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British Citizenship

Volume 688: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether a person is entitled to be registered as a British citizen if, immediately prior to 1 January 1983, that person was a statutory British protected person by virtue of the British Protectorates, Protected States and Protected Persons Order 1978 in the following circumstances (a) the person was born in the British Protectorate of Uganda after 1914; (b) prior to the independence of Uganda on 9 October 1962 the person had ceased to reside in Uganda; (c) none of the person's parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926, as set out in the Third Schedule to the Constitution of Uganda; (d) the person had never registered as a citizen of Uganda; and (e) the person has not acquired the citizenship of any other country. [HL764]

Whether or not a person is a British protected person, and the extent of any entitlement conferred on him or her by or under the British Nationality Act 1981 and associated legislation, are matters of law which can be determined conclusively only by the courts. The ways in which the various pieces of legislation interact are complex, and careful consideration has to be given to the circumstances of each case. Subject, however, to the person concerned having failed to acquire the citizenship of Uganda by any means after 8 October 1962, including acquisition under the 1962 constitution, our view is that he or she retains the status of British protected person under the British Protectorates, Protected States and Protected Persons Order 1982 and, accordingly, is entitled to registration as a British citizen under Section 4B of the British Nationality Act 1981.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will place in the Library of the House the e-mail from Tameem Abdulhusein Ebrahim to the British consul-general in Hong Kong dated 1 December, regarding solely British nationals of Nepalese origin, together with the British consul-general's response. [HL765]

We will review these papers as soon as possible and place copies in the Library of the House if feasible.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What matters were discussed last week by the British vice-consul and the Nepalese consul during their meeting in Hong Kong; and whether they will place in the Library of the House the vice-consul's account of the discussion. [HL766]

Our vice-consul in Hong Kong and the Nepalese consul discussed the processing of applications for registration as a British citizen under Section 4B of the British Nationality Act 1981 and under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997, in particular the supporting documentation required. The discussion was informal and no record was kept.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 18 April (WA 163) regarding British overseas citizenship under Article 6(1) of the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986, whether they will ensure that all staff handling British overseas citizen passport applications at the British consulate-general in Hong Kong are made aware of this; and whether they will place the notification to staff in the Library of the House. [HL926]

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office prides itself on giving the best training possible to all staff to provide first-class consular services at all posts overseas. All staff in the passport section at our consulate-general in Hong Kong have had training on the various British Nationality Acts and are aware of the provisions of Article 6(1) of the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986. The Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986 is already publicly available.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 14 December (WA 217), why the British consulate-general in Hong Kong requires a Nepalese citizenship renunciation certificate from a British overseas citizen of Nepalese origin in Hong Kong who applies for a British overseas citizen passport or registration as a British citizen, bearing in mind that records of the British consulate-general would indicate whether such a person had or had not renounced his Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizen status, and thus whether he remained a Nepalese citizen immediately before 30 June 1997. [HL1035]

The British consulate-general in Hong Kong does not require a certificate of renunciation from a British overseas citizen of Nepalese origin applying either for a British overseas citizen passport or for registration as a British citizen. A letter from the Nepalese authorities indicating whether an applicant has ever held Nepalese nationality is however required as evidence of statelessness.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 14 December (WA 217), why the British consulate-general in Hong Kong is relying on the Nepalese authorities to advise solely British nationals what information is required to substantiate a claim for British nationality; whether they will instead publish on the British consulate-general's website what essential documentation is required to accompany applications; and whether they will place a copy of that information in the Library of the House. [HL1036]

The British consulate-general (BCG) in Hong Kong is not relying on the Nepalese authorities to advise solely British nationals on the information required to substantiate a claim to British nationality. However; any additional assistance that the Nepalese consul can provide in making sure potential applicants of Nepalese origin are suitably informed is welcome. There is already comprehensive information on the BCG Hong Kong website, and we will place a copy of the current guidance in the Library of the House.