Knowing your child’s citizenship sounds like it should be an easy matter. If one of their parents is British or they were born here, it seems intuitive that they too will be a British citizen. Nationality is often an emotive affair and if you or your child feel British then it can be complete shock to find out that that isn’t the case under the law.
While enforcing immigration law can often make sense, the recent crackdown in the wake of Brexit has revealed some mind-boggling scenarios that highlight how ridiculously bureaucratic and unintuitive the system can be at its worst.
As was reported extensively in the press, 21-year-old Shane Ridge from Lancashire received a letter from the Home Office informing him that his driving licence had been revoked and that he should “take steps to leave the UK voluntarily”. This was a complete shock not only for Shane but for his entire family.
Shane had lived in the UK his entire life and both of his parents were British. However, since his mother had been born in Australia while her parents were on holiday and Shane’s parents weren’t married before his birth, the Home Office initially stated that he was not eligible for British citizenship.
The Government later acknowledged that they’d made an error-since Shane’s maternal grandmother was born in the UK, he should have had settled status- but not before they’d turned someone’s life upside down and forced them to think they might have to return to a country they’d never known. While this story is clearly a worst-case scenario, it certainly reveals a process that’s so convoluted that even the Government can’t always keep track of all the exceptions and loopholes in their own policy.
These kind of errors and misunderstandings highlight how essential it can be for your child’s future for you to be as familiar with the citizenship process as possible. Even if your child isn’t faced with deportation, the cost of registering a child for UK citizenship has increased by more than 150% since 2010 and now costs £1012- that’s 22 times what it costs in Germany. With fees this high and the post Brexit climate making securing citizenship an increasingly high-stakes task, it’s important to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.
Charities have seen an increasing number of families who have applied for citizenship in the wake of Brexit, only to be denied on technicalities such as missing paperwork or forgetting to include a small but essential detail. By the time these families speak to a lawyer, they’ve often already paid thousands of pounds in Home Office fees and are under significant stress.
While some families might need a lawyer’s one-on-one expertise to navigate the immigration process, often all a family needs is the correct information to get their application right from the start. LexSnap’s services can provide an excellent middle step to help you arm yourself with the tools to make the best choices to secure your child’s future.
LexSnap knows that Brexit has suddenly made immigration a critical issue for many families. We understand that it can be difficult to know where to begin and it might feel easier to ignore the issue until it reaches crisis point. There are options, however, and a brief consultation with a lawyer is an excellent place to start. One of our expert solicitors, Nick Nason, will be on hand to provide some help and assistance with your immigration law at no cost starting 30th April 2018. This free immigration help will continue to be offered throughout the month.
Waiting to talk to Nick? In the meantime, you can take our bespoke family law quiz and then access pre-prepared answers by top lawyers relevant to your family’s situation at https://www.lexsnap.com/get-started. If you then need further help, you can choose to be matched to a clearly priced lawyer with an immigration speciality through our marketplace at https://www.lexsnap.com/ask-a-question.