Immigration Solicitors Kadmos Consultants successfully challenge refusal of the UKBA to register migrant minors as British citizens

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A child who is not British by birth may have the right to be registered as a British citizen; those who cannot be registered as of right can apply for registration at the discretion of the Secretary of State. London based firm of immigration lawyers Kadmos Consultants are campaigning for the rights of migrant children and successfully challenge refusal to exercise discretion in applications for British citizenship.

Immigration Lawyers

Kadmos Consultants Immigration Lawyers London

Discretion should be exercised where the child would suffer hardship if not registered, or where all other members of the family are British citizens.

London based firm of immigration solicitors Kadmos Consultants are proud to share their success in persuading the Secretary of State to revert her decision refusing to exercise discretion in relation to two migrant children and finally agree to register them as British citizens.

The two children had limited leave to remain in the UK and were entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain in line with their father’s status. Unfortunately, the family could not afford to pay the government fee for settlement visa which is over £1700 for two applicants. Immigration solicitors then sought to register the children at the discretion of the Secretary of State. This application was initially refused on the grounds that the children did not have a settled status.

The lawyers relied on the argument that it was the duty of the Secretary of State to give primary consideration to the best interest of the children and in the absence of any considerations that would make their registration undesirable it was appropriate to exercise discretion in their favour. The children had their home in the UK, their only surviving parent had settled status and the only impediment for their settlement was financial hardship.

Statutory requirements on registration of the minors at discretion are governed by s.3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (1). The statue gives complete discretion to the Secretary of State, the only condition being good character for children aged 10 and above. The guidance on applicable criteria for the exercise of discretion can be found in Chapter 9 of the Nationality Directorate Instructions (2).

The child is normally expected to have resided in the UK for at least two years and have both parents settled in the UK with at least one of the parents being a British citizen or applying for naturalisation at the same time. Yet all the relevant factors should be taken into consideration, the most important of them being if the child’s future lies in the UK. Discretion should be exercised where the child would suffer hardship if not registered, or where all other members of the family are British citizens.

Kadmos Consultants is a firm of UK Immigration and Nationality lawyers based in London. The firm offers discrete and constructive legal advice on all aspects of immigration to the UK and assists with applications for every type of visa, indefinite leave to remain and British nationality. The firm offers free 20 minute consultation with a Facebook Fan’s Token.

(1)    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61/pdfs/ukpga_19810061_en.pdf

(2) http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/nationalityinstructions/nichapter9/chapter9?view=Binary

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Helena Sheizon
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