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If you made your life here, why didn't you become a British citizen?

(553 Posts)
DorothyL Tue 18-Oct-16 06:32:01

How do you respond to that as an EU citizen?

I came to the UK in 98. I never applied for British citizenship because I didn't see the need - I truly felt that the fact we were all EU meant it didn't matter!

Now I'm scared because in spite of being here so long I would probably not qualify for a permanent residency card because I wasn't working (SAHM/carer).

Wish I knew what will happen sad

IamWendy Tue 18-Oct-16 06:39:38

But countries have always had the right to leave, this is not new. Europe is not a state, is lots of countries... To quote Beyonce, if you like it then you should have put a ring on it.

DorothyL Tue 18-Oct-16 06:41:30

So are you saying - what? That I should accept that I might lose my right to stay here?

IamWendy Tue 18-Oct-16 06:48:28

You the right to become a citizen, you choose not to. You choose 'feeling European' over citizenship.

NickNacks Tue 18-Oct-16 06:50:48

You felt that it didn't matter. Feelings don't really come on to it, legally it does matter.

Veterinari Tue 18-Oct-16 06:56:57

I don't think it's as simple as just wanting to become a citizen or not. The UK citizenship test is very costly and time consuming. Because of this, It's not exactly 'open to all' and for many immigrants, access to the test bears no relationship to simply just 'feeling it didn't matter'

I'm not sure whether the OP has researched the test or not, but certainly taking it is not as easy as some posters seem to think!

SummerLightning Tue 18-Oct-16 06:57:20

Fucking hell guys, this is bloody nasty way to speak to someone who is, quite rightly, worried.

Whatever your views.

OP, I wish I knew what would happen too. I think it unlikely that people who have been in the UK years and years will have to leave, but I know that is not much comfort as there is still uncertainty.

IamWendy Tue 18-Oct-16 06:59:42

It's £50, and 18 years to save up hmm

AveEldon Tue 18-Oct-16 07:12:38

It costs over £1K
The applications take a long time and you have to submit your existing passport with your application meaning you can't travel

Not becoming a British citizen makes it easier and cheaper to bring non EU elderly parents here to live

KP86 Tue 18-Oct-16 07:16:04

IAmWendy, you have no idea.

Veterinari Tue 18-Oct-16 07:27:38

I love howiamWendy is so wilfully ignorant! £50 - yeah right! grin

It's over a thousand just to apply, plus additional costs for right of abode certificates, examination fees, etc. Plus limitations on travel and passport surrender.

If only it were as simple as a £50 application!

Uniklo Tue 18-Oct-16 07:33:55

"To quote Beyonce, if you like it then you should have put a ring on it." Ridiculous hmm and more platitudes from Brexit. biscuit to Wendy

OP, in answer to your question there was no need to become a British citizen because the beautiful idea of the European Union is that you can live with people in other EU countries, work there, marry, have friends, study whilst retaining your citizenship. If you felt like it and it made career sense you could then go to another country and do the same, it is a European community. I would have quite like a European passport and European citizenship without having to define myself as my given nationality rather than the one from my the country I was born in. Becoming British would have rather contradicted that possibility, would I have to become a citizen of each country I choose to live in?

I learned English from the age of 7 and French from the age of 11. I went on several foreign exchange programmes to France and the UK and later studied in Paris after which I moved to London. It was exciting, I learned so much am pretty much trilingual. My motivation to settle in the UK was a love of the English language, London, and how open and diverse it was in the 1990s. I met dh here and now I'm raising my family here.

I'm sorry you may not qualify for citizenship but they haven't yet compiled the new laws around citizenship. Do you have children? A British partner?

My dc were born here and speak English as their mother tongue. My and dh's careers in specialised, highly skilled professions are here and yet we feel unable to remain although we the British citizenship now. We applied when Cameron proposed the referendum. So in essence we are British (probably speak better English than some 'natives') but due to the government's hostile and unpleasant politics I have decided to take my skills, my assets and my ambitions and find a new home.

