What is British Passport?
“The Secretary of State for the Home Department under the UK’s Immigration Law has the discretion to refuse a passport application, issue, revoke, and withdrew the privilege of British Passport. Once a person is naturalized or obtains British citizenship the next step generally is to apply for the British Passport. Despite the Brexit, it is still considered the world’s most influential travel document“.
Reading Time: 4 Minutes
What is included?
- What is British Passport
- Privilege or Right
- First Interview
- Criteria for Revocation and Withdrawal
- General reasons for revocation and withdrawal
- Public Interest
- Other Reasons
Privilege, or Right?
The British passport is a privileged document which enables the freedom of travel for British citizens and it is commonly used to verify the identity of British citizens which means that there is no automatic right or entitlement to a British Passport. As a privileged document, the matter of issue, withdrawal, and the refusal of a British passport is at the discretion of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. It is possible that a person can be a British citizen but does not have a British passport.
Application for a British passport will generally be successful provided that the Home Office and Passport Office are satisfied with
- The identity of the applicant
- The British nationality of applicants, under relevant nationality law
- There are no other reasons (detailed below) for refusal.
The Passport Office will carry out necessary checks to ensure that the applicant is entitled to a British passport.
To verify the credentials of the Applicant or Visitor, especially where the application is for the first adult passport, the Passport Office will invite the applicant for an interview. During the interview, the applicant will be asked serious questions about his social, family, and economic life in the UK, his/her answers will then be matched with the internal records held for that person.
Application for the British Passport will be automatically refused
- Under a court order
- Under arrest warrants which have been issued in the UK: and
- Where an applicant is wanted by the UK’s police under serious crime offence
Your application will also be refused under;
- Bail conditions which include a travel restriction
- An order issued by the European Union Nationals or the United Nations which prevents a person travelling or entering a country other than the country in which they hold citizenship
- A declaration made under section 15 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Criteria for Revocation and Withdrawal
The Home Office also has authority to revoke or withdraw a British passport. However, any decision to refuse or withdraw a passport must be reasonable i.e. it must be necessary and proportionate.
The decision and the reasons for the withdrawal are generally conveyed to the passport holder beforehand However, it is up to the Home Office to disclose the information which is used to withdraw or revoke a passport.
General reasons for revocation and withdrawal
Under public interest, the Home Office will consider a passport holder’s past, present or proposed activities.
The activities which are considered against public interest are following
- Using a passport to harm the UK or its allies by travelling on a British passport to engage in a terrorism-related activity or other serious or organised criminal activity.
- Seeking to engage in fighting, extremist activity or terrorist training outside the United Kingdom.
- The intention to travel for above-mentioned purposes to various parts of the world.
The Home Office also exercises it’s right to revoke or withdraw a passport where an applicant used deception in obtaining British Citizenship or where the applicant failed to disclose material facts especially in regards to the criminal convictions at the time of citizenship application, which may have resulted in the refusal of the citizenship. The time or date of the grant of British citizenship or passport is irrelevant in cases where the applicant has used deception or failed to provide the required disclosure.
If you are affected by the issues raised in this article, you can seek legal advice from our experienced Immigration lawyers for Immigration appeals.