British Citizenship

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether persons with refugee status or enjoying long-term humanitarian protection will be able to start their qualifying periods for naturalisation from the date of their entry into the United Kingdom, provided that they have complied with the conditions in Article 31 of the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

The qualifying period of residence for naturalisation may begin as soon as the refugee presents him/herself to the authorities. There is an additional requirement for naturalisation that the applicant should not have been in breach of immigration law during the qualifying period. However, those who present themselves to the authorities immediately upon arrival in the United Kingdom will not be considered to be in breach of immigration law during the period in which their asylum claim is under consideration.

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