This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Renunciation of British Citizenship'.



 
 
 
 
 
Shared Services Directorate 020 7035 4848 (switchboard) 
2 Marsham Street 
 
London SW1P 4DF 
www.homeoffice.gov.uk 
Mr John Kelly 
 
 
Via e-mail to request-185918-
xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
 
 
 
 
27 February 2014 
 
 
Dear Mr Kelly, 
 
Freedom of Information request (our ref: 29024): internal review 
 
Thank you for your e-mail of 28 December 2013, in which you asked for an internal review of our response to 
your request regarding the renunciation of British citizenship. 
 
I have now completed the review. I have examined all the relevant papers, and have consulted the policy 
unit which provided the original response. I have considered whether the correct procedures were followed 
and I can confirm that I was not involved in the initial handling of your request. 
 
My findings are set out in the attached report.  My conclusion is that Home Office‟s original response did not 
provide advice and assistance to the questions raised by Mr Kelly, as obliged by Section 16 of the FOI Act, in 
a reasonable timeframe. 
 
Yours sincerely 
 
 
 
Andy Woodgate 
Information Access Team
 
 
 

  
 
Internal review of response to request by Mr Kelly (reference 29024)  
 
Responding Unit: 
UKVI 
 
Chronology 
 
Original  request: 
 
04 October 2013 
 
 IMS response:   
 
11 November 2013 
 
Request for internal review: 
28 December 2013 
 
Subject of request 
 
1.  On 4 October Mr Kelly wrote to the department querying the effect of the renouncement of British 
citizenship, as follows:  
 
1) I am writing to enquire if someone who has renounced British citizenship on acquisition of another 
citizenship (despite being born/growing up in the UK) can, by law, be viewed as a British citizen by 
the British government, in any respect after that renunciation? I would like to find out if it is possible 
that a person can be forced by the British government to be viewed as a British citizen after 
renunciation and successfully having/having obtained citizenship of another country? 
 
2) If said person becomes eligible for British citizenship again via naturalization, will the 
reinstatement of British citizenship (following the legal process for naturalization) be jeopardized by 
the fact that they have, in the past, renounced British 

 
The response by the Home Office 
 
2.  On 11 November the Home Office provided a copy of a response sent to the applicant on 02 October 
2013 which, as Mr Kelly pointed out, referred to a different question.1  
 
3.  The Home Office then  supplied a further response on 12 November stating that a person can reverse 
their renunciation only once and gave further details on how this could be done, see annex B. 
 
Further communication and Clarification 
 
4.  On 12 November Mr Kelly reiterated his request, but also provided some clarification of his request. 
 
Please note that the first question is regarding how a former British citizen who has 
renounced nationality via the proper channels is viewed by the British government. For 
example: If a dual Spanish/British national renounces British citizenship, is it possible for 
him/her to be viewed as being British in any regard after renunciation? 
 
Please note the second question is not about resumption of British nationality via the normal 
rules, but via naturalization as, for example, a French citizen who has lived in the UK for the 
required period of 5 years. 
 
If such information is not held, nor has this kind of situation been came across in the past, 
please let me know.  

 
The request for an internal review 
 
5.  On 28 December Mr Kelly requested an Internal Review stating : 
                                                 
1 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/regaining_british_citizenship_ci#incoming-435626 
 

 
I am writing to request an internal review of Home Office's handling of my FOI request 'Renunciation 
of British Citizenship'. 
 
I still have not received a satisfactory response. 
 
Valid FOI Request 
 
6.   Section 8(1)(c) of the FOI Act requires the applicant to „describe the information requested’. Therefore to 
constitute a valid request under the Act the applicant is obliged to actually request information.  
 
7.  Mr Kelly‟s questions either require a yes/no response or do not ask for specific information and therefore, 
strictly speaking, are not valid requests under the FOI Act.   
 
8.  Section 16 also places an obligation on a public authority to provide advice and assistance to those 
persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information. 
 
9.  The Home Office could have provided further detail to the yes/no response to add context or assist the 
applicant in outlining any subsequent requests for information.   
 
