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Stateless Persons

You can apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person if both of the following apply:

  • you’re not recognised as a citizen of any country
  • you’re unable to live permanently in any other country

To meet the UK's obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, Schedule 2 to the British Nationality Act 1981 makes provision for the acquisition of the citizenships and statuses created by the Act by certain persons who are or would otherwise be stateless.

You will normally be allowed to stay in the UK for 5 years if you’re given permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’).  This will thereafter lead to settlement or further leave when your leave expires.

Initial Leave To Remain As A Stateless Person

A person who falls under the definition of a stateless person as per paragraph 401 of the Immigration Rules and who is not excluded from recognition as a stateless person can apply for leave to remain in the UK as a stateless person.

Requirements for limited leave to remain as a stateless person

According to paragraph 403 of the Immigration Rules, the requirements for leave to remain in the United Kingdom as a stateless person are that the applicant:

  1. has made a valid application to the Secretary of State for limited leave to remain as a stateless person;
  2. is recognised as a stateless person by the Secretary of State in accordance with paragraph 401 of the Immigration Rules;
  3. is not admissible to their country of former habitual residence or any other country; and
  4. has obtained and submitted all reasonably available evidence to enable the Secretary of State to determine whether they are stateless.

Registering Your Stateless Child As British Citizen

The Paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 of the British Nationality Act 1981 provides that:

"3(1)A person born in the United Kingdom or a [F7British overseas territory] after commencement shall be entitled, on an application for his registration under this paragraph, to be so registered if the following requirements are satisfied in his case, namely—
(a)that he is and always has been stateless; and
(b)that on the date of the application he F8. . . was under the age of twenty-two; and
(c)that he was in the United Kingdom or a [F7British overseas territory](no matter which) at the beginning of the period of five years ending with that date and that (subject to paragraph 6) the number of days on which he was absent from both the United Kingdom and the [F9British overseas territories] in that period does not exceed 450."

In the light of the above, a stateless child can apply for registration as British Citizen if the following requirements are duly satisfied:

  • The relevant stateless child was born in the UK;
  • The relevant child is and has always been stateless;
  • The relevant child must be under the age of 22 at the date of application;
  • The relevant child must be in the UK at the beginning of the period of 5 years preceding the date of the application;
  • The relevant child was not absent from the UK for more than 450 days in last 5 years preceding the date of application.

This is a complex area of law and our immigration solicitors will be happy to discuss your case with you before undertaking any work or making an application.  Our immigration solicitors will take detailed instructions from you and advise you about the relevant and up to date case laws and procedures prior to submitting your application.