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Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen. Naturalisation

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noajthan
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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Fri May 01, 2015 12:14 pm

gemgirl23 wrote:
noajthan wrote:
gemgirl23 wrote:Salamat!
& good luck with the embassy trip tomorrow.
Spent most of yesterday at the Philippine embassy in London.

We seemed to confuse them by asking for a 'certificate of cancellation' for my wife's passport;
"You are no longer a citizen" (of Philippines) & "Your [PH] passport is no longer valid" was the response.

This is, of course. what we've been telling HM PO all along (for the past 2 months); it's unfortunate & frustrating the UK officials just haven't accepted it.

The Philippine embassy officials appeared unaware of any new UK policy on identity:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crac ... -detection

There did not seem to be an official form for requesting a cancellation of passport.

Anyway, after several rounds of discussion between various officials (& a trip to a post office & Rymans), we paid £18-- for a certificate to be issued.

Documents filed at the embassy were:
  • Philippine passport;
    copy of data page of passport;
    copy of UK naturalisation certificate (emailed to them later in day; sight of original was requested but that is still held by HM PO);
    copy of report of marriage (not sure why);
    copy of marriage certificate (not sure why);
    a self-addressed Post Office special delivery envelope for return of documents & papers;
    fee: £18-- (cash);
The certificate will be processed in "one working day".
However. due to a national holiday in Philippines today (recognised by the embassy) & the May bank holiday, am not expecting anything back until end of next week.
That seems a bit odd that they are confused/unaware of a process to cancel a Phil passport? I remember reading a few posts back that they had a few of the same requests & they are the one that sugested they can issue your wife a cancellation certificate instead. & what is with presenting the marriage certificate? I don't see the relevance of this with cancelling a passport. Anyway, I never been a big fan of any Philippines Government Offices, I'm a proud of my country but not of the Govnt. Anyway that's a topic for another forum.

I suppose it goes in my favour that I don't have a current Ph passport, all previous ones have expired, one is even lost. All that HMPO asked from me is a written statement confirming that my last passport was lost, & a few days later got the interview letter.

So, it seems it's better not having any current foreign passport at all rather than having one in a different name.
Yes it was a stressful and confusing day.
I don't know who it was at the embassy that I spoke to by phone a week or 2 ago - they are the one who gave the initial advice about going in to arrange the cancellation.

Yesterday we spoke to 2 or 3 of the desk officials and also 2 (more senior?) back office officials.
One woman had the most idea on what to do - unfortunately after we returned from the post office (with the necessary envelope & photocopies) she had gone off duty. So we had to start all over again, including having the officials find the passport we had handed in only an hour or so earlier.
So, it seems it's better not having any current foreign passport at all rather than having one in a different name
Agreed, the fact you don't hold a current passport in another name has definitely helped you move forwards with HM PO. Otherwise you'd probably be in same position that we are.

Ironically, the one thing everyone at the embassy yesterday did agree on & confirm is that my wife is no longer a Philippine citizen anymore; that citizenship was lost on the day she was naturalised in the UK.
And her Philippine passport is already not valid either, also from that date, (even before being snipped or punched).

Hopefully whatever certificate we do receive will be enough to convince HM PO this time.
Last edited by noajthan on Fri May 01, 2015 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by ouflak1 » Fri May 01, 2015 12:20 pm

noajthan wrote: The Philippine embassy officials appeared unaware of any new UK policy on identity:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crac ... -detection
This doesn't surprise me. It's not really any of the Phillipine's business what UK passport policy is like. And I rather doubt the policy was specifically aimed at them.

Good luck with the certificate/letter/affirmation/whatever it is you get. I hope it's enough to allow you have the same right as other UK citizens enjoy; to travel outside of the UK as husband and wife using a UK passport.

Maryam1985
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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by Maryam1985 » Fri May 01, 2015 1:14 pm

Hello,

I also am going through the same issue with HM Passport. My Naturalization Certificate is under my married surname while my iranian passport is under my Maiden name. I was just wondering if anyone has managed to convince Passport office that what we are requesting is completely legal and we are not making false claim?

I have been calling both HMPO and Home office, answers I have been given:

HMPO: It is their policy as of today and they cannot make any comment on the fact that how other people (my own friend, similar situation , 2 weeks a go) have previously managed o get it. They went to the extent that they said she might not have sent her Iranian passport! somehow they forgot it is one of the documents needed to be sent! so she has sent it.
hey also advised if I can relinquish my nationality, I honestly do not see why I should be doing so, I have the right to keep both nationalities as long as both countries accept dual citizenship. They suggested to change my Iranian passport to my married name, I explained to them that this is not possible, specially with the concept of changing a surname to a foreign one! I asked the Iranian embassy if they can issue a letter saying that, they said this is not within their scope of work and they ar enot allowed to issue anything like that.

