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UK citizenship application - friend wants me to be a referee and say I've known her longer than I really have

(242 Posts)
northernstar0412 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:14:25

Hi,
A friend from overseas who is applying for British citizenship asked me to be a referee.

My job is included in the list of acceptable occupations but I have only known her for 2 years and 8 months. The government's website says we need to have known each other for at least 3 years.

My friend said - "You can just say you've known me longer - how can they prove it?"

I can be fined £5k or receive a prison term if I knowingly give false information, according to the official website. So I told my friend I was happy to be a referee but I would be stating on the form that I'd known her 2 years and 8 months.

She doesn't want to delay her application for four months and is now looking for another referee, but doesn't know many people here.

Am I BU?

OP’s posts: |
GreyGardens88 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:15:53

Report her

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 16-Jul-20 14:17:15

Report? Really?! Refuse - sure.

LoseLooseLucy Thu 16-Jul-20 14:19:14

Report her confused

Just tell her you feel uncomfortable lying if you don't want to fib on the application.

Fiona1987 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:20:10

I wouldn't report her (after all she's your friend), but just say you're only willing to do it in 4 months time. I'm sure she can wait 4 months.

I had to replace my passport recently (lost my old one) and I got my old live in landlord, who is also a friend of mine, to give me a reference.
He qualified as a quantity surveyor.

We've known each other for 4 years though.

Zoecarter Thu 16-Jul-20 14:20:50

Tbh personally I would of said 3 years but if you don’t feel comfortable that’s ok. But report her really🙄🙄🙄

frazzledasarock Thu 16-Jul-20 14:21:31

NO YANBU.

In my case I’d also end up struck off from the professional body I'm a member of.

I wouldn’t lie either.

CaptainVanesHair Thu 16-Jul-20 14:22:26

Just refuse or wait - not only could you get in trouble, but it could affect her status too. I can completely understand that if she’s at this point, she’ll be anxious to get it sorted, but the outcome could be so much worse.

contrmary Thu 16-Jul-20 14:22:41

What's wrong with reporting her? She's trying to persuade her "friend" to assist her make a fraudulent application. I'd tell her to get packing, both as a friend and a resident.

IndecentFeminist Thu 16-Jul-20 14:24:12

It's only a matter in months. 🙄 By all means suggest waiting but report her?!

Is there any way anyone would find out you met her 4 months after you say you did?

Horizons83 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:24:53

Don't lie. They do check up on these things, and why put yourself in that situation?

To be honest, all the applications are backed up at the moment as the biometric centres are only providing slots to those who applied in April/May, so she may be better off waiting 4 months to apply anyway, when appointments may be easier to come by.

northernstar0412 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:25:02

Could I not agree to be a referee but state clearly that I have known her only for 2 years and 8 months - that would not be an offence, would it?

OP’s posts: |
northernstar0412 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:26:21

sorry, to be clear, I meant to write: Could I not agree to be a referee but state clearly on the government's form that I have known her only for 2 years and 8 months - that would not be an offence, would it?

OP’s posts: |
beautifulxdisasters Thu 16-Jul-20 14:26:59

No it wouldn't be an offence but what would be the point? She wouldn't have a referee that met the criteria, so would presumably be rejected.

Chanjer Thu 16-Jul-20 14:27:45

2.7ish is close enough to 3 imo

Certainly a deniable error and basically what "to the best of my knowledge" is for

Chanjer Thu 16-Jul-20 14:28:26

sorry, to be clear, I meant to write: Could I not agree to be a referee but state clearly on the government's form that I have known her only for 2 years and 8 months - that would not be an offence, would it?

Just pointless

Fiona1987 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:29:46

I don't understand why people say report her. That's unusually harsh and she's a friend of PP. It's not like she's abusing children or dealing drugs. We all twist the truth sometimes to our advantage.

I would just wait 4 months.

I applied for my replacement passport in March/April, at the peak of covid 19, and it took over 3 months to arrive

SomeHalfHumanCreatureThing Thu 16-Jul-20 14:30:09

Do not do this. Honestly it's not worth it. Apart from anything else, if they find out, it could affect her application.

She needs to find someone else.

Horizons83 Thu 16-Jul-20 14:30:55

Certainly a deniable error and basically what "to the best of my knowledge" is for

But it's a lie. Why should she lie? There is no benefit to the OP lying other than a potential fine. I would be annoyed at the friend for even putting you in this position.

CopperBeeches Thu 16-Jul-20 14:32:10

Why lie? It is risk for you that you do not need to take. And just suppose you did get caught? It coud have some quite serious repercussions for you in future. The world is full of people saying "Oh but I didn't know. I didn't think... I never thought they'd check" when they get done for something.

If it was life or death for her - then you might be willing to take a risk - but it sounds like she just has to wait a bit or find someone else.

TheFuckingDogs Thu 16-Jul-20 14:32:31

Reporting her is OTT and just rubbish behaviour really however if you could be struck off by your professional body then I wouldn’t lie and just suggest you will do it in 4 months

viques Thu 16-Jul-20 14:32:42

I am pretty sure that they randomly interview referees. One thing lying on an application form, aqnother thing lying directly in an interview, especially with the thought of that fine hanging over your head.

And if she was caught out that would scupper her chances of applying again. I would be asking why she can't wait the extra four months.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 16-Jul-20 14:33:53

YANBU they do sometimes check up. I have signed loads of passport forms and several citizenship applications and I am strict about this. I am not prepared to put my professional standing on the line for someone else’s convenience.

MaxNormal Thu 16-Jul-20 14:34:06

contrmary you'd deport someone over stretching a point for four months? I don't think even the Home Office would be that draconian.

And how miserable a human being must you be personally to even consider that?

I think it's not the biggest deal in the world, there's not much difference between 2 years 8 months and 3 years, it's not like you've known her five minutes. I can understand if you're not comfortable but have a bit of sympathy - it's a hugely stressful and expensive process.

InTheWings Thu 16-Jul-20 14:34:36

I would not lie on an official document like that, and especially not if it would compromise my professional status.

Just tell her your job makes it not possible to lie on an important document.

But no way would I report her.

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