As for the citizens of the world being citizens of nowhere nonsense, throughout my time here in the UK, I have worked and paid higher rate taxes, I have volunteered for various charities and am even a member of a party --not tories- I help my neighbours and they help us, I help out at school and am generally friendly and supportive. But as Teresa May has said me and my dc are citizens of nowhere I am feeling pretty pissed off and ready for a new adventure elsewhere.

It feels like somebody has broken up with you though. sad

Uniklo Tue 18-Oct-16 07:35:42

"It's £50, and 18 years to save up" the test yes The citizenship costs nearly £2000 now

allegretto Tue 18-Oct-16 07:41:50

I am in Italy but haven't applied for citizenship there until now. Mainly because it wasn't necessary - how could we foresee this, nobody has ever left before? It is also a lot of expense and work for something which I didn't need and couldn't justify out of the family budget.

WidowWadman Tue 18-Oct-16 07:45:04

Most people who never had to deal with applying for citizenship have no idea about the hoops you have to jump through and the cost. They mistakenly assume that you just get handed a passport when you marry a Brit too.

If you set out the criteria and process those "why don't you just" people often shake their head in disbelief.

I've naturalised because I was scared, but I don't think that piece of paper makes me any less of a migrant than you are.

IamWendy Tue 18-Oct-16 07:58:28

The UK citizenship test is very costly and time consuming. Vet said. It, the test, costs £50. And if the whole process costs £1000, then op could have saved as much as £1 a week in the 18 years she's been here to save up by now.

BombadierFritz Tue 18-Oct-16 08:00:51

god the first few posters are just awful. our country has gone to the dogs.
op, I wouldnt even try to justify it to rabid xenophobes. theres nothing you can say. hardly anyone else would ask, but if they did, a few seconds reflection would show hardly any brits bother if they dont have to eg in spain. why pay thousands and jump through hoops if it brings no benefit? that was the whole point of the eu.
as for the idea countries could leave at any.time. ha. we are so intertwined now it would be utter madness to. oh yeah, I forgot!

Uniklo Tue 18-Oct-16 08:01:04

Iamwendy doesn't get it smile that's ok <patronising head tilt>

BombadierFritz Tue 18-Oct-16 08:02:11

perhaps you could say, until two years ago the uk was not rabidly xenophobic?

MopedManiac Tue 18-Oct-16 08:04:54

Because having spent many £'s of pounds (for family of four) for 2 × visas and then indefinite leave to remain, we'd rather now spend some money on ourselves to get our own home.

Purplebluebird Tue 18-Oct-16 08:05:20

I won't apply, because it would mean losing my original citizenship, unless I get married to my English OH. I plan on moving "back home" when I am older, and am proud of my heritage, however tiny my country is.

allegretto Tue 18-Oct-16 08:06:38

Iamwendy - why would she though? She already had the right to stay and work in the country. Plus, you might not realise that not everyone CAN have two citizenships, many countries don't allow it.

Figment1234 Tue 18-Oct-16 08:08:54

IamWendy is right actually, the test is £50. However, the application fee for the citizenship itself is now closer to £2,000. OP: I'm an immigration lawyer: if you want to PM me I can give you a few tips as to why you need to do next to protect your status here.

user1476656305 Tue 18-Oct-16 08:12:25

the UK is not 'rabidly xenophobic' but people get a bit sick of certain attitudes about their country ("I want to live here but you are all stupid and racist" for example).
And please do not tell me this doesnt exist as I have heard it frequently from the ten Poles that I brought in pre 2004, none of whom even had the grace to say 'thank you'.
None of them would take British citizenship as their own nationality is too important to them.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 18-Oct-16 08:12:43

Some of the comments on here are awful. I'm so sorry, OP.

My dh eventually decided to take British citizenship, but it wasn't an easy decision at all because he had to give up his citizenship in the country of his birth.

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