Then HMPO advised to re apply with my maiden name, but they do not accept the naturalization certificate because it is under my married surname. So I contacted HO:
HO: How can this be even possible that they do not accept the surname written on the Naturalisation Certificate? This is a unique case! when I explained it is really not unique and others are going through, the guy said they must have a policy which they have not shared it with us. He said in principle Naturalisation Certificate cannot be changed or amended! He said he will get someone from back office to call me to advise!

So, I am really stuck here, don't know which way I should be going forward. Has anyone managed to get to the bottom of this issue?

noajthan
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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Fri May 01, 2015 1:59 pm

Maryam1985 wrote:Hello,

I also am going through the same issue with HM Passport. My Naturalization Certificate is under my married surname while my Iranian passport is under my Maiden name. I was just wondering if anyone has managed to convince Passport office that what we are requesting is completely legal and we are not making false claim?

I have been calling both HMPO and Home office, answers I have been given:

HMPO: It is their policy as of today and they cannot make any comment on the fact that how other people (my own friend, similar situation, 2 weeks ago) have previously managed to get it. They went to the extent that they said she might not have sent her Iranian passport! somehow they forgot it is one of the documents needed to be sent! so she has sent it.
they also advised if I can relinquish my nationality, I honestly do not see why I should be doing so, I have the right to keep both nationalities as long as both countries accept dual citizenship. They suggested to change my Iranian passport to my married name, I explained to them that this is not possible, specially with the concept of changing a surname to a foreign one! I asked the Iranian embassy if they can issue a letter saying that, they said this is not within their scope of work and they are not allowed to issue anything like that.

Then HMPO advised to re apply with my maiden name, but they do not accept the naturalization certificate because it is under my married surname. So I contacted HO:

HO: How can this be even possible that they do not accept the surname written on the Naturalisation Certificate? This is a unique case! when I explained it is really not unique and others are going through, the guy said they must have a policy which they have not shared it with us. He said in principle Naturalisation Certificate cannot be changed or amended! He said he will get someone from back office to call me to advise!

So, I am really stuck here, don't know which way I should be going forward. Has anyone managed to get to the bottom of this issue?
Maryam1985,
sorry to hear this has caught you too.
This has come about due to a recent & poorly-publicised guidance (or policy) on identities that is apparently intended to crackdown on criminals, terrorists etc.

New policy
HM PO launched this in February 2015 & have caught normal law-abiding people out with it since the beginning of the year; (specifically married ladies who have been naturalised in UK in their married name but whose previous docs, passports, visas etc are in their maiden name).

Lack of guidance
At the moment even the HM PO guidance notes don't mention this policy & the Post Office NCS are also unaware.
So, without clear & up to date guidance, people are applying & sending in their naturalisation certificate (in married name) and current foreign passport (in maiden name) & then getting stuck in a horrible catch-22.

Due to the lack of publicity & without advance warning people are not fully-informed; so, in a sense, some are getting naturalised as a UK citizen in their 'wrong' name.

My wife is Filipino, we think we can cancel her Philippine passport so that the 'second identity' problem will go away & unblock the release of a British passport.
Others, (including from Russia, India, yourself from Iran), are from countries who do not permit such changes to documents &/or to names and so they are caught with no clear resolution.

HM PO position
As you have found, so far in these cases HM PO simply say revoke your other citizenship (or your other passport), or else change all such documents to a married name. The trouble is some countries cannot or will not do this.

Unintended consequences - flawed & discriminatory policy
In my view, this new policy goes against centuries of English common law on use of names;
as you have noted, it seems to contradict UK naturalisation policy managed by the Home Office;
it contradicts other published UK policies (available on gov UK website) on dual citizenship & use of maiden names;
it seems to contravene various European & human rights too - including the right as EU citizens to free movement, to family life, and to non-interference in private life;
it's discriminatory on grounds of gender & marital status as it puts (some) married women at a disadvantage - unless the government can justify this it is surely illegal;
a stated aim of the new policy is not to impact law-abiding people making legitimate name changes - but it is doing just that :!:

It's clearly not been thought through & is also incompatible with a whole lot of other countries policies :!:
Unfortunately we are the guinea pigs or lab rats in this situation.

The usual grounds for refusal of a British passport seem to relate to criminals & terroists, not respectable married ladies:
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -passports

What can be done :?:

The declaration on the passport application form is quite clear about submitting complete information & all necessary supporting documents.
Hiding other current passports is not an option.
Losing passports is a grey area.

Use of maiden name

HM PO did present my wife with the option of re-applying for a passport in her maiden name if she committed to using it "for all purposes" (even though she was naturalised in her married name).
Alternatively you may choose to have your name on your British passport as <maiden name>. To do this we will require a new application form in the name of <maiden name>, evidence of the change of name to <maiden name>, and documents to confirm you are now using the name <maiden name> for all purposes, such as a current letter from your employer or government department.
That option seems to be a possible way ahead in your case too (as you can't make changes via your other citizenship).
Suggest following up on this with HM PO.

