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British Citizenship

Volume 688: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 13 December (WA 195) regarding correspondence via the open letters pages of newspapers, whether this policy applies only in Hong Kong or on a world-wide basis; and whether they will place in the Library of the House any documents which record this policy and the date on which it was adopted. [HL925]

While there is no formal policy in the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office about writing to newspapers, it is not considered appropriate for Her Majesty's Government to conduct correspondence with individuals or groups through open letters pages. Letters sent direct to the Home Office or Foreign and Commonwealth Office will receive a reply.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

To whom the descendants of a deceased person who, in July 1953, became a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in Uganda by naturalisation or registration can apply to obtain a copy of his naturalisation or registration application records. [HL1034]

Such descendants may request a letter confirming details of naturalisation or registration in Uganda by telephoning the London Enquiry Line on 020 7008 0186, which is open between the hours of 10.00 and 12.00 Monday to Thursday or by writing to Nationality and Consular Registration Section, Consular Division, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Old Admiralty Building, London SW1A 2PA. Any descendants living abroad should contact their nearest British Consulate.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 16 January (WA 143-44) on the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office visit to Nepal, which Nepalese Ministers attended the meeting on 22 November 2006; and what further steps they are now taking following the expiry of the one-month time limit before which they expected confirmation from the Nepalese authorities of the statements the latter made at the meeting.[HL1404]

No Nepalese Ministers attended this meeting, only officials from the Government of Nepal. An e-mail was sent to the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 9 January to ask whether it was content with amendments to the meeting record, and for further clarification on a point of law. This has been acknowledged and a response is expected in due course.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What standard of proficiency in the English language is required by persons seeking to acquire British nationality.[HL1414]

Aspiring British citizens must either pass a test of their knowledge of the UK that requires English proficiency to the standard of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), entry three level, or undertake an English course using specially developed citizenship materials. Those taking the second alternative must successfully complete the course by showing progress from one ESOL level to the next. These requirements will shortly be extended to those seeking permanent residence in the UK.