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ARM

ARM is an Iranian national who have lived in the UK since 2000. In 2006 he was refused naturalisation and his subsequent appeals have been dismissed. ARM has a wife and British children.

ARM is an Iranian citizen in his late 50’s who came to the UK as an asylum seeker with his wife and three children. After being initially refused asylum in 2000, he was later granted asylum and then indefinite leave to remain in 2002. A year later ARM applied for naturalisation. It took three years for the decision letter from the Secretary of State to come. In August 2006, ARM received the letter stating that he was considered not to be of ‘good character’:

“Your application for British citizenship has been refused on the grounds that the Home Secretary is not satisfied that you can meet the statutory requirement to be of good character. This is due to your close association with known Islamist extremists.”

The decision relates to ARM’s association with Abu Qatada. According to ARM, the decision was ‘irrational’ as he says that he did not share the views of Qatada and what is more, he has publicly spoken out advocating peace. A newspaper article that mistakenly claimed that ARM was Qatada’s assistant, and that was later withdrawn with a correction issued, was partially used to make the case against him.

ARM has made continuous attempts over the years to change the assessment of his character, including that he is no longer associated with any organisations or individuals identified as ‘extremists’. The Secretary of State responded negatively to his last request for reconsideration. Finally in April 2016, ARM’s appeal got dismissed in SIAC. The decision drew on the ruling in Ouseley J in AHK [2013] EWHC 1426 (Admin) that confirmed that the Home Secretary is required to refuse naturalisation if she has enough material convincing her that the person seeking to become a British citizen is not of good character.

Since the evidence that is relied on in SIAC is closed, meaning it is secret both to the public but also to the applicant and his lawyers, it is not possible to know what materials the refusal of citizenship is based on.

Since coming to the UK, ARM had three more children, all born in the UK and British citizens.