You should be able to go back to your maiden name as you will have a marriage certificate to show the link from the name on your naturalisation certificate back to your maiden name.
There's even guidance on gov UK website about reverting to a maiden name:
https://www.gov.uk/changing-passport-in ... aiden-name
(obviously the decree absolute doesn't apply here)

Otherwise suggest finding out if HM PO would really insist on needing a Deed Poll document to support reverting back to a maiden name.

All I can suggest is get everything from HM PO in writing. All their decisions have to be necessary & proportionate as the UK gov website says:
A decision to refuse or withdraw a passport must be necessary and proportionate. The decision to withdraw or refuse a passport and the reason for that decision will be conveyed to the applicant or passport holder.
Make the point you have been caught by the recent policy change. This includes the lack of up to date guidance in the passport guide notes & on the passport website; (also a lack of awareness & guidance from NCS, if you used them).

Further help
There is ofcourse the 4-stage official complaints procedure that is outlined in the passport guide.

Enlist further help, for example, from local CAB, a local law centre or an immigration lawyer.

I've also posted several links to various other possible sources of help earlier in this thread;
(including various campaign groups, migrants groups, womens groups, even some government agencies, and the media).
For example, EASS: https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/app/home

The ministers who brought in these policies (Home Secretary T May & minister J Brokenshire)
(https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crac ... -detection)
should get to hear about their impact. Maybe MPs or MEPs can help here too.

Right of Abode
As a last resort and instead of a British passport, it's possible to apply to have a Right Of Abode sticker put in a foreign passport. It proves the right of a UK citizen (who is also a dual citizen) to live in UK. But it's not ideal and it doesn't convey the benefits of holding a British passport.

Don't give up & very best of luck.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Sat May 02, 2015 4:53 pm

A British passport is said to be a privilege not a right.
British passports are issued by the powers of Royal Prerogative (via the Home Secretary) and this is not governed by statute law.
(It is a form of government by fiat or order).

See
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... gative.pdf
&
see also details of passports removed or refused using the Royal Prerogative from April 2013 to October 2014:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... tober-2014

This power can still be subject to judicial review as determined by a landmark case in 1989, Regina -v- Foreign Secretary ex parte Everett:
http://swarb.co.uk/regina-v-foreign-sec ... tt-ca-1989
...the grant or refusal of a passport is in a quite different category. It is a matter of administrative decision affecting the right of individuals and their freedom of travel
As explained here all UK citizens have a separate and common law right to travel freely:
http://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2014/10/ ... lex-issues
...a common law right or freedom that is also embodied in Article 12(4) of the ICCPR, which states: “Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own
Takeaway:
The UK courts do hold the right to review the granting of passports to, and the withholding of passports from, British citizens.
There is the possibility to have this recent HM PO identity policy or guidance subjected to judicial review.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

noajthan
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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Sat May 02, 2015 5:39 pm

About the HM PO February 2015 Change of name guidance
Ref: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... -_v1_0.pdf
Foreign nationals who apply to become British citizens may be registered or naturalised in their married name. However, if a new citizen wants a British passport in their married name they must change the name on their other passport(s), travel documents and national identity card(s) to reflect their married name before submitting their application. Exceptions to this approach are set out in paragraphs 18 to 28 below
Note
A Home Office document which is a record of an event, such as a birth certificate or a naturalisation certificate, cannot normally be amended unless there are exceptional circumstances
Recognised multiple names
26.
British citizens who hold warranted titles or are known more commonly by their stage or professional name may use both names. An observation may be included in their passport
So para 26 clearly states an exception if it can be proven that both names are in use.
It needs to be established if this can apply to one or other of a married & a maiden name being used in a professional context.

Adoption, Birth and Naturalisation certificates
28.
These documents are records of events and changes to these records are not covered by this policy
Para 28 seems to mean that a naturalisation certification captures someone's name at a point in time, (on the day of the oath-taking ceremony).
It doesn't mean a person's name can never be changed after naturalisation; for example by changing it by deed poll.
And if a name is changed at a later date the naturalisation certificate will then be different because it records an event &, as per the note (above), such a certificate can never normally be changed.

This seems to mean even this new policy would allow someone to apply for a passport in their maiden name even if they were naturalised in their married name.

It may be that a Deed Poll would (unusually) have to be obtained to revert to the maiden name, rather than the usual step of simply presenting a marriage certificate to show the link between the 2 names.

It may mean that an original passport application made in the married name would have to be sacrificed;
meaning more stress & hassle, further delay, more cost, more inconvenience (a new application form & another visit to the counter-signatory), etc.

