Form NR Guidance in 2019 [What you NEED to know]

What is Form NR used for in 2019?

Form NR is one of the less well known immigration forms and is used if you have applied for and been refused naturalisation or registration as a British citizen (British citizenship).

By filling in the form and sending it to the Home Office, you are given an opportunity to have your refusal of citizenship reconsidered by the Home Office.

This is if you believe the Home Office’s decision to refuse was not soundly based on law, policy or procedure.

A legal right of appeal for citizenship applications does not exist; you are simply asking the Home Office to reconsider their decision if you object to the reason for refusal.

When would Form NR usually be approved?

If you make an application for reconsideration, these will only be reopened where:

  • The Home Office has made a mistake in regards to using the accurate requirements to decide the application;
  • The Home Office refused the application due to a lack of response to information they requested, but a response had been received but not connected with the application;
  • The Home Office refused your application without giving adequate opportunity for a reply or resolution of queries made;
  • The Home Office rejected the application on good character grounds because of a crime for which you were convicted, which was either later quashed on appeal or you were mistaken as the perpetrator;
  • The Home Office did not take in to consideration pertinent documents or facts they were privy to, or
  • Other reasons – the above listed reasons are not all encompassing.

When would Form NR usually be refused?

A citizenship application will not be reconsidered if it was rejected because of a lack of response to information requested, or failure to arrange a citizen ceremony.

Even if this is due to the mistake of your legal representative.

However, if there are exceptionally compelling circumstances (such as an unforeseen absence or illness), the Home Office may decide to reconsider.

The Home Office will not reconsider on grounds of:

  • Failure to meet statutory requirements of long residence,
  • Benefits of having a British passport for professional or other reasons, if the requirements aren’t met,
  • Cultural grounds or grounds in relation to ancestry, or
  • Previous service in the army.

Do I need an Immigration Advisor to submit a Form NR Application?

Not necessarily, however it is highly recommended.  This is because nationality law is extremely complicated.

The Home Office does provide information on the government website, and strives to describe the rules for citizenship in a straightforward manner.

But, if your situation is uncommon (for instance, it is out with the reach of the law/Home Office’s policy on discretion) it is particularly important you seek an immigration professional to assist you. This could be either an immigration solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulations Authority (SRA) or an immigration advisor regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

What should I do before considering submitting the FormNR application form?

You should seriously consider whether you meet the requirements for citizenship by checking the guidance on your particular type of application, before submitting Form NR.

This is because you do not want it to be a fruitless exercise where you can end up losing your fee.

What is the Form NR Fee in 2019?

The fee is listed on the Home Office government website and is £372.

What are Form NR Processing Time in 2019?

Unfortunately, the Home Office does not provide a timeline for reconsidering applications for citizenship. They can take as long as they need to.

Based on our professional experiences, this can vary widely between 3 weeks to 7 months.

How do the Home Office decide British Citizenship Registration Applications?

The Home Office simply check that applicants’ circumstances meet the rules for registration.

There is no discretion involved, so if applicants’ fail to meet the requirements then their applications are rejected.

The Home Office check all evidence submitted for forgeries or fraudulent documents.

If a false document has been provided the application will be rejected and a criminal prosecution may result.

There must be no uncertainty that a legal entitlement exists in regards to documents. When the entitlement relies on the applicant proving he is not a dual citizen, persuasive evidence that another nationality is not also held must be provided. Guidance can be found on this on the government website.

How do the Home Office decide British Naturalisation Applications?

The Home Office can only make a decision on an application once their investigations have been completed.

Investigations are carried out on the evidence provided to make certain that the statutory requirements are abided by.

The nature of the evidence and the amount provided can differ from case to case, resulting in varying times to decide each application.

Once all investigations and checks have been made, all applications are decided in line with the following questions:

  1. Does the applicant meet the statutory requirements in the British Nationality Acts 1981? If not
  2. Does an allowable discretion to not apply the requirement or to alter the scope of the requirement exist? If so….
    -Does the applicant meet the requirements of the additional criteria set out in the Home Office’s policy on the exercise of discretion? If not…
    -Do the applicant’s circumstances meet those of someone the Home Office has previously granted citizenship to outside of the policy? If not…
    -Are the applicant’s circumstances sufficiently compelling and unlike others that have been refused to justify a reconsideration and create a further example?

The deliberations below will be applied to the above questions:

  1. The statutory requirements are legal requirements.

Caseworkers must take them in to consideration when making decisions on applications.  They can be found in numerous guides that accompany the application forms.

2. Discretions cannot be allowed to apply to all of the requirements.

They are only allowable to certain ones. The remaining requirements must be met in full. These are called ‘unwaivable’ requirements. If discretions cannot be exercised in relation to an unmet requirement, then the application must be refused.

3. Where discretion can be applied, it must be done in a consistent and logical fashion.

The Home Office has set an agreed policy on the exercise of their discretion that covers most scenarios. Discretions should not be exercised simply because they are allowed unless they meet the additional requirements for the exercise of discretion.

How do I submit the Form NR Application form?

A Form NR application can be found online here. After reading the guidance, you must complete Section 5 and Section 6 and then send the completed form and correct fee to:

Department 73
UK Visas and Immigration
The Capital Building
New Hall Place
L3 9PP

What should I write in the Form NR Covering Letter?

Firstly, you should analyse the refusal letter.

It will tell you why your application was refused.

In your covering letter, you must address the grounds on which your application was refused.

Scenario #1

Your application was refused because you had not submitted information requested by the Home Office and you think this had been provided by the due date.

Action: Provide evidence of when you sent the information.

Scenario #2

You think that the decision was made too soon resulting in you being unable to supply all the pertinent documents.

Action: Explain what you did to contact the Home Office to allow you adequate time.

Scenario #3

You think that the decision to refuse was legally incorrect.

Action: Explain which requirements were met and wrongly refused. You should refer to the guide which comes with your application form and the Home Office casework instructions.

You should be as brief as possible, containing only relevant information.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to show that they meet the requirements or additional criteria allowing discretion, or that there are exceptionally compelling circumstances.

It is not the responsibility of the Home Office to prove that applicants’ do not meet the requirements. If the Home Office does not think the requirements have been met, then the caseworker is restricted by the law and must refuse the application.

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