Monday, November 23, 2009

An Open Letter to my Readers

Dear Readers, I am asking for your help in an important matter regarding British Citizenship which affects me (and many others in the same situation). This past summer (July) the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill, was passed through Parliament and approved for implementation in 2010. A small but vital part of the Bill was regarding an amendment to the law to give British nationality to people born before February 1961 whose mothers were born in the UK. Up until 2002, if you had a British father, you got a right to citizenship, but not if you had a British mother. In 2002, they changed that law, but they only backdated it to 1961. This latest law amends that inequality but it still discriminates! My mother is English and I was born in the USA before 1961. While it's true that the law regarding children born abroad to British mothers before 1961 was amended, it continues to discriminate because I will have to register and pay a fee of £540 plus attend a citizenship ceremony before I can claim my British Citizenship by descent. However, if my father had been British, I could claim my British Citizenship by descent without registration, without the ceremony and without the exhorbitant fee. Why shouldn't my British mother be able to pass on her citizenship the same way British fathers can?! The amended law still discriminates!! How can you help? Two very easy ways: 1. If you are British or you live in the UK, please sign this petition to: stop the gender and age discrimination in the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/UKmothers/ We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop the gender and age discrimination in the Borders, Immigration & Citizenship Bill which does not allow UK mothers to pass on their citizenship to their children regardless of where or when they were born.. The Borders, Immigration & Citizenship Bill requires all those born abroad to a UK mother prior to 1983 to register with the UKBA and pay an exorbitant fee (presently in excess of £500) before they can apply for a UK passport. Anyone born in the same circumstances after 1983 or at anytime to a UK father can simply complete a passport application without the need to register. The registration/fee is required regardless of country of residence so that even someone who has lived in the UK for most of their lives, is a taxpayer, a home owner and has known no other country, still has to register and pay the fee. 2. Tell everyone about the petition. Please help spread the word via blogs, forums, twitter, facebook, etc. The more publicity the better. Please help me (and others like me in the same situation) by signing the petition. Thank you very much to everyone for your support. Kind regards to all my readers, Maureen P.S. An important reminder regarding the petition to No 10: You must give your name, address (which will not be published) and your email address. You will receive an email - click link to confirm. You must click the link in the email from the Number 10 Petitions system to confirm your signature on the petition or your name won't show!

11 comments:

  1. What a stupid, idiotic change. Why bother changing it? Why put a birth date at all?! Yes, I'll certainly support this.

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  2. Thank you very much! I appreciate your support!

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  3. I'm sure that you're well aware of what I think about this from previous comments I've made so you can most certainly count on my support. Flighty xx

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  4. Thank you Flighty! Your support is appreciated!

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  5. Those of us living in other countries must also pay a courier fee; and the cost of British travel documents is also high. Good luck with your petition!

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  6. Victoria said.
    This is definitely discrimination.I was born in this country and having parents that were born in this country, I was taught never to discriminate, how can I believe this government now if they act so recklessly in this matter, they are the ones who are now discriminating. Awful. About time for a new government I think???

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  7. Anonymous - thanks for the good luck wishes.

    Victoria - this is what I can't get over, that the members of Parliament have passed a Bill that blatantly discriminates. It is outrageous and so very wrong.

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  8. If an application is made from within the United Kingdom the citizenship ceremony fee, which is bundled in the entire amount, is refunded if the application for registration is rejected or withdrawn.

    If applying from outside the United Kingdom the citizenship ceremony fee is payable at the time of the ceremony ($180 in Australia).

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  9. Thank you for the information, Anonymous. Can you provide a link for further details?

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  10. For more information about fees within the United Kingdom go to:

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/applying/cost/

    For more information about fees within Australia go to:

    http://ukinaustralia.fco.gov.uk/en/passports/citizenship/citizenship-fees

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