10.  Therefore, any information provided as part of this internal review will be under Section 16 of the FOI 
Act. 
 
Renunciation and British Citizenship  
 
11.  Mr Kelly‟s first question is asking if a British Citizen who has renounced their nationality via the proper 
channels can still be viewed a British Citizen by the British Government.  The question does not appear 
to be answered by either of the responses sent by the Home Office. 
 
12.  The Home Office produce a number of policy, guidance and country information used by staff which is 
published on the Home Office website2, including one dealing with nationality and the British Nationality 
Act 1981. 
 
13.  Chapter 19 3 of the casework instructions provide further details on Renunciation.  Paragraph 19.2.4 and 
19.2.5 states: - 
 
“19.2.4 The person making the declaration ceases to be a British citizen when it is registered. 
 
19.2.5 A person whose declaration is registered: 
 

a. in the belief that another citizenship or nationality would be acquired; and 
 
b. this does not happen within 6 months of the registration, will be, and be regarded as 
having remained, a British citizen.” 
 

14.  In addition section 12(2) of the British Nationality Act 1983 states :- 
 
(2) On the registration of a declaration made in pursuance of this section the person who made it 
shall cease to be a British citizen. 

 
15.   Therefore, in answer to the first question, casework instructions and legislation both state that a person 
who has a registered declaration of renunciation shall cease to be a British Citizen. 
 
Renunciation, Resumption and Naturalisation 
 
16.  Mr Kelly‟s second question asks if someone who seeks to acquire British Citizenship by naturalisation, 
whether a previous renunciation would be a factor with the naturalisation process. 
                                                 
2 http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/guidance/ 
 
3 http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/nationalityinstructions/nichapter19/ 
 

link to page 3 link to page 3  
17.  The Home Office supplied a number of details regarding the options available to those who have been 
previously renounced and wish to regain their British Citizenship, and the criteria required to be eligible 
for resumption. 
 
18.  Mr Kelly did point out that his question was about the acquisition of British Citizenship via naturalisation. 
The Home Office were correct in pointing out the resumption route as a viable option, however did not 
then go on to state whether renunciation would be a factor if the person want to regain Citizenship. 
 
19.  Section 6 of the British Nationality Act outlines the criteria and eligibility for those seeking acquisition of 
British Citizenship by naturalisation, and outlines two application routes available.  Those that are 
married or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen and those who are not. Both application routes have 
a set criteria outline in paragraphs 1 -4 of Schedule 1 of the British Nationality Act. 
 
20.  According to Schedule 1 of the British Nationality Act having gone through the process of renunciation is 
not a barrier to be eligible for British Citizenship by naturalisation although it would be expected that the 
applicant goes via the resumption route in the first instance. 
 
21.  Therefore to answer Mr Kelly‟s second question the fact that a person has gone through the renunciation 
process is not a factor that would stop that person obtaining British Citizenship by naturalisation. 
However, naturalisations are completed on a case by case basis and it would be impossible to provide a 
generalised yes or no to this question due to the factors outlined above. 
 
Points of Clarification  
 
22.  Further correspondence from Mr Kelly on 12 November in response to the Home Office reply dated 11 
November raised two points. Mr Kelly first points out that question 1 is about if the British Government 
can still view  a person (either born and growing up in the UK or a person of Spanish/British dual 
nationality) who has renounced their citizenship a British Citizen.  This point has been answered in 
paragraphs 13 & 14. 
 
23.  Mr Kelly‟s also points out that question 2 is about resumption of British Citizenship not by the normal 
rules but by naturalisation.  However, from question 2 which first stated „If said person (i.e. born/growing 
up in the UK – 
from question one), is now a “French citizen who has lived in the UK for the required 
period of 5 years”.
 
 
24.  Although this has changed the focus of question 2, it does demonstrates that there are many factors 
involved in obtaining British Citizenship via naturalisation, which makes it hard to give a generalised 
yes/no response.  However, again, under these circumstances there is nothing in the legislation which 
would bar a person seeking citizenship. 
 
