RM (Special Vouchers – representation) India  UKIAT 00067
Date of hearing: 25 February 2005
Date Determination notified: 10 March 2005
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
The provisions of the former paragraph 252 are as follows:
"252. The requirements for indefinite leave to enter the United Kingdom as the spouse or child of a special voucher holder are that the person covered:
(i) is in possession of a valid United Kingdom entry clearance for settlement in the United Kingdom in this capacity; and
(ii) can and will be maintained and accommodated adequately by the special voucher holder without recourse to public funds."
"Angela Eagle: The special voucher scheme was introduced in 1968 in recognition of the specific hardship being suffered at that time by British Overseas Citizen (BOC) passport holders and their dependants, who were under political pressure to leave their countries of residence in East Africa, but who held no other citizenship and have nowhere else to go. Several thousand BOCs and other United Kingdom passport holders took advantage of the scheme and settled in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s.
However, the world political situation has now changed and BOCs are no longer under threat of expulsion. They have, over the intervening years, either settled with their families in the new independent East African countries or, alternatively, some have moved with their families to India. Their families have now grown up and have families of their own.
There are relatively few applications for special vouchers these days and those who do apply are not being pressured to leave the country in which they reside. The scheme no longer serves the purpose for which it was set up. The Government have therefore decided that the time has come to abolish the scheme, with immediate effect. No new applications for special vouchers will be considered."
"In recognition of the fact that the old special quota scheme had ceased to be used for the purpose for which it was originally designed, we abolished it. I will examine the possibility of an alternative arrangement for British overseas citizens who have no other nationality but who, under the existing complex historical circumstances, are not able to enter the country. It would be right for us to do that, as we have a moral obligation to them going back a long way, and it is unfinished business."
"At present, some citizens of our former colonies in east Africa have a British passport but not the right to live and work in the UK. Now, if they do not have any other nationality and have never given up another nationality, they will be able to acquire these rights.
We are righting a historical wrong which has left a number of overseas citizens without any right of abode, either in the UK or elsewhere.
BOC status is a legacy of decolonisation, when some overseas citizens were treated unfairly, which was then compounded by the 1968 Immigration Act and the 1981 British Nationality Act. The Government is acting to put that right.
We have a moral obligation to these people going back a long way. We are now meeting that obligation and doing the right thing by those citizens of former British colonies who would otherwise have no right of abode in any country.
The number who would want to live in the UK is likely to be small – less than 500 BOCs a year have applied to live in the UK in recent times. They are likely to view it as an insurance policy in case their circumstances change in the future. I am pleased we are able to offer them that added security."
"The Government has now decided that British protected persons from former British protectorates such as Zambia, and British subjects, generally people born in India or what is now the Republic of Ireland before 1949, will be eligible if they have no other nationality and have not given up another nationality."
"The amendments which we now propose will provide British overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons having no other nationality, with an entitlement to acquire, on application, and subject to some further requirements – which I shall presently explain – British citizenship.
In doing so, they would also acquire automatically a right of abode here. In other words, they would no longer be subject to United Kingdom immigration controls, but could come and go at will subject to the usual requirements for proof of right of entry on arrival. They would additionally, as EU citizens under the Treaty of Rome, acquire the right of free movement under the treaty.
The requirements for acquisition of British citizenship under the new clause are as follows. First, the applicant must be a British overseas citizen, a British subject or a British protected person. Secondly, the applicant must have no other nationality or citizenship on the date of application. Thirdly, the applicant should not previously have given up an alternative nationality or citizenship, whether through action or inaction on his part.
The latter requirement would exclude those who had lost another nationality through failure to take the steps prescribed by the law of that country for its retention beyond a certain date, as well as those who had lost another nationality as a result of some positive act on their part – such as the making of a declaration of renunciation. Such countries are tolerant of dual nationality in minors but require that on attaining the age of majority, the person must not only renounce their citizenship but also make a declaration of intention as to future residence, and/or take an oath of allegiance.
Therefore, we do not consider it appropriate to extend an entitlement to British citizenship to those who, by their actions or inaction, have given up another nationality and one assumes the right to reside permanently in the country of that nationality.
The Secretary of State must be satisfied that the applicant has no other nationality and has not given up another nationality or citizenship.
The amendment proposes that those registered as British citizens, under the new provision would be British citizens "by descent" for the purposes of the British Nationality Act 1981. As such, they would be subject to the restrictions imposed by that Act on the ability of British citizens "by descent" to transmit their citizenship to a further generation born outside the United Kingdom. That would be consistent with their present position whereby British overseas citizenship and the status of British subject and the British protected person are usually non-transmissible."
"4B Acquisition by registration: certain persons without other citizenship
(1) This section applies to a person who has the status of -(a) British Overseas citizen,
(b) British subject under this Act, or
(c) British protected person.
(2) A person to whom this section applies shall be entitled to be registered as a British citizen if -
(a) he applies for registration under this section,
(b) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person does not have, apart from the status mentioned in subsection (1), any citizenship or nationality, and
(c) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person has not after 4th July 2002 renounced, voluntarily relinquished or lost through action or inaction any citizenship or nationality."
MR JUSTICE OUSELEY