Incredible

I need to get this post done before midnight, because if I post it tomorrow you’ll assume it’s an april fool gag.
It feels like one.

My partner had a daughter in their previous marriage, who married her present husband 23 years ago.  Big wedding, family came from all around the country to attend.  They have four children together.

Her husband was born in Australia, to a British father and an Australian mother, and brought to England when he was, I believe, eighteen months old.
He has never left the country since.

He attended school in England, and he has worked pretty much constantly since he left school.  He is a good worker, and has paid Tax and N.I. all his working life, and he has been working for the same company for many years, where he is very well thought of.

I’ve just been told, by my step-daughter, that he is not allowed to work in the UK as he is not a British Citizen.

He’s not Australian, either.  Years ago, they talked about emigrating, and were told that he has no right to Australian Citizenship, or an Australian passport.  Because he was a British Citizen.

But he’s not.

Since hearing about this, I’ve done a little checking, and there are options.  He can ‘register’ as a British Citizen, and pay a fee of £900, for instance.  Or he can apply for ‘naturalisation,’ where one of the requirements is that has ‘been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK.’  Well, that’s out, then.  You only get granted that if you ask for it, and he never asked because he didn’t know he needed to.

No, his best option is the fact that he’s married to a British Citizen.  So he can apply to ‘become’ British.  All he has to do is pass a test of his knowledge of English and ‘life in the UK’…
Oh, and he needs to be granted indefinite leave to stay…

This is all because of recent changes in the law, which are intended to stop illegal immigrants from stealing jobs from British Citizens.  So, to deny them the right to work, my son-in-law finds himself out of work and unable to apply for a job.  If he’s not a Citizen, he can’t benefits, either, can he?

But they can’t deport him, because no other country will accept him.  He is adrift, with no home country, no rights, no government to fight for him.

And no groups to support him, either.
Immigrants from every part of the world come to England, and are welcomed by their countrymen.  They are offered help, and accomodation, and food, and given the number of a benefits helpline where they can speak in their own language and be told exactly what benefits they can claim, and even have the forms filled in for them.

There is no such support for somebody who has always been seen as, and thought of themselves as, English.  Yes, we knew he was born in Australia – but his first word was in English, in England, for pity’s sake!

He came over on his Dad’s passport, which is a real shame, because if they had got him his own passport he wouldn’t be having any problems: he would be an Australian, and probably have the right to dual-citizenship.  At the very least, he would be able to apply for British Citizenship very easily.

The whole system is set up for people to come in from other countries – not for people who have, pretty much, always been here.

The company itself is blameless in this.  They regret having to stop him working, but have to obey the law.  They are holding the job for him, and want him back – he is well thought of at work, and has been in a team-leader/foreman role for some time.  The second the paperwork is approved, he can walk back into his job and be welcomed with open arms.

I just hope it gets sorted soon, because that household needs his wages, and the company will only hold the job for a limited time.



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