Conclusion 
 
25.  While not taken as an FOI request in the first instance, nor as part of this request, the Home Office failed 
in  it‟s  obligation  to  provide  advice  and  assistance  to  Mr  Kelly  under  Section  16  of  the  FOI  Act  in  a 
reasonable timeframe. This has now been provided via this review. 
 
 
 
Andy Woodgate 
Information Access Team 
Home Office 
03 February 2014 

 
Annex A – full text of Mr Kelly’s request 
 
"1) I am writing to enquire if someone who has renounced British citizenship on acquisition of another 
citizenship (despite being born/growing up in the UK) can, by law, be viewed as a British citizen by the British 
government, in any respect after that renunciation? I would like to find out if it is possible that a person can 
be forced by the British government to be viewed as a British citizen after renunciation and successfully 
having/having obtained citizenship of another country? 
 
2) If said person becomes eligible for British citizenship again via naturalization, will the reinstatement of 
British citizenship (following the legal process for naturalization) be jeopardized by the fact that they have, in 
the past, renounced British citizenship?"

 
Annex B – full text of Home Office response 
 
 
An individual has the right, only once, to register as a British citizen if they gave up their citizenship to keep 
or gain another citizenship. If they gave up their citizenship for any other reason, or have already given up 
and resumed British citizenship as a right, the Home Secretary may allow them to resume it, depending on 
the circumstances. Further information can be found on the UKBA website. 
 
 [1]www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/eligibility/registration/resumptionofcitizenship/ 
 
[2]www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/applying/applicationtypes/resumptionofcitizenship/ 
 
 
To resume British Citizenship the applicant would have to meet the requirements of section 13(1) of the 
British Nationality Act 1981. I would like to draw your attention, in particular, to paragraph 17.1.2 of Chapter 
17, which states that person is entitled to register as a British Citizen 
if: 
 
·         they are of full capacity, and 
·         that the secretary of state is satisfied they are of good character, and 
·         they have made a declaration of renunciation of British citizenship; and 
·         renunciation was necessary to enable them to retain or acquire some other citizenship or nationality 
 
[3]www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/nationalityinstructions/nichapter17/ 
 
[4]www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/eligibility/registration/resumptionofcitizenship/ 
 
Please note that as the onus is upon the individual to ensure that he/she satisfies the requirements set out in 
the guidance material that accompanies each and every application form, the Nationality Group is not able to 
give, indicate or advise upon the outcome of any such application prior to it being correctly submitted and 
being given full and careful consideration. Therefore, you are advised to read through the guide prior to 
submitting a future application 

Annex  C – Further Correspondence  from Mr Kelly (Date 12 November 2013) 
 
Sorry to be pedantic, but the answer provided does not directly address either of my questions. Please see 
my initial request below 
 
"1) I am writing to enquire if someone who has renounced British citizenship on acquisition of another 
citizenship (despite being born/growing up in the UK) can, by law, be viewed as a British citizen by the British 
government, in any respect after that renunciation? I would like to find out if it is possible that a person can 
be forced by the British government to be viewed as a British citizen after renunciation and successfully 
having/having obtained citizenship of another country? 
 
2) If said person becomes eligible for British citizenship again via naturalization, will the reinstatement of 
British citizenship (following the legal process for naturalization) be jeopardized by the fact that they have, in 
the past, renounced British citizenship?" 
 
Please note that the first question is regarding how a former British citizen who has renounced nationality via 
the proper channels is viewed by the British government. For example: If a dual Spanish/British national 
renounces British citizenship, is it possible for him/her to be viewed as being British in any regard after 
renunciation? 
 
Please note the second question is not about resumption of British nationality via the normal rules, but via 
naturalization as, for example, a French citizen who has lived in the UK for the required period of 5 years. 
 
If such information is not held, nor has this kind of situation been came across in the past, please let me 
know.