However it seems it could be a way forwards for those married ladies recently naturalised as a UK citizen using their married name who are currently trapped by the new UK policy;
i.e. if their dual country does not or will not allow cancellation or change of an original passport held in the maiden name (or the country prohibits revoking of original citizenship or the dual citizen does not wish to give up their original citizenship).

Note, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, it just represents my researches and my attempt at logical reasoning to solve this catch-22 scenario.
So further advice should be taken before acting.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Mon May 04, 2015 9:58 am

Just discovered this useful service...

How to write to your politicians, national or local, for free.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by MariaD » Wed May 06, 2015 5:04 pm

Maryam1985

Your story exactly the same as mine and the same information HMPO and HOW were given me. I wonder which passport office dealing with your application?
Unfortunately I haven't heard about any single case as ours was sorted successful yet. I am trying my best to sort out mine, but nothing changed so far. I sent oficial complaint to Newport office and Southport office (as both addresses appeared at HMPO website), but seems my complained end up in the exactly same Liverpool office which handle my application. So probably won't work.
Right after election I am going to visit my MP, next stage will be immigration solicitor. I am trying to negotiate with Passport Office for my application to be changed from my married name to my maiden name, like noah than has suggested, but HMPO don't want to do it either.
It's would be good if we are all will raise this issue with our MP's asking them to speak for us in Parlament. Then maybe the rules will be changed eventually, as they are ridiculous and discriminative. And yes, other people still receiving their British passport on their married name while their home passport on their maiden name, it's happen right now and of course they send their home passports.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by MariaD » Wed May 06, 2015 7:28 pm

Funny what I find about Passport Office who deal with my application

https://www.facebook.com/liverpassporto ... ts_to_page

Antsmall
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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by Antsmall » Thu May 07, 2015 11:06 pm

I spoke to the lawyers but it wasn't particularly encouraging.

Apparently the passport people are as robotic and irrational and inconsistent in their dealings with them as they are with us. Furthermore, they have, say the lawyers, become even more so in the past year or so. They can theoretically be taken to task in various ways, but they often ignore this, not because it's officially allowed, but because they know they can get away with it.

They say that if contesting a passport refusal doesn't work, one can proceed to 'judicial review' which can cost from 500 to 2000 pounds or thereabouts, the idea being that the unsuccessful claimant will have to pay the passport robots' legal fees as well as their own!

After that, the claimant can proceed to a hearing stage, which however is prohibitively expensive because it involves a varied cast of barristers and whatnot, and their fees can spiral out of control; so hardly anyone goes that far.

The crux of the matter, in a sense, is what we've said many times: a passport is a concession rather than a right. So any argument about our having the *right* to name ourselves as we like is outside the realm of the discretion where the passport rules live. Our right to choose our names can be respected by the citizenship authorities without that having to translate into a right for that name, which we have and which is acknowledged, to then be written on a passport, a document to which we have no right.

Now, the lawyers told me that in a challenge to the passport people's new silly name rule, the challenger would have to prove to a judge that the rule itself was irrational or its application was inconsistent with its own rationale. The passport people could therefore claim all sorts of rationales for their new rule and then assert that their behaviour was compatible with those rationales. The lawyers understood, I hope, my point about 'security concerns', which appear to be the 'rationale' behind the asinine regulation, being undermined with staggering facility by means of a note in the British passport stating 'holder is named as [maiden name] on their passport from Nation X', but thought that such an observation might not be perceived by a judge as a reason to strike down the rule, though it might persuade the relevant arbiter to grant an exception.

Basically my stance is precisely one of 'rationale': I accept that in some cases there may need to be a rule which protects against covert name changes for criminal purposes, but what I am requesting is not that the name discrepancy rule be abolished in all forms and all circumstances, but merely that a discretionary mechanism be introduced whereby *overt* *non-criminal* name changes can be granted, maybe subject to, as I said, the proviso that the British passport explicitly state the name held on another passport, specifying the nationality of that passport. That would remove any secrecy. If I were to want to engage in criminal activity under my 'secret' identity - my maiden name, which incidentally is recorded on my birth certificate and other documents known to the citizenship and passport people - then I would have difficulties doing so if my British passport constantly brought the existence of this other identity to the attention of anyone who cared to look at it, especially if my foreign passport does openly declare my married name on the observation page! If the 'rationale' is one of security, then actions which completely declaw any security concerns remove the raison d'etre of the passport refusal, in my opinion, which I think is founded quite sturdily in reason.

Now, noajthan, you say that the passport people said that if your wife's country cannot change her name on her passport, you could still obtain her married name on her British passport by providing a statement from the relevant authorities of that nation stating that they will not add her married name to her passport. I would like to try and see if this route works, as well as the strategy of providing evidence that I've officially asked my non-British country to add my married name to my passport. The passport people are inconsistent in their claims, with different bots making different statements, as the lawyers have told me; so the bot I get might completely deny this option. Would there be any possibility of my obtaining evidence from you - if it comes to that - that you have been told this by the passport people, so that they can't deny me an option which was offered you? That might be a life-saver.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Sat May 09, 2015 10:36 am

Antsmall wrote:I spoke to the lawyers but it wasn't particularly encouraging.

