Even after an individual has obtained British citizenship, it is still possible for it to be revoked by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has the discretionary power to withdraw an individuals’ citizenship status by way of a British Citizenship Deprivation Order. A Home Office Freedom of Information response in June 2016 highlighted that there had been 81 Deprivation Orders made between 2006 and 2015 in the UK. Appeals against Deprivation Orders are to be made to the First Tier Tribunal and the recent decision in Pirzada (Deprivation of citizenship: general principles)  UKUT 196 (IAC) could be seen to challenge the scope of British citizenship deprivation appeals.
The Secretary of State’s Powers of British Citizenship Deprivation
The Secretary of State has two separate powers of British citizenship deprivation, which are exercisable on different grounds as set out under section 40, subsection 2 and subsection 3 of the British Nationality Act 1981 (“the 1981 Act”). S 40, ss 2 of the 1981 Act states that the Secretary of State may deprive a person of citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the British citizenship deprivation is conducive to the public good.
S 40, ss 3 of the 1981 Act states that the Secretary of State may deprive a person of citizenship status which results from his registration or naturalisation if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact. It is important to understand that only one ground may be used per Deprivation Order.
Background and the Decision in the Pirzada Case
The Applicant was an Afghan national who claimed asylum in the UK in 2001 and although it was refused on the basis that the Secretary of State was not convinced as to the truthfulness of his immigration history, he was granted leave to remain until 2006. After being granted indefinite leave to remain in 2006, the Applicant naturalised in 2008 and has since been a British citizen.
Criminal charges were brought against the Applicant in 2011, which included obtaining employment in various medical professions by fraud and was sentenced to 17 months in prison. The Secretary of State decided to deprive the Applicant of his British citizenship on 3 April 2014, to which the Applicant appealed this decision to the First Tier Tribunal.
The British citizenship deprivation appeal was allowed on the basis that the Secretary of State had decided to exercise power under s 40, ss 3 of the 1981 Act, but had relied on circumstances which had occurred after the Applicant had been granted citizenship. The Secretary of State could not clearly justify the Deprivation Order on the grounds that it would be conducive to the public good, under s 40 ss 2, and as a result the appeal was allowed. The Upper Tribunal confirmed the powers laid out in ss 2 and ss 3 of the 1981 Act are separate and that the Secretary of State must make it clear as to which is being used.
What the Pirzada Case Means for Future British Citizenship Deprivation Appeals
The decision of the British citizenship deprivation appeal in the Pirzada case emphasises that the Secretary of State may only use one ground in order to deprive an individual of their British citizenship. This demonstrates to those who wish to appeal a British Citizenship Deprivation Order made against them that there is scope for British citizenship deprivation appeals to be successful on this basis. It is important to obtain legal representation, such as our team of specialist immigration solicitors in order to make a successful deprivation appeal.
Using Legal Representation to Make a British Citizenship Deprivation Appeal
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to make a British citizenship deprivation appeal.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided. This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful British Citizenship Deprivation Appeals
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. Our offices are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.