As I write this post I am using my brand new British passport as a coaster for my cup of tea… can’t work out if that’s extremely unpatriotic or amazingly British of me? But anyway, it may come as a surprise to some of you that said passport is the first British one I have ever owned. This is quite simply because before April 2018 I didn’t have the right to one, not actually being a citizen of the country I call home. Nope, I was (and still am) a kiwi gal.
But as you can tell from the title of this post that has recently changed and it is all very exciting!
I was born in England to a New Zealander mother and British father (he is actually half Austrian but doesn’t have dual nationality so it doesn’t effect anything). Because they’re not married I automatically became a New Zealander as that is just how it works! I had Right of Abode thanks to my dad and grew up in England without really realising I wasn’t British. Obviously, as I got older and became more aware of my heritage, I became proud of my kiwi roots and not being British in Britain made no difference to me. I could vote once I turned 18, studied at university as a home not international student and all laws and regulations applied to me as though I were British.
But, being a travel freak without a European passport turned out to be a little problematic. I had a 6 month internship in Italy arranged for last summer but it was cancelled due to crappy slow Italian bureaucracy and complicated visa applications. Something similar happened the summer before with an internship in the Netherlands (they pulled the plug as soon as they realised I didn’t have an EU passport) and I really didn’t want it happening a third time so decided to bite the bullet and begin my citizenship application.
Turns out becoming a British citizen is a bit of a complicated process (understatement of the century) and I do not envy anyone in the midst of their application now. The whole thing took a lot longer than expected and ended up timing rather unfortunately with Brexit (still not over it!). But eventually I managed, see happy picture of me above after my citizenship ceremony! So I am now a British citizen/basically a secret agent with two passports. And what that means is no ridiculously long queues at immigration, I can leave the UK for as long as I like without worrying about being let back in and travelling to certain counties has become a lot easier!
And that’s about it really, not particularly interesting now that I think about it… but I thought I’d share incase anyone was in a similar position and wanted to ask me questions. Feel free to message me about it. I know there isn’t a lot of information out there on how to become a British citizen and the whole process so I’d be happy to help as best I can.