The new data from Home Office shows that since 2013 hundreds of British citizens have unlawfully lost their citizenship. According to the Freedom of Information Request, there were 262 cases of nullification of British citizenship from 2007 to 2017, of which 176 happened in 2013. In December 2017, Supreme Court in overwhelming majority decision, found that the nullification of citizenship were unlawful. Currently, the Status Review Unit reconsidering the historic applications made during the particular period.
Home Office can either nullify or deprive citizenship. The nullification of the citizenship is far more difficult to challenge and has no right of appeal.
Home Office can nullify the citizenship, if proven, that the applicant impersonated another person for the purpose of obtaining British citizenship. Moreover the person, who loses his/her citizenship, is considered as never been British at all. Thus family members, who have obtained their British citizenship through the primary applicant will also lose their citizenship.
The procedure of the deprivation of citizenship is strictly regulated and must be in accordance with the British Citizenship Act 1981. The applicant has the right to appeal to the court. Usually cases of deprivation of citizenship are related to matters of national security or obtaining citizenship by fraud. Recently several decisions of the deprivation of citizenship were made in cases which involved serious crimes committed by the applicant.
It is believed that most of historic nullification cases are based on identity fraud, for example, providing an incorrect name, date of birth or information about the initial citizenship application. Given the fact that the main reason for the cancellation of citizenship is the deliberate provision of false information, it remains unclear as to why Home Office applied the nullification procedure rather than deprivation.