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British Citizenship

Volume 684: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make reference to the erroneous refusals of British citizenship applications from solely British nationals in Hong Kong and the steps taken to remedy this in the next six-monthly report to Parliament on Hong Kong.[HL6902]

The decisions made by the Home Office that some applicants did not meet the “solely British” criteria of the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997 were not erroneous. They were correct on the Indian interpretation of Indian nationality law at the time the decisions were made.

The six-monthly report to Parliament on Hong Kong for January to July 2006 will assess the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong over that period. We will not be referring to this issue.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Triesman on 14 July (WA 146), whether an application form is considered to be completed in full only if every supporting document requested on the form and guidance notes is provided with the application; or whether consular officers can exercise discretion in these matters; and, if such discretion is permitted, in what circumstances it is exercised.[HL7061]

It has been agreed with the Nationality Directorate of the Home Office that our consular staff overseas should check all British nationality applications to ensure that all the relevant boxes are completed and that the declaration is signed and dated, as this validates the application. All applications must be sent to the Nationality Directorate within two months of receipt, regardless of whether the applicant has provided all the necessary documents. The missing documents can be forwarded at a later date, but reference to the missing documents should be included in the covering letter that consular staff provide and forward to the Nationality Directorate with the application.