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... to think the Home Office is trying to extort ££ by threatening my baby

(130 Posts)
notlost Mon 06-Jul-09 12:51:46

First, I am not British and neither is DH (not a sin, believe it or not), but we are indefinitely settled in London and DD was born here. Since we are not British she cannot have a British passport, regardless of where she was born, so we got her an American one. Now the Home Office is saying that since she is "declared American" we need to get her a visa that is EXACTLY the same as ours - that's right, an ADULT work permit, to the tune of £585.


They have told me I have to do this within the next two months or risk her being deported and a permanent black mark on her immigration record.

Isn't it enough for them that we have to pay the same taxes as everyone else, but don't get access to any kind of public benefits (including the child tax credit)? Wasn't it enough for them to make DH and I pay £600 for PERMISSION to get married? Why do they have to treat my baby like a criminal??

I wish I could complain to my MP, but as a foreigner I'm not eligible to vote and am therefore no-one's constituent.

MummyElk Mon 06-Jul-09 12:55:00

no YANBU and I really feel for you here - can't advise at all but just sending you sympathy

sweetnitanitro Mon 06-Jul-09 12:56:19

Fingerprints?! FFS!!! I want to slap people that say immigrants have it easy, my DH is Canadian and has had to jump through hoops just so we can both live in the same country hmm thank god my DD has dual nationality.

I dunno what you can do about the ID card thing but I would put my foot down on that, no way in hell would I let anyone take DNA and fingerprints from a tiny baby shock. Can you fob them off til the next general election, Labour will lose then anyway grin. Is there no chance of you getting indefinite leave or even citizenship? I know it's really expensive but it's better than having your baby treated like a criminal.

babyignoramus Mon 06-Jul-09 12:56:24

Notlost - you may not be eligible to vote but I'm sure you can still speak to the MP for your area - they can sometimes be surprisingly useful! You might want to consult the CAB as well - you may not technically be a 'citizen' but I'm sure they'll help you - they may be able to refer you to a lawyer who specializes in this area.

I thought a baby born here to foreign parents had dual citizenship? Or have I made that up?

Hassled Mon 06-Jul-09 12:57:19

That's just shit. And presumably she will be turned down for an adult work visa given that she has 15.5 years before she can legally work? Or have they got a tiny chimney they can send her up to clean?

Forget your MP - I should find a friendly journalist.

EldonAve Mon 06-Jul-09 12:58:33

If you have been here long enough you can apply for British citizenship

junglist1 Mon 06-Jul-09 12:59:08

of course they're extorting you! It's disgusting and makes me so angry the way they treat people like crap. i can't believe you pay tax but aren't entitled to anything back??!! Go to the CAB and get a solicitor, and write to the MP anyway!

MichKit Mon 06-Jul-09 13:00:33

Actually, as you are settled in the UK (assuming you are a resident?) you are eligible to ask your MP to help you.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the Home Office charge (EFFING BASTARDS!!!) as your baby will need some sort of a residential permit. The baby DOES NOT have to have a work permit, but needs a dependent visa. Its usually cheaper to fly to the US and get it there than it is to pay for it here if you calculate the costs, but obviously that may not be feasible.

If it helps, DH and I paid £750 for a permanent residence + heck of a lot of other made up charges, luckily DD (Canadian) was included in the residency. Between us over the 7 years we've been here, I think we may have paid them over £3000...!!! Now they are expecting another £750 + 450 for the baby to naturalise us, and then pay them the £75 odd each in passport fees... why do I live here again?????

If you haven't already done it, can you apply for British residency? If you do that it would cost all three of you the same amount? I think you may be able to protest the fingerprinting on child protection basis, but I can't be sure. It may be worth consulting an immigration lawyer, but they charge a fortune.

minouminou Mon 06-Jul-09 13:01:03

Try your MP. Good luck.

MummyDragon Mon 06-Jul-09 13:01:11

I'm a bit on the fence about this (if one can be "a bit" on the fence about anything).

YANBU to feel that you are being penalised for not being British. However, re. not being entitled to claim child benefit as a result - whether that's unfair or not, that is the law and you must have known that before you decided to have your baby here ...

YANBU to be outraged about the Home Office wanting your DD's fingerprints etc for their database - I would be outraged too. And £585 is a lot of money for a baby's work permit - she's going to be doing lots of paid work here over the next 16 years I guess, sweeping chimneys and working in factories etc etc .....???

BUT - did you not check out the rules before having your DD here, or did you just assume that she would be entitled to a British passport because she was born here?

What would happen in the US (I'm assuming you're American coz your DD is??) if a British couple had a baby there? Would s/he be entitled to an American passport, benefits, etc?

Don't forget that EU citizens in Britain are entitled to all the benefits etc that Brits are, and that there simply isn't enough to go round as it is ...

I can see why you're annoyed though.

notlost Mon 06-Jul-09 13:02:00

I thought a baby born here to foreign parents had at least residency, but apparently DD won't be eligible for that until she has lived here for ten years, a bit difficult ATM.

To be dual one of us would have to be British.

I might take it up with the council, but the two-month deadline has me scared, as I'm sure they meant it to.

seeker Mon 06-Jul-09 13:02:53

Are you sure about the British passport thing? If you have indefinite leave to remain I thought a child born in this country would be entitled to a British passport - or am I wrong? It certainly used to be - that's why I have a British passport and no one else in my family of origin does.

junglist1 Mon 06-Jul-09 13:05:35

Don't let them scare you, they want you to feel powerless so they can tell you whatever they want without you questionning it.

notlost Mon 06-Jul-09 13:07:57

I knew about not claiming public benefit, and wholly accepted it, before and after having DD. It's just that they are getting a lot of money from us, directly and indirectly, but now they want more.

