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Your Options if Your British Citizenship Application is Refused

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The journey to being in a position to apply for British citizenship can be long and hard for some naturalisation applicants. For others, on UK work visas, the time can fly past and the application and eligibility criteria appear relatively trouble-free. However, our immigration solicitors are often asked for help by people who have had their application for British citizenship refused and they hope fresh British citizenship legal advice will help them.

In this article, our British citizenship solicitors run through your options if your British citizenship application has been refused.

UK Online and London-Based British Citizenship Solicitors and Immigration Lawyers 

For help with your British citizenship application call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

British citizenship application refused

If your application for British citizenship has been rejected by the Home Office you should have received a letter explaining why the Home Office refused your application. This letter is crucial as our British citizenship solicitors need it to understand why you or your former immigration lawyers were unsuccessful in securing British citizenship.

If you have had a rejection letter, understandably, you will want to focus on something else but there are time limits for action so it is best to take urgent British citizenship legal advice.

Appealing a British citizenship refusal

In UK immigration law there is no right of appeal against a refusal to grant British citizenship. Many people do not realise that when they decide to make their application without the help of an immigration solicitor or British citizenship lawyer. If you or a member of your family has not yet made your application, make sure you get immigration advice before you submit it as getting the right advice will probably save you time and money in the long run.

Reconsideration of British citizenship refusal

Although there is no right of appeal against the refusal of your British citizenship application, you may be able to ask the Home Office to reconsider it.

A reconsideration is not like an appeal. It is not conducted by an independent body such as an immigration tribunal or court. It is an internal procedure conducted by a Home Office official.

You can ask for a reconsideration if you do not think that the original caseworker followed either:

  • The law – contained in the British Nationality Act 1981
  • Policy
  • Procedure

For your British citizenship solicitor to assess your prospects of successfully asking for a reconsideration, and to put your best case forward, the letter from the Home Office explaining the basis of the refusal is essential. For example, your application could have been rejected (rather than refused) because you did not pay the correct application fee or the Home Office did not receive your supporting paperwork.

The law and your British citizenship application

Your application for British citizenship will be refused if you do not meet the mandatory eligibility criteria for a naturalisation application.

Policy and your British citizenship application

Some aspects of the eligibility criteria for a British citizenship application contain an element of discretion that can be applied by the Home Office official assessing your application. The Home Office has issued guidance on how and when discretion should be exercised. If the Home Office caseworker did not follow the correct policy on the exercise of discretion you may be successful in your reconsideration application. Your British citizenship solicitors will need to carefully assess your original application and the information you provided, the Home Office grounds for refusal, and the precise Home Office guidance on the exercise of discretion to put your best case forward for a positive reconsideration.

Form NR to apply for a British citizenship reconsideration

To apply for a reconsideration of the refusal of your British citizenship application your immigration solicitor will need to complete form NR on your behalf.

As well as proving basic contact information, an explanation needs to be given about why you are asking for a reconsideration and why you disagree with the refusal decision.  If you are saying that the Home Office official got the law wrong or failed to follow Home Office policy the law or relevant policy will need to be quoted as well as providing any evidence to show that the Home Office official was wrong to refuse your original British citizenship application.

Where relevant, your British citizenship solicitor will try to show that there are earlier precedents where Home Office discretion has been exercised in similar circumstances to your application and therefore it would be iniquitous to refuse your naturalisation application.

Is there a Home Office fee for a reconsideration application?

The Home Office charges a substantial fee (currently £372) for a reconsideration application to deter unmeritorious or hopeless applications where there is no prospect of success as the applicant did not meet the mandatory British citizenship eligibility criteria. If the reconsideration application is successful the fee for the reconsideration is refunded by the Home Office.

Options if your British citizenship reconsideration application is refused by the Home Office

If your reconsideration application is refused you have a few options:

  • Apply for a judicial review of the decision – you will need to follow the pre-action protocol and the refusal decision needs to meet the criteria for a judicial review
  • Apply for British citizenship again – there is only merit in doing this if you meet the mandatory eligibility criteria
  • Stay in the UK with indefinite leave to remain immigration status – if you take this route, it is important that your British citizenship solicitor explains the circumstances in which you could lose your indefinite leave to remain status

If you need help or advice with a British citizenship application, reconsideration request, or assistance with a judicial review, our British citizenship solicitors can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

British citizenship service reviews

We are proud of our reviews and grateful for the feedback. Here is one example where our British citizenship solicitors have stepped in, taken over from former immigration solicitors, and achieved success:

Posted on January 11, 2022

‘First of all, I would like to say this is a second time we are using OTS SOLICITORS Great service . Thank you for your help. I got a swift response from the Home Office with approval for Citizenship application the representation was outstanding very professional Mr Hans is very kind, patient and understanding. My case involved an application for permanent residency and then a naturalisation application. Both were successful. Because of MR Hans My application for indefinite leave was refused before coming to OTS SOLICITORS by other law firm and my case was very complex and we would never have been able to successfully navigate the complex arguments by ourselves. We are extremely grateful to MR Hans SOK Appadu as our solicitor . In my case having a lawyer with an outstanding understanding of immigration law was key. I am now a very happy British citizen I would not even have permanent resident rights in the UK.I would highly recommend their services to anybody with immigration matter go and see MR Hans Sok Appadu at OTS Solicitors thank you very much’.

UK Online and London-Based British Citizenship Solicitors and Immigration Lawyers 

For help with your British citizenship application call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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