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You can apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person if you’re not recognised as a citizen of any country.

To be eligible to apply, you must also be:

  • in the UK
  • unable to return to another country as a result of being stateless

If you can’t return to another country because you fear persecution there, you should claim asylum first.

If you’ve already claimed asylum or have an outstanding human rights claim, you must wait until you have a decision. You can apply to stay as a stateless person if it’s refused.

Article 1(1) of the 1954 Convention sets out the definition of a stateless person:

‘For the purpose of this Convention, the term ‘stateless person’ means a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law.’

An individual is a stateless person from the moment that the conditions in Article 1(1) of the 1954 Convention are met. This means that any finding by a State, or UNHCR, that an individual satisfies the test in Article 1(1) is a declaratory act, akin to recognition as a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention. The definition is reflected in paragraph 401(a) of the Immigration Rules.

Statelessness occurs for a variety of reasons, including discrimination against minority groups in nationality legislation, failure to include all residents in the body of citizens when a state becomes independent (state succession) and conflicting laws between states.

In some countries, citizenship can be lost automatically after prolonged residence in another country. The absence of proof of birth, origins or legal identity in a number of countries can also increase the risk of statelessness.

Possession of nationality is considered essential for full participation in society and a prerequisite for the enjoyment of the full range of human rights. Stateless people are not necessarily at risk of persecution or serious harm but they are potentially vulnerable to serious discrimination.

They may, for example, be denied the right to own land or exercise the right to vote. They are often unable to obtain identity documents. They can be denied access to education and health services or blocked from obtaining employment.

In 1954, the United Nations adopted the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, which the UK ratified in April 1959. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has a mandate to work with governments to prevent and reduce statelessness and to identify and protect stateless persons.

 In April 2013, the UK incorporated a new procedure under the Immigration Rules to enable stateless persons to be formally determined as stateless, and to be granted leave to remain where they had no other right to remain under the Rules but could not be removed to the country of former habitual residence.

Applications for leave on the basis of statelessness will not be accepted for consideration until any asylum claim has been finally determined or withdrawn, including the consideration of any further submissions. Similarly, applications for leave to remain as a stateless person will not be accepted if they amount to the submission of further evidence relating to protection needs.

Need a legal advice?

UK immigration law is extremely complex and constantly changes. The UKVI has strict criteria relating to different types of visa. Therefore, it is essential you get the right legal advice from an expert UK immigration lawyer to make sure your application is successful, first time. We will guide you through every step of the process, putting you in the best place possible to get a good result.

Why choose Blackstone Law Associates?

Competitive Fixed Pricing

We offer a fixed price service, this means the price you are quoted does not change; We work on fixed fees basis unlike other firms who charge you for each and every call and letter.

Dedicated Lawyer with Direct Access

You will have direct access to our qualified lawyers, with in-depth knowledge of UK Immigration law. Upon instructing us you will be allocated an experienced lawyer who will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case.

Expert Advice

Immigration laws in the UK change frequently. Our team of lawyers are trained and are kept up to date on all the latest developments. We have a combined wealth of knowledge and experience. Our expert immigration lawyers can provide advice and the best possible option available for you.

Highest Success Rate

We are proud to claim that through our wealth of knowledge and experience we are able achieve the results that are needed. Our expert Lawyers put their full efforts in your case as we strongly believe in getting for you what you want.

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