...

Now, noajthan, you say that the passport people said that if your wife's country cannot change her name on her passport, you could still obtain her married name on her British passport by providing a statement from the relevant authorities of that nation stating that they will not add her married name to her passport. I would like to try and see if this route works, as well as the strategy of providing evidence that I've officially asked my non-British country to add my married name to my passport. The passport people are inconsistent in their claims, with different bots making different statements, as the lawyers have told me; so the bot I get might completely deny this option. Would there be any possibility of my obtaining evidence from you - if it comes to that - that you have been told this by the passport people, so that they can't deny me an option which was offered you? That might be a life-saver.
Antsmall,
confirmation of the legal and bureaucratic nightmare we all find ourselves in, but a helpful summary nevertheless.

Just to clarify, in our dealings the HM PO didn't explicitly say:
... you could still obtain her married name on her British passport by providing a statement from the relevant authorities of that nation stating that they will not add her married name to her passport
From the (only) letter we have received from HM PO:
If the authorities are unable to amend your name so that it is the same as on your Naturalization certificate, or if the ... authorities state that you are no longer entitled to hold a <foreign> passport, we will require written confirmation of this from the <foreign> authorities.
>> Note it doesn't clearly state any next options in this scenario, just that they would need a declaration.

& this option was offered to us:

Use of maiden name
Alternatively you may choose to have your name on your British passport as <maiden name>. To do this we will require a new application form in the name of <maiden name>, evidence of the change of name to <maiden name>, and documents to confirm you are now using the name <maiden name> for all purposes, such as a current letter from your employer or government department.
The other possibilities I can see are based on the exceptions mentioned in the new Change of Name Guidance (PDF):
It is not intended to make it more difficult for the majority of people who change their names for obvious reasons, such as marriage.
11. Foreign nationals who apply to become British citizens may be registered or naturalised in their married name. However, if a new citizen wants a British passport in their married name they must change the name on their other passport(s), travel documents and national identity card(s) to reflect their married name before submitting their application. Exceptions to this approach are set out in paragraphs 18 to 28 below
- the relevant clauses seem to be 26 & 28:
26. British citizens who hold warranted titles or are known more commonly by their stage or professional name may use both names. An observation may be included in their passport.
>> As per this new policy, #26 is surely confirming a request can be made to have a British passport with an official observation added (if the certain conditions can be demonstrated).

For a woman, it doesn't state which name can be (or has to be) the 'professional' one (maiden or married);
it doesn't explicitly bar either of them being used either way round.

So - possibility 1: official observation
Maybe this is the exception that can be made (/should be made) if a declaration from the dual country can be obtained about the impossibility or impracticality of changing names/documents in that other country.

Maybe this is the way to have a British passport in married name (with appropriate observation about maiden name) even if a current foreign passport cannot be changed to match.

This is the kind of discretionary option you talked about Antsmall, and here is the HO policy that will permit the HM PO officials to do it.

Having imposed the policy on us all they just have to use it fully & fairly, including the exceptions, so that all decisions are proportionate & don't interfere with the silent majority of regular citizens. :!:
Adoption, Birth and Naturalisation certificates
28. These documents are records of events and changes to these records are not covered by this policy
It seems clear a naturalisation certificate records a person's status at a point in time; it is not to be kept updated even if a name changes at a later date (same as for a birth certificate).

Possibility 2 - back to maiden name
Note #28 is why I believe even if naturalised in a married name (and caught out by this poorly-publicised new policy), it should, as per this policy, be possible to have a British passport issued in a maiden name, (if that matches the current foreign passport).

This also chimes with the offer suggested in the HM PO letter I quoted above.

Hope it helps.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by ouflak1 » Sat May 09, 2015 5:42 pm

Various posters wrote:A passport is a priviledge, not a right
Universal Declaration of Human Rights wrote:Article 13, Section 2 - Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
I just don't agree that a passport is a 'priviledge' in this case, and not a right. The UK is now implementing passport exit checks at all major ports. How can anyone travel outside of the UK without a valid passport of some kind? What country will allow someone to enter their country without a valid passport or equivalent travel documentation? The United Kingdom is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If they chose not to honor that agreement, so be it. But I don't see how the Passport Office will win a case and have the person bringing the case pay for their legal fees when the UK has specifically signed an international agreement saying that they will not do exactly the sort of thing they are doing! Sure I can see the women losing the case if the UK decides to abbrogate or flat out leave the treaty, effectively denying an entire class of women the right ever travel outside of the country again. But paying for the UK's legal fees as well? Maybe a legal expert can chime in and explain how that is possible? The women caught up in this crazy scenario cannot qualify for stateless travel documentation, cannot get valid documentation from their countries of birth, and cannot even get valid travel from their own home country (the United Kingdom). This is in direct violation of this treaty unless someone can explain to me how it is not.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by Antsmall » Sat May 09, 2015 6:34 pm

