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Dual nationality: a legal view

June 08, 2012

ACCORDING to the Constitution of Pakistan, members of parliament are not allowed to keep dual nationality. Rehman Malik is a dual national. The Supreme Court has asked him to produce declaration of renunciation.

Declaration of renunciation is for a person who wants to give up British citizenship.

Form RN is required to be filled in and £229 fee is payable to the home office.

The form RN consists of three pages: the first two pages are for office record and the third page is the applicant’s copy. The third page is stamped, signed and returned to the applicant as a formal evidence of renunciation.

In Rehman Malik’s case, he is required to produce the third page (the applicant’s copy) stamped and signed by the home office as an evidence of renunciation.

The British Nationality Act 1981, section 12, deals with renunciation of nationality.

According to this section, if any British citizen of full age and capacity makes in the prescribed manner a declaration of renunciation of British citizenship, then, subject to subsections (3) and (4), the secretary of state will cause the declaration to be registered.

On the registration of a declaration made in pursuance of this section the person who made it will cease to be a British citizen.

A declaration made by a person in pursuance of this section shall not be registered unless the secretary of state is satisfied that the person who made it will, after the registration, have or acquire some citizenship or nationality other than British citizenship; and if that person does not have any such citizenship or nationality on the date of registration and does not acquire some such citizenship or nationality within six months from that date, he will be deemed to have remained a British citizen notwithstanding the registration.

In Rehman Malik’s case the secretary of the state will be satisfied as Malik has Pakistani nationality.

A very important question is whether Rehman Malik resumes British nationality. The answer is yes; the home secretary may allow resuming British citizenship after renunciation.

If Rehman Malik decides to resume British nationality again, he needs to produce the declaration of renunciation he is supposed to produce in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and prove that he has enough ties with the UK.

AMER MANZOOR Solicitor, the Higher Courts of England and Wales London