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Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

Section 4: Deprivation of citizenship

30.Section 4 makes new provision about the deprivation of British nationality or status.

31.Subsection (1) replaces existing section 40 of the BNA 1981 and inserts a new section 40A.

32.New section 40(1) of the BNA 1981 lists the categories of persons who are liable to deprivation under the Act. These are British citizens, British overseas territories citizens, British Overseas citizens, British Nationals (Overseas), British subjects and British protected persons.

33.New section 40(2) provides that a person may be deprived of his citizenship status if he has done anything seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory.

34.New section 40(3) provides that a person may be deprived of his citizenship status if the registration or naturalisation by virtue of which the status was acquired was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or by concealment of a material fact.

35.New section 40(4) provides that a person may not be deprived of their citizenship status on the ground mentioned in subsection (2) if this would make him stateless.

36.New section 40(5) provides that before making a deprivation order the Secretary of State must give the person written notice specifying that a decision has been made to make the order and the reasons for it. The notice must also advise the person of his right to appeal.

37.New section 40(6) repeats the provision made by subsection (3) in respect of fraudulently obtained registrations and naturalisations effected or granted before 1983.

38.New section 40A confers a right of appeal to an adjudicator (in the first instance)on a person in respect of whom a decision to deprive him of his citizenship status has been made. There is also provision for both parties to appeal to the Tribunal from the adjudicator on a point of law. From the Tribunal there is a further appeal, again on a point of law, to the Court of Appeal, or the Court of Session (if the adjudicator’s decision was in Scotland). Where, however, the Secretary of State has certified that the decision to deprive was based wholly or partly in reliance on information which he believes should not be made public for one of the reasons specified in new section 40A(2), the appeal at first instance will instead be heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. New section 40A(6) prevents the making of an order under section 40 at any time when an appeal against this is pending, or could be brought, under section 40A or under section 2B of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997 (“SIAC 1997”).

39.Subsections (2) and (3) make consequential amendments to SIAC 1997.

40.Subsection (4) makes it clear that, in deciding whether there were grounds for deprivation under new section 40 of the 1981 Act, the Secretary of State would be entitled to have regard to events occurring before the commencement of that section if those events would have justified deprivation under section 40 of the Act as then in force.

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