Noajthan: I personally extremely strongly don't want to go by only my maiden name. As a child of a broken home, I've always dreamt of creating my own family, having been denied a family all my life. Now that I finally found a husband (well, nine years ago actually) I am being told that I have to be 'Miss' and the odd one out, with a different name from the rest of my family (even if I were to produce offspring they would have his name and I would be singled out) and that would be deeply painful. One of my main reasons for wanting my father's British nationality, after marriage that is, was to gain my husband's name and finally be part of something; instead for the past nine years of otherwise happy marriage I've been forced by my other country, the only one of which I currently hold citizenship, to have only my maiden name on my passport because of that country's misguided policy of 'emancipating' people by denying them the right to choose their own identity (because my choice is viewed as 'patriarchal', they should choose instead of me: I don't see how this is 'empowering' other than in the way of making all women cut off their hair and wear trousers because long hair and skirts were the norm in the dark days of gender apartheid and are therefore automatically 'patriarchal'). So no, that's not an option for me, personally. I fought all these years to change the British nationality law to include me, and now that I've managed, what, am I supposed to change the naming laws of another country before I'm simply allowed to be part of a family?

This is, incidentally, even more painful because in my husband's country, husband and wife are legally required to have the same name. Therefore every time we travel there, which obviously we do frequently, I am declaring to every official who sees my passport that I am not this man's wife, and I'm sure they're thinking 'of course he didn't marry that ugly gaijin'. It is deeply humiliating. I am being forced to broadcast an identity which I don't feel is mine while abjuring the one that I've always chosen.

Anyway. A bit off-topic, but this is the unnecessary result of bureaucrats' procrustean impositions on innocent crime-free people - treating them as criminals *in case* they want to commit crimes. It is my contention that this goes against the presumption of innocence, but I'm not a lawyer. The lawyer I spoke to pronounced this angle 'interesting', but added that vast monetary resources would be necessary to explore it fully.

ouflak1: it is my understanding that the UDHR is not legally binding. I'm sure there are better sources than this (I did have to dig them up for my PhD thesis so I'm reasonably sure they exist), but for now:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_ ... man_Rights
"Even though it is not legally binding, the Declaration has been adopted in or has influenced most national constitutions since 1948. It has also served as the foundation for a growing number of national laws, international laws, and treaties, as well as for a growing number of regional,sub national, and national institutions protecting and promoting human rights."
Its derivatives, the ICESCR and the ICCPR, are legally binding and we might find something there that fits. The stuff which MariaD (if I remember rightly - having trouble scrolling down past pages while writing) found a few posts ago might be useful:
http://www.humanrights.is/en/human-righ ... and-gender
"The Committee is of the view that a person’s surname constitutes an important component of one’s identity and that the protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with one’s privacy includes the protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with the right to choose and change one’s own name".
This has been cited a lot, e.g. on p. 534 of The international covenant on civil and political rights: cases, materials and commentary, third edition, Sarah Joseph and Melissa Castan, OUP, 2013.

I of course find it quite monstrous that a passport should be a privilege and not a right. I find it unjust and quite frankly verging on the totalitarian.
"United Kingdom passports are issued in the UK at the discretion of the Home Secretary and in overseas posts at the discretion of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. They are issued in exercise of the Royal Prerogative, which is an executive power that doesn’t require legislation. There is however, no entitlement to a passport".
"Because passport facilities are granted at the discretion of the Secretary of State exercising the Royal Prerogative, there is no contractual relationship between the IPS and a passport applicant."
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... gative.pdf
Despite the fact that it is archaically draconian, that appears to be their stance, though some weak ways of challenging individual passport decisions have developed over the years.

Of course, the pdf I just posted cites reasons for refusing passports as being really serious ones. However, the new name discrepancy document issued in February 2015 (which was given in an earlier post, but let's have it again because why not:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crac ... -detection
And more specifically https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... e-guidance)
makes it quite clear that they won't issue a passport in one's new name if one can't get that new name on one's foreign passport. That in conjunction with the rather contemptible 'royal prerogative, no right to a passport' idea renders our prospects 'drear', as Rabbie Burns would say (and as a product of the Scottish Enlightenment he would find this whole mechanism despicable).

