British Nationality Depravation for Kosovan/ Albanians

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice. 22 April 2021

Taking away British citizenship is not as uncommon as it used to be and one way in which one can lose their British nationality is called deprivation, which is a process by which citizenship is deprived on the grounds of public good. The other way is nullification which is reserved for cases in which someone pretended to be someone else in order to falsely claim citizenship and therefore the Secretary of State simply declares that the British citizenship was a nullity and never truly existed and they have never truly been British in the first place.

In a case called Hysaj [2017] the Supreme Court held that the Home Office had been wrongly using the nullification process instead of the deprivation process and the Supreme Court found that the vast majority of decisions to nullify British citizenship were unlawful.  As a result the Home Office went back through their files to review most of the nullification decisions and pursued deprivation actions against them in some cases.

In the case of Hysaj deprivation of citizenship Albania 2020, the decision was to deprive the same man again of British citizenship.  He tried to challenge the request to deprive him based on the argument that there have been a massive delay since the original consideration of deprivation, and therefore it was unfair and unreasonable for the Home Office to follow this course of action after so many years.  Secondly, the Court concluded that no historic injustice is capable of arising in circumstances where the respondent wrongly declared British citizenship to be a nullity rather than to seek to deprive under section 40(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

We know that our clients who are affected by the decision, lose their nationality and their settled status. There is no particular guidance as to what will happen to individuals following the consequences of the deprivation, including whether the individuals will be forced to leave the UK.