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Help with my puzzling Canadian / British citizenship status!

(10 Posts)
DippyDino Fri 16-Oct-09 21:42:27

My mother is British by birth, she spent several years in Canada and gave birth to me over there, brought me back over here when I was 3 and a half.

I have a Canadian passport still. Never really thought that much about my immigration status, mother always said I was 'probably illegal' but I don't believe this to be the case, I have always had an N.I. number, paid taxes, registered to vote and so on. (Plus my mother is a loon but that's another thread entirely!)

Now I have a new job after not working for several years, they said they needed my passport to confirm legal status, I didn't think too much about it but now I am effectively suspended from work until I can 'prove' that I can legally work in the UK!

WTF??!!

I have no idea what I need to apply for / what rubber stamp I need or whatever, not a clue and it's a nightmare trying to find out. I keep panicking and I have to remind myself that at least I've been married to a British Citizen for the past 6 years! I have visions of being dragged off in the middle of the night...

Does anyone know what I need to do, or who to talk to?

nancy75 Fri 16-Oct-09 21:47:41

i think you can just apply for a british passport.
dp is australian by birth and lived in australia until he was 23, his dad is british, when he came here he just applied for a british passport and got it without any problem - he did apply before coming here but i doubt that makes a difference.

EldonAve Fri 16-Oct-09 21:51:35

www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/

Were either of your parents born in the UK?

DippyDino Fri 16-Oct-09 21:56:12

Yes my mother was born in the UK. This is good, ya?!

DippyDino Sat 17-Oct-09 22:01:54

Anyone know if I should be applying for Right of Abode (ROA) and then apply for a british passport?

MadBadAndWieldingAnAxe Sat 17-Oct-09 22:48:23

Disclaimer: I am not a solicitor or immigration adviser and that, really, is who you ought to consult.

ROA probably isn't the right thing for you to pursue. You may already be a British citizen or have a right to register as a British citizen. Failing that, you need to confirm your immigration status in the UK.

British mothers have had the right to pass on their British citizenship to children born abroad only since 1983 - before that, only fathers could pass on British nationality in that way. So much will depend on when you were born. People born outside the UK to British mothers before 1983 can (in some circumstances) apply to register as British citizens. See the UKBA website here and here.

If you're not already a British citizen or able to apply to register, you need to sort out your immigration status as a Canadian citizen. The Home Office requires all employers to check that their employees are entitled to work in the UK which is why, I guess, you've been asked for your passport. A NI number doesn't prove you're entitled to live and work here.

It may be that you were granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK when you were a child - does your mother have the passport on which you entered the country or any other immigration paperwork? If you don't have ILR, you may need to apply for it under (possibly) the long residence rules or the rules relating to spouses or UK ancestry.

An immigration adviser or solicitor will have seen all this before and should be able to advise you. Or ring the UKBA helpline for advice.

DippyDino Sun 18-Oct-09 21:13:07

Thank you, I think you are right, ROA is not appropriate in my case. I've checked the ukba website, looks like I may just be able to register as a British citizen.

Preparing myself to do a marathon phoning session tomorrow, not looking forward to it.

I find mumsnet invaluable in these circumstances in order to prepare for spending hours on hold waiting for proper advice...grin

SueW Sun 18-Oct-09 21:31:29

That UKBA site is a pile of &4qt and far more confusing than it ever used to be.

I suspect if you pick up a passport application form it will be far more obvious. Unless they've changed that to the point where it's almost impossible to understand too.

Why not put a blardy flowchart on FGS?

(speaking as a Brit, born to Brits in in the UK, with a brother born overseas, a DH born in NZ and now a Brit, with a daughter with dual nationality and cousins who have all sorts of citzienships cos their parents emigrated)

Merrylegs Sun 18-Oct-09 21:42:26

You can get a ''certificate of entitlement to right of abode" stamped into your Canadian passport from Lunar House, Croydon. OR you can just apply for a British passport.

Have you never travelled outside the UK since you have been back from Canada? If you have, TBH without a certificate of R of A in your Canadian passport, I am surprised you were let back into the UK.

MadBadAndWieldingAnAxe Sun 18-Oct-09 22:00:49

More info on right of abode, from the UK Visas website.

This actually sounds more promising (and probably quicker than waiting for registration, if your circs mean that you're not already British). Good luck with the telephone calls tomorrow - hang in there!

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