So it seems that either the HMPO's request, as per noajthan's letter, for written confirmation implies that then they will issue the passport in the desired name (which it may not), or evidence, as per MariaD's experience if I remember correctly, that one has *applied* for a change of name with one's foreign passport authorities will be accepted as grounds for issuing the passport in one's desired name, or one is up a river of metabolic effluvia bereft of means of propulsion and must either go for judicial review (which as I say is likely to cost 2000 queenie papers), take it further by means of a heavy-duty legal challenge involving e.g. the UDHR, the presumption of innocence and that verdict re: the ICCPR which I cited above (at the cost of even more wonga which many of us may not have - I know I don't), battle one's non-British country for name change (as I am currently doing, though the quest is almost certainly doomed, hence heroic but ultimately irrelevant), or abandon one's foreign citizenship and provide a magic letter to that effect from one's former homeland - a most horrifying thing to ask someone to do. (Some countries, of course, make it easy to regain that nationality. Just saying).

I do suspect that even if a legal fisticuffs involving the right to choose one's name under international law would be declared as conveying the right to British citizens to change their names - a right which they already have - the passport people will still say 'yes, you have the right to HAVE that name, in some theoretical disembodied way, but not specifically to have it on the identity page of your passport, because we're above the law, and furthermore, nanny nanny boo boo'.

However, the right to control one's name under international law might be useful in obtaining a name change in one's non-British country which refuses to change one's name; again this may involve much bureaucracy and painful disbursement of pecuniary resources of which I am sadly bereft. However, I do intend to use this angle, inter alia, in my challenge to my non-British country's refusal to change my name, which is ongoing.

As you can see, this nestless birdie really, really wants a nest.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by ouflak1 » Sat May 09, 2015 7:04 pm

Antsmall wrote:ouflak1: it is my understanding that the UDHR is not legally binding.
Correct. Hency my statement that if they decide not to follow it, or even leave the agreement altogether, then so be it. That's their choice. Heck even some legally binding treaties aren't worth the paper they're printed on.
Antsmall wrote:I of course find it quite monstrous that a passport should be a privilege and not a right. I find it unjust and quite frankly verging on the totalitarian.
United Kingdom Government wrote:"....There is however, no entitlement to a passport".
"Because passport facilities are granted at the discretion of the Secretary of State exercising the Royal Prerogative, there is no contractual relationship between the IPS and a passport applicant."
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... gative.pdf
Which is fine. I'm not saying a passport is a right in those cases where an alternative for that individual actually exists. Dual citizens can travel on there alternative passports, and get ROA endorsements. Stateless people can, in theory, get travel documentation from any government in the world. If someone gets their passport confiscated because of hooliganism, then they shouldn't have been a hooligan, subsequently foregoing that right to travel. The point is that Surinder Singh route long as there exists a realistic possibility to be able to leave the country, and return to your country of citizenship at its border, then you don't have a right to a passport. But there is no theoretical possibility for women who have married and changed their names with their maiden name in their previous passport from a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship. You cannot get travel documentation from your home because you are no longer a citizen. You cannot get Stateless travel documentation because you are not statelees. By denying such women a passport, they are denying them to the fundamental right to leave their country and return to their home country at its border. Perhaps I wasn't clear about that. Sorry.

Antsmall wrote:... name change legalities...
Interesting. I just don't know enough about that to comment except to say good luck.
Antsmall wrote:As you can see, this nestless birdie really, really wants a nest.
You are not a nestless birdie. You represent an entire class of women who are being denied a fundamental right. If anything, the UK isn't letting you leave the nest. Even if you wanted to!

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by Antsmall » Sat May 09, 2015 7:30 pm

Yes, I had understood the point about everyone having the right to leave their country, including their own. I meant to comment on that but, unladylike as it is, I really needed the loo and had to run! But yes, just as we theoretically have the right to leave the country but the passport office doesn't give us the document which happens to be the only means of doing that (legally), so we theoretically have the right to choose our names, except that the passport office doesn't give us the right to specifically have that name on a particular document. And yes, perhaps the travel thing could be challenged.

Interestingly, even for dual nationals this may be relevant because entering one's own country on the passport of a foreign country is an expatriating act and is illegal, or something along those lines (again I'm not a lawyer). So if I were a dual British-Ruritanian citizen, denial of my British passports on grounds that Ruritania doesn't allow married names would mean that I couldn't enter Britain, a country of which I am a citizen, on my British passport, because I couldn't have one; and by entering Britain on a Ruritanian passport I'd be perpetrating an act which is some kind of illegal. So by denying me a passport, the British passport people would also be denying me the right to enter my own country legally. So even if we grudgingly accept for the sake of argument that we don't have a legal right to a passport, we still retain the legal right to enter our own country, and refusal of a passport, especially on non-criminal grounds ('crime prediction', 'FutureCrime' or whatever scifi name they want to give it) is hindering that legal right. I wonder if that can be challenged. Probably, with enough mula. And I wonder if it would work.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by ouflak1 » Sat May 09, 2015 8:17 pm

