We represented a well-known musician in his application for naturalisation as a British citizen.
The issue in our client's case is that his absences from the UK were far in excess of that at which the Home Office would normally grant an application.
However, under paragraphs 2 and 4 of Schedule 1 of the British Nationality Act 1981, there is discretion to waive excess absences in the qualifying period.
The next steps
We made detailed representations on this issue and successfully argued that the Home Office should use discretion in his case.
Our client had established his work and the future of his work, home, family and estate in the United Kingdom. He has bought a home, his son was attending private school, and he and his wife were expecting their second child, who would automatically be entitled to British citizenship as both parents have settled status in the United Kingdom.
We submitted that it was inevitable that the client would be required to undertake engagements, not only in the United Kingdom but throughout the world.
We argued that it would be impossible for any conductor of his quality to be able to meet the discretionary residence requirements of the Nationality Rules if they were applied without a proper engagement and consideration of the unusual and exceptional circumstances of his case.
Our client demonstrated close links and commitment to the United Kingdom. We submitted that The Home Secretary in assessing the strength of that commitment and suitability could only find that the client met the actual requirement of the purpose of the residence requirements themselves, notwithstanding his necessary periods of absence from the United Kingdom.
In all the circumstances, we submitted that this was clearly a case the residence requirements ought to be waived by the Home Office.
We made detailed representations on all of the above points on our client’s behalf and the application was subsequently granted by the Home Office.