I can't get married after 15 years in the UK

I can't get married after 15 years in the UK

I can't get married after 15 years in the UK

First published in News
Last updated

A BRIDE-TO-BE has been told she cannot marry because she is not a British citizen – despite having lived here for 15 years.

Rebecca Prior, 25, moved to the UK from Zimbabwe when she was ten and has been educated and lived here ever since.

Her parents, who were allowed long-term residency due to their British parents, were given advice that Rebecca and her brother Jason would also be granted the same rights after three years.

But when Rebecca, from Basildon, applied for a new passport at the age of 20, she discovered she was neither a citizen here, nor in Zimbabwe.

She could now face a ten-year wait to be able to marry her partner, Scott Doman.

Miss Prior said: “To be honest, it’s devastating.

“It is an absolutely gut-wrenching and heart-breaking situation to be in because my fiance has to take the financial stress himself and I have to try to raise the boys as best I can.”

Rebecca was working at McDonald’s using a Zimbabwean passport from the age of 16, but when she applied for a new job, the problems with her residency came to light.

She was initially able to claim benefits while waiting for the situation to be resolved, but has now been told she is not eligible.

Despite sending her school records to the Home Office, which prove she was educated in the UK, she is now having to apply for Leave of Stay visas every two years.

Miss Prior could have to do this for the next decade to prove she has been living here, before she can then apply for long-term residency and get married.

The couple, who have two boys – Benjamin, four, and Oliver, four months – say they also have to apply for the £601 visas for each of their children, as a child’s nationality follows their mother’s.

She has already bought her wedding dress, veil and shoes, but the big day is now in limbo.

Miss Prior added: “To be honest, it is fair enough. We have to have an immigration system that works – I totally understand that.

“I don’t think it is unfair, but I do think it should have been sorted a lot quicker, when I was a child, so I would be able to live my life now.

“The UK is where I had my education.

I wanted to be a nurse and was studying at college. It’s not like I didn’t have plans to put something back into the community and the country itself.

“It is purely by accident that no one realised. But the law has changed so much over the years, it is now harder to become a citizen.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.

“Applications for British citizenship through descent need to be made before a person reaches the age of 18. Unfortunately, Miss Prior did not do this.”

Comments (18)

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7:40am Fri 1 Aug 14

walshy92 says...

I have the very same problem I have a mother who is German and both parents never married. I was born here and lived in Germany for 5yrs. I came back when I was around 6-7 and I'm 22 in September. I cannot get a British passport. I'm due to see if I can can get an German passport Wednesday.

Hope they can get it sorted somehow.
I have the very same problem I have a mother who is German and both parents never married. I was born here and lived in Germany for 5yrs. I came back when I was around 6-7 and I'm 22 in September. I cannot get a British passport. I'm due to see if I can can get an German passport Wednesday. Hope they can get it sorted somehow. walshy92
  • Score: 1

7:55am Fri 1 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Legal - stay, illegal - leave, simples..
Legal - stay, illegal - leave, simples.. sesibollox
  • Score: 14

2:24pm Fri 1 Aug 14

emcee says...

Quote a Home Office spokesman: “Applications for British citizenship through descent need to be made before a person reaches the age of 18. Unfortunately, Miss Prior did not do this.”
-
Maybe she was given bad advice, or even no advice at all, concerning this. You cannot tell me she just "forgot" to attend to such an important matter. Why then did the Home Office not pick up the fact that she had NOT applied for citizenship? Surely, once she had reached eighteen years of age the sirens at the Home Office should have been sounding. Oh yes, silly me, I forgo thatt the Home Office have had no way of tracking immigration or any idea who is or is not in the the country illegally.

I fail to see any of this fiasco is of Miss Priors making but something the Home Office should have picked up and sorted out, one way or another, eight years ago. So, blaming Miss Prior for a failure in the system is rather cheap and tacky, Mr Home Office spokesman.
Quote a Home Office spokesman: “Applications for British citizenship through descent need to be made before a person reaches the age of 18. Unfortunately, Miss Prior did not do this.” - Maybe she was given bad advice, or even no advice at all, concerning this. You cannot tell me she just "forgot" to attend to such an important matter. Why then did the Home Office not pick up the fact that she had NOT applied for citizenship? Surely, once she had reached eighteen years of age the sirens at the Home Office should have been sounding. Oh yes, silly me, I forgo thatt the Home Office have had no way of tracking immigration or any idea who is or is not in the the country illegally. I fail to see any of this fiasco is of Miss Priors making but something the Home Office should have picked up and sorted out, one way or another, eight years ago. So, blaming Miss Prior for a failure in the system is rather cheap and tacky, Mr Home Office spokesman. emcee
  • Score: -7

2:58pm Fri 1 Aug 14

marshman says...

