Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Risk to National Security!

Jordan is 3 months old...already!...and I felt it about time I put some effort into acquiring official bits and pieces such as passports and British citizenship, only to discover he does not qualify because neither Sean nor I were born in England. He is a baby. How is it possible that a BABY can be denied citizenship that a parent is entitled to? Not to mention it is the ONLY citizenship that I am entitled to!

Here are the results of my quest for information on the next step:

ME:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a British person living in South Africa and my son has just been born here. I was not born in the UK and got my right to citizenship through my parents who were both born there. I have discovered that my son does not qualify for a British passport unless I register his birth before his first birthday. Please can you let me know what this involves, where I can find the forms and how much it will cost. Also, is it possible, and if so any easier or cheaper, for me to get someone in England to register his birth over there? My first child was born in England nearly 4 years ago and she, my husband and I all have British passports, so it is frustrating not being able to get one for my son!

I appreciate any information you can give me.

USEFUL ADVISOR:

Dear Sean

The child will not be eligible for a British passport unless you hold a Naturalization certificate, or can prove that you resided in the UK prior to his birth.Registration is no longer necessary.

ME:

Hi Barbara (I only know her name because it is in the email address)

What is a naturalization certificate and where do I get one from? What exactly do you need for me to prove that we were living in the UK?

Thank you
Jane

ADVISOR:

Dear Jane

Tax certificates, salary slips, utility bills etc proving you were living there for that period.

ME: (this time I decided to ask a lot of questions so she could just answer each oneand not have to think for herself)

Hi Barbara,

OK I can do that. Is there a form to fill in? Who do I show the proof to? Does it have to be all or any of the examples you gave? Can I email them? Do I have to do it before he is a certain age? How do I go about getting the passport once I have proved that I used to live in England? Can it be done from South Africa? How many months/years worth of proof do I need to show? Is there any other information I need to go ahead with this?

Thanks
Jane

ADVISOR: (I was a bit optimisitc it seems)

Dear Jane

These must accompany the application and send as much evidence as possible

ME:

OK Thanks
Jane

ADVISOR:

Only a pleasure

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What pleasure???? I knew more BEFORE she 'helped' me!

Other than this 'helpful' interaction I have spoken to a lady in Pretoria who has given me some different advice and looked at 3 govenment websites which also claim different things. This is what I have read/been told so far:

  • I must register his birth in the UK
  • That I cannot register his birth
  • That he must get a visa and live there for 3 years to qualify
  • That if I can prove that I have lived in England for 3 years he will qualify automatically
  • That my residence in the UK is irrelevant
  • That if I have a naturalisation certificate for my own birth he will qualify automatically
  • That I must apply before he is 12months old
  • That there is no time constraint
  • That I must apply before he is 18
Anyone else got any advice that might be a bit more useful... I would GREATLY appreciate it! Or is my 3 month old son a genuine risk to national security?

3 comments:

Clare said...

Hi Jane (it's John)

Not being English has a lot going for it. Anyway give him a more English sounding name like Mohammed Fahed Zayed Chugtai and you should be fine.

Clare said...

Just get him an Irish passport - might save a lot of stress!

Mom de Plume said...

ha ha good point... I named him all wrong!

He doesn't qualify for Irish either and preliminary research shows it to be even more complicated!