Annex C – Schedule 1 British Nationality Act 1983 (Paragraphs 1 – 4) 
 
(1)Subject to paragraph 2, the requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(1) are, in the case of 
any person who applies for it— 
(a)the requirements specified in sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph, or the alternative requirement 
specified in sub-paragraph (3) of this paragraph; and 
(b)that he is of good character; and 
(c)that he has a sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language; and 
[F1(ca)that he has sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom; and] 
(d)that either— 
(i)his intentions are such that, in the event of a certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen being 
granted to him, his home or (if he has more than one) his principal home will be in the United Kingdom; 
or 
(ii)he intends, in the event of such a certificate being granted to him, to enter into, or continue in, 
Crown service under the government of the United Kingdom, or service under an international 
organisation of which the United Kingdom or Her Majesty‟s government therein is a member, or service 
in the employment of a company or association established in the United Kingdom. 
(2)The requirements referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(a) of this paragraph are— 
(a)that the applicant was in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period of five years ending with 
the date of the application, and that the number of days on which he was absent from the United 
Kingdom in that period does not exceed 450; and 
(b)that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in the period of twelve 
months so ending does not exceed 90; and 
(c)that he was not at any time in the period of twelve months so ending subject under the immigration 
laws to any restriction on the period for which he might remain in the United Kingdom; and 
(d)that he was not at any time in the period of five years so ending in the United Kingdom in breach of 
the immigration laws. 
(3)The alternative requirement referred to in sub-paragraph (1)(a) of this paragraph is that on the date of the 
application he is serving outside the United Kingdom in Crown service under the government of the United 
Kingdom. 
2 If in the special circumstances of any particular case the Secretary of State thinks fit, he may for the purposes of 
paragraph 1 do all or any of the following things, namely— 
(a)treat the applicant as fulfilling the requirement specified in paragraph 1(2)(a) or paragraph 1(2)(b), or both, 
although the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in the period there mentioned 
exceeds the number there mentioned; 
(b)treat the applicant as having been in the United Kingdom for the whole or any part of any period during which 
he would otherwise fall to be treated under paragraph 9(1) as having been absent; 

(c)disregard any such restriction as is mentioned in paragraph 1(2)(c), not being a restriction to which the 
applicant was subject on the date of the application; 
(d)treat the applicant as fulfilling the requirement specified in paragraph 1(2)(d) although he was in the United 
Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws in the period there mentioned; 
(e)waive the need to fulfil [F2either or both of the requirements specified in paragraph 1(1)(c) and (ca)] if he 
considers that because of the applicant‟s age or physical or mental condition it would be unreasonable to 
[F3expect him to fulfil that requirement or those requirements] . 
Naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(2) 
3 Subject to paragraph 4, the requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(2) are, in the case of any 
person who applies for it— 
(a)that he was in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period of three years ending with the date of the 
application, and that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in that period does 
not exceed 270; and 
(b)that the number of days on which he was absent from the United Kingdom in the period of twelve months so 
ending does not exceed 90; and 
(c)that on the date of the application he was not subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the 
period for which he might remain in the United Kingdom; and 
(d)that he was not at any time in the period of three years ending with the date of the application in the United 
Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws; and 
(e)the [F5requirements specified in paragraph 1(1)(b), (c) and (ca)] . 
4 Paragraph 2 shall apply in relation to paragraph 3 with the following modifications, namely— 
(a)the reference to the purposes of paragraph 1 shall be read as a reference to the purposes of paragraph 3; 
(b)the references to paragraphs 1(2)(a), 1(2)(b) and 1(2)(d) shall be read as references to paragraphs 3(a), 3(b) 
and 3(d) respectively; 
(c)paragraph 2(c) F6. . shall be omitted; and 
(d)after paragraph (e) there shall be added— 
“(f)waive the need to fulfil all or any of the requirements specified in paragraph 3(a) and (b) if on the 
date of the application the person to whom the applicant is married [F7or of whom the applicant is the 
civil partner,] is serving in service to which section 2(1)(b) applies, that person‟s recruitment for that 
service having taken place in the United Kingdom”