Monday, July 28, 2008

Dual for a Dual

Did you know that some countries recognize dual citizenship and others don't. Yes, I am quite sure you knew that. Well SJ was born in England to English parents and lived there until he was 16 at which time his father asked him if we wanted to move to the US. The ever adventurous soul that is he is, of course said yes! So that is how SJ came to be on this side of the pond and thus how he met the love of his life, ME.

Now that we have children it has come to our attention that once a British citizen always a British citizen unless you do something like denounce your country or threaten the Queen. AND to boot, your children regardless of where they are born are also British citizens by birth. AHHH... now we're getting somewhere. Are your synapses firing yet??? Yes, my children are entitled to British passports through their father's citizenship. Now if your synapses are indeed firing AND you have had your coffee this morning you will have already realized that not only will they be entitled to live and work in the UK with said passport but they will also have access to the entire EU. Lucky, Lucky Dogs!

All you have to do is fill out an application and include the passport number of their British parent. HUM. This is where things go a muck. About four years ago it went something like this:

SPY "Sweetie, where is your UK passport"
SJY "How the hell would I know?"
SPY "Well what did you do with it when you got your US citizenship?"
SJY "Not sure, lets call my mother."
Phone call to mum who says she gave it to him when he moved out to go to college. Which pretty much means it is G.O.N.E.

So four years ago I started working on getting his birth certificate from England, filled out a lost passport claim, got identity witnesses to sign photos and forms, and filled out and paid for a new passport application. At the end of the 8 month ordeal of papers being mailed back and forth between here and England we got a letter stating they wanted further evidence of his US citizenship and identity. Photocopies of drivers license and passport along with more letters from people stating that you are who you say you are were now required. This is when the slow moving train went completely off track with 7 simple words from SJ, "Honey, I can handle it from here." About a month later I got a large manila envelope from the British Passport office in Washington, DC. I ripped it open thinking his brand spanking new UK passport was inside but alas it was all of our forms being returned with a letter stating that due to the fact that we had not followed up on their last request they now consider our file ABANDONED and have returned not only our paperwork but refunded our fees.

I was so angry I had to put the whole thing down for a few years. Then this spring I thought to myself, I have filled out paperwork up the wazoo for the adoption and jumped through so many government hoops that redoing the paperwork for his UK passport will be easy. Plus, I have most of those crazy British documents already on file for the adoption so why not take another stab. So in June I started the paperwork again, got all my witnesses testifying that SJ is who he says he is, and today I am mailing everything off. Will let you know when the hoop jumping starts again!


Meg said...

goodness! they don't make it easy do they? When X turns 18 he can decide for himself if he wants dual citizenship- although why do I believe that will not let me off of the hook of doing all of the paperwork?! hope it turns out a little easier this time.

Chatty said...

But, do they know that you know that they don't know what you know you know?