The British Passport: Revocation, Withdrawal and Refusal

Introduction

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. However, it is word noting that there is no entitlement and legal right to have access 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 may not hold a British passport.

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What’s on this Page

Issue

Refusal

Criteria for Revocation and Withdrawal

General reasons for revocation and withdrawal 

What would you do next?

Issue

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 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.

Refusal

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 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 reason for withdrawal are generally conveyed to the passport holder. 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

Public Interest

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 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 to travel for above-mentioned purposes to various parts of the world.

Other Reasons

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 an 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 citizenship. The time or date of the grant of British citizenship or passport is irrelevant in cases where an applicant has used a deception or failed to provide the required disclosure.

If you are affected by the issues raised in this article, you can seek free legal advice from our experienced Immigration lawyers.

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