Antsmall wrote: And yes, perhaps the travel thing could be challenged.
Even if they deny you the 'travel thing', forever trapping you in this country, I don't see how they could make you, or anyone challenging this restriction, pay their legal fees. Especially as you and everybody else affected by this law had every good reason to expect to be able to travel out of the country based the rather glaring fact that the UK is one of the first signatorees to a treaty specifically granting this right!
Antsmall wrote: Interestingly, even for dual nationals this may be relevant because entering one's own country on the passport of a foreign country is an expatriating act and is illegal,
Not for the United States it isn't. Other countries may have their own specific laws on the matter. The U.S. does require that its citizens have a passport when entering the country at a controlled border. But even then, there is no punitive measure in place. If the citizen can prove their citizenship, they have to be allowed in, no matter where they enter and/or how they prove their citizenship. If a citizen tried to enter on a foreign passport, one swipe of that passport would probably be enough for the truth to come out. So weird questions, for somebody trying to do something kind of weird, and a huge delay as some background checks are done to see if you are trying to hide from the law or something. Nothing more than that. But that's just one country. Each and every country is going to be different.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by Antsmall » Sat May 09, 2015 8:27 pm

Hmm. Well this may be relevant
http://irdial.com/blogdial/?p=195
though it is a bit old.

The thing is, if a British citizen is allowed to leave and/or enter Britain without a British passport, then the link between passport refusal and refusal of the right to leave or enter one's own country no longer subsists, which means that we can't use that argument as grounds for contesting refusal of a British passport.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by ouflak1 » Sat May 09, 2015 9:11 pm

Antsmall wrote:Hmm. Well this may be relevant
http://irdial.com/blogdial/?p=195
though it is a bit old.

The thing is, if a British citizen is allowed to leave and/or enter Britain without a British passport, then the link between passport refusal and refusal of the right to leave or enter one's own country no longer subsists, which means that we can't use that argument as grounds for contesting refusal of a British passport.
But what country is going to allow you into their country without you have any travel documents? The UK Right of Abode certificate is strictly an arrangement between the UK and that individual. No other country recognizes this as anything other than just that. I doubt most countries even have a similar designation document. Sure, with an ROA, you could travel into the UK without a passport. But how would you travel outside of the UK in the first place to even get to use that ROA? You need atleast some kind of travel document; a passport, stateless papers, a residency ID for that country, something. You can't get a passport from your country of birth because you are no longer a citizen. You can't get stateless papers because you aren't stateless. I am assuming you aren't a permanent resident of another country (and even if so, how many issue such an ID that can be used in lieu of a passport?). Most international airlines won't let you board a plane without a passport or equivalent documentation. But I don't think you would even make it that far. With UK now doing exit checks, that would probably be the end of the line for anyone without a passport or equivalent documentation right then and there.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by Antsmall » Sat May 09, 2015 10:10 pm

I personally, by default, would remain a citizen of my non-British country after registering for British citizenship by descent, because both countries allow dual citizenship, so citizenship of the other country wouldn't be lost upon acquisition of British citizenship. For people in this position - dual nationals - the argument 'refusal of a British passport undermines my right to travel' would only apply if any subset of travel - for instance 'travel *to* the UK' - would be hindered by absence of a British passport. As it stands, it seems that this is not the case, and therefore dual nationals couldn't use this argument against refusal of a British passport. What we are ultimately trying to do, if I understand correctly, is to find arguments against refusal of a British passport on grounds of discrepancy with the name on a foreign passport. This route may therefore be useless for dual nationals at least, provided that entry into Britain on a foreign passport is allowed for British (dual) citizens.

Those who have only British citizenship could use this argument, but if the only reason for refusal of a British passport were the presence of a foreign passport with a different name on it, belonging to their former country, then presumably this could be solved by means of some document from the relevant authorities declaring that the person is no longer a citizen and therefore their non-British passport is not valid. Of course, acquiring such a document is another matter, as we can see from noajthan's difficulties in obtaining the same, but it would merely be a statement of an inconfutable fact, and it would be unreasonable of the authorities to deny it. This is not to say that the history of mankind has never witnessed instances in which authorities have been less than reasonable.

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Re: Passport refused - uncancelled passport in maiden name

Post by noajthan » Tue May 19, 2015 6:57 am

Update on my wife's case...

It's taken 3 or 4 phone calls & 4 or more emails since our visit in person to the embassy on 30 April.
There has been a lot of confusion over arranging a Certificate of Cancellation as it doesn't seem to be a regular procedure.

Even after the embassy visit and all requested documents (& passport) had been filed we were still being asked:
  • what do you want & why?
    we will need your passport (they had it);
    we will need to see naturalisation certificate;
    (as explained, original is being held at HM PO so scan copy mailed in 4 times over);
    better if you can call in person (we had);
At last, this morning, Royal Mail Track & Trace shows a package is on its way to us from the Philippine embassy.
Hopefully that is the duly cancelled passport & an accompanying Certificate of Cancellation.
All that is gold does not glitter; Not all those who wander are lost. E&OE.

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