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Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether photographs in passports issued to Muslim women who wear the niqab show their whole face, as for other British citizens. [HL741]

Photographs in the British passport must be of the individual's full face facing straight ahead and with nothing obscuring the face. Head coverings worn for religious reasons may be accepted as long as they do not cover the face. However, the niqab is a veil which covers the face apart from the eyes and so a photograph of someone wearing a niqab would not meet the standards required for passport purposes.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British passports are in circulation; how many passport holders hold more than one British passport; and how many also hold passports issued by other countries. [HL773]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British citizens also hold nationality of other countries. [HL774]

The total number of British passports in circulation is estimated as some 52 million. However, information is not collated on the number of passport holders who hold an additional British or foreign issued passport. A British citizen who is a dual national may apply at any time to the authorities of the country concerned for a foreign passport whether or not they already hold a British passport.