A baby born to British, or any nationality, parents in the States would be entitled to American citizenship. I didn't expect citizenship (especially as we can't apply for citizenship ourselves for another ~year), but I did expect that an infant who was born here would be allowed to remain here with her parents until she was older. Or, at least able to walk on her own.

Nancy66 Mon 06-Jul-09 13:09:36

My sister in law has indefinite leave to remain and her two sons have British passports - but my brother (her husband) is British so maybe that's where the difference lies.

if you have been here long term then wouldn't you have been allowed to apply for citizenship? You would then be eligible to vote and claim benefits.

Can the American embassy advise you?

ilovemydogandmrobama Mon 06-Jul-09 13:10:29

Think you're over reacting.

First of all, not sure that ID cards have been introduced yet, but even so, if your DD was British, the passports are Biometric, so you are not being penalized for not being British.

She needs ILTR (indefinite leave to remain). Whether or not there is a difference between the fees for adults and children, I don't know. Check out the Home Office web site.

And the fact that you can't vote makes zero difference as far as seeing your MP. I am American too, and my MP has taken up numerous issues on my behalf.

Your Council has absolutely nothing to do with immigration. You need to discuss with the Home Office. Calmly smile

notlost Mon 06-Jul-09 13:10:30

seeker I'm sure about the British passport. For children born after 1983, at least one parent must be British to have a British passport.

If they were born before 2006 and the parents aren't married and the father is the British one it doesn't count hmm

fatslag Mon 06-Jul-09 13:10:31

Mummydragon, I can answer that one. My ds1 was born in the States (I am British, dh is Australian). ds1 has American nationality and a full US passport, plus a British passport. He was entitled to the George Bush $1000 tax hand out in 2003 and qualified for unlimited free early intervention programs (he has HFA).

So in terms of how the respective countries treat their immigrants... NO CONTEST.

Merrylegs Mon 06-Jul-09 13:13:00

'but we are indefinitely settled in London'

If you are indefintely settled here, did you not apply for
a certificate of indefinite leave to right of abode? (Just one of you needs this). Then your baby would be entitled to be a British citizen.

If you didn't do this, and got her an American passport instead, I guess the HO go about it from another angle - American in Britain. After all by getting her an American passport you have declared her an American.

Before 1983 it would have been enough for her to have been born here. Either way (certificate of entitlement to right of abode or 'declared American') you will have to tick some boxes and fill in some forms and pay some money to make her stay here legal. The question of how much and what type of permit is aggrevating, but you have to do something.

ilovemydogandmrobama Mon 06-Jul-09 13:13:04

No, the father can be British, but it depends on the Mother's immigration status. My DCs are dual, but had to show that I was legally in the country when they were born here.

notlost Mon 06-Jul-09 13:14:36

ilovemydogandmrobama (love the nic btw) ID cards have been introduced for all new dependant visas. If we were applying from the States we would actually have to travel to LA so that they can collect the fingerprints/DNA.

I can accept that she needs indefinite leave to remain, it just pisses me off that she needs the same, adult work permit and that they are charging the same, adult fees as if she was going to go off and start applying for jobs tomorrow.

And the fingerprints/DNA thing sends me over the edge.

CoffeeCrazedMama Mon 06-Jul-09 13:15:32

My dcs were born here before we were granted British citizenship and their births were registered here and they are all British citizens with British passports. The elder two shared a British passport when they were tinies while dh and I were still using Australian ones. We had indefinite leave to remain due to my having one British grandparent. Unless it is different depending on where you come from? (And this was in the early nineties under a different government.)

MichKit Mon 06-Jul-09 13:17:02

Oh, and question everything they tell you! They do lie through the teeth sometimes, and you may find that you have other options that work just as well for you.

Unfortunately being born in the UK does not entitle the child to a British passport, unless both or one of the parents has indefinite leave to remain.

If you get this after the baby is born, then she is entitled to naturalisation at any time. So it may be worth applying for that and get the British apssport instead. It'll still cost you a fortune, sadly!

Ignore the 2 month stuff, write to them (keeping proof of postage) that you are seeking legal advice, and are unable to act until you recieve it. They can't say anything about that.

weblette Mon 06-Jul-09 13:17:32

They don't take DNA, they only take fingerprints.

lljkk Mon 06-Jul-09 13:17:35

Are you not able to access NHS? A kind of public benefit; I thought NHS was accessible to any legal resident. Who paid for your medical care during pregnancy and childbirth? Coz that can cost A FORTUNE in the USA, even for those with medical insurance. Also, the US govt. has fairly generous Foreign Earned Tax exemptions, so it's not like you'd be paying tax in 2 countries.

Could one of you qualify to get Right to Abode? In the past, anyway, I sent off DC American passport with mine which has Right to Abode permission from Home Office, and DC got a stamp put in their passports for free that declared their entitlement to stay in the UK.

Because otherwise, I'm gonna be extra mean and say if you don't like it, go back home. Yes we are legal aliens, living in an era of great security fears. Legal Aliens in the USA are treated no less rigorously, AFAIK. And as for their treatment in other countries...

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