You don't need to be British to marry here - don't get it?
You don't need to be British to marry here - don't get it? marshman
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Fri 1 Aug 14

emcee says...

marshman wrote:
You don't need to be British to marry here - don't get it?
As I understand it you have to have evidence of citizenship of whichever country you belong. This is a requirement almost anywhere in the world. This evidence would normally be a passport, or in the case of it being the country of your birth, a birth certificate.
For example, my wife and I were married abroad. I had to visit that country's embassy in London to get permission and also had to produce our passports to the marriage registrant when I we arrived in that country.

In this instance the young lady no longer has proof of citizenship anywhere. She is no longer Zimbabwean nor is she British. In fact, she has no nationality and, therefore, she cannot get married.
[quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: You don't need to be British to marry here - don't get it?[/p][/quote]As I understand it you have to have evidence of citizenship of whichever country you belong. This is a requirement almost anywhere in the world. This evidence would normally be a passport, or in the case of it being the country of your birth, a birth certificate. For example, my wife and I were married abroad. I had to visit that country's embassy in London to get permission and also had to produce our passports to the marriage registrant when I we arrived in that country. In this instance the young lady no longer has proof of citizenship anywhere. She is no longer Zimbabwean nor is she British. In fact, she has no nationality and, therefore, she cannot get married. emcee
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Fri 1 Aug 14

John Bull 40 says...

Throw away your passport and apply for political asylum, it seems to work for everyone else.
Throw away your passport and apply for political asylum, it seems to work for everyone else. John Bull 40
  • Score: 30

10:24am Sat 2 Aug 14

_Lotus_ says...

This fiasco confirms, in black and white, why common-sense seems sparse in many things to do with authorities and law.

There is cast-iron proof that Rebecca Prior was educated here, there is cast-iron proof that she has resided here - THAT should be enough and her passport should immediately be forthcoming.

As it is, she does not, now appear, to be a citizen of either the UK or Zimbabwe - it is beyond ridiculous!

People can vouch she exists, where she has been, school records will show she attended, I dare say she has visited the dentist, her GP, hospitals - she gave birth to two kids HERE. There will be dental an medical records for crying out loud!!

This ludicrous situation would almost be laughable if it were not for the fact that the UK are now classing Rebecca Prior as a "non-person" causing her untold problems regarding getting a job and any benefits she has a right to!

I don't see the UK applying the same sort of conditions to many "others" that visit and get into our country this way - one rule for one and one rule for another eh, yeah right.

This whole incident makes me absolutely fume!

Give her a UK passport and stop dillydallying about.
This fiasco confirms, in black and white, why common-sense seems sparse in many things to do with authorities and law. There is cast-iron proof that Rebecca Prior was educated here, there is cast-iron proof that she has resided here - THAT should be enough and her passport should immediately be forthcoming. As it is, she does not, now appear, to be a citizen of either the UK or Zimbabwe - it is beyond ridiculous! People can vouch she exists, where she has been, school records will show she attended, I dare say she has visited the dentist, her GP, hospitals - she gave birth to two kids HERE. There will be dental an medical records for crying out loud!! This ludicrous situation would almost be laughable if it were not for the fact that the UK are now classing Rebecca Prior as a "non-person" causing her untold problems regarding getting a job and any benefits she has a right to! I don't see the UK applying the same sort of conditions to many "others" that visit and get into our country this way - one rule for one and one rule for another eh, yeah right. This whole incident makes me absolutely fume! Give her a UK passport and stop dillydallying about. _Lotus_
  • Score: -7

10:59am Sat 2 Aug 14

bazza 1 says...

Go to Calais. Throw away your passport. Get in the back of a lorry. Jump out at Dover and claim political asylum. It works for all the Riff Raff from every corner of the World, so it must be worth a try for someone who has a stake in this Godforsaken country. Good luck and I hope you get your Passport and residency. You deserve it after all the **** ups our Government agencies have made.
Go to Calais. Throw away your passport. Get in the back of a lorry. Jump out at Dover and claim political asylum. It works for all the Riff Raff from every corner of the World, so it must be worth a try for someone who has a stake in this Godforsaken country. Good luck and I hope you get your Passport and residency. You deserve it after all the **** ups our Government agencies have made. bazza 1
  • Score: 3

11:59am Sat 2 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

sesibollox wrote:
Legal - stay, illegal - leave, simples..
Hear hear, time to oust all these illegals, they are parasitical criminals
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Legal - stay, illegal - leave, simples..[/p][/quote]Hear hear, time to oust all these illegals, they are parasitical criminals sesibollox
  • Score: 18

12:32pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Friendly Fire says...

Dunno why you want to get married for anyway. Loads of crap. Your be divorced after a year anyway. He looks like a wife beater.
Dunno why you want to get married for anyway. Loads of crap. Your be divorced after a year anyway. He looks like a wife beater. Friendly Fire
  • Score: -11

1:27pm Sat 2 Aug 14

_Lotus_ says...

sesibollox wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
Legal - stay, illegal - leave, simples..
Hear hear, time to oust all these illegals, they are parasitical criminals
Why are you saying "hear hear~" to your own posting?

I guess you forgot to change screennames eh.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Legal - stay, illegal - leave, simples..[/p][