws can be very confusing, but the immigration team here at SilverOak Solicitors have a wealth of experience and are ready to help you.

Our team of specialist immigration solicitors can:

  • Review your situation in the UK and that of your affected family members
  • Explain all of your options and recommend the best strategy to overcome nullification or deprivation of British Citizenship
  • Deal with the Home Office
  • Handle appeals, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Reviews on your behalf, ensuring you have the very best chance of success.

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