Home Office Introduces ‘Change of Name’ Policy on Official Documents

James Brokenshire, the Minister for Immigration and Security, today revealed new guidance for Home Office case workers which shows that the Government is cracking down on criminals who change their names to avoid detection. James Brokenshire hopes that the new guidance will ensure that there is a consistent approach to handling change of name applications for official documents such as the British passport, Home Office travel documents and Biometric Resident Permits (“BRP”).

Rationale Behind Home Office’s Policy Guidance

The Home Office’s guidance states that the policy “aims to make it more difficult for people to change their identities to support criminality and to ensure there is a consistent approach to handling applications to change names contained on official documents.”

This policy applies to applications to changes of names and identities to the following documents:

  • British Passport, including Emergency travel documents and emergency passports;
  • Home Office Travel Documents;
  • Biometric residence permits;
  • Visas;
  • Right of Abode and certificates of entitlement; and
  • Residence Documents issued to EEA nationals and their family members, including derivative categories.

Where a person is seeking to change an identity on one of the Home Office documents listed above, the person is required to provide supporting evidence that they intend using that identity for all purposes of their life.

BRPs required for all Entry Clearance Visas for 6 months & above

In addition to the above policy, the Home Office recently announced that individuals from overseas who apply for a visa for more than six months will be required to obtain a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) following their arrival in the UK. The Biometric regulations will be rolled out for a four-month period beginning in March 2015 and will apply to all overseas nationals by 31 July 2015. The initiative will be rolled out in phases over a four-month period, which is expected to commence in March 2015 starting with nationals form Pakistan. The new process will then apply to all overseas nationals by 31 July 2015.

Contact our expert legal immigration team for advice on your visa application

Foreign nationals who apply to become British citizens may be registered or naturalised in their married name, however they must first change their name on their passports and travel documents to reflect their married name before submitting an application. Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment even if you wish to consider other advisers.

Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 0845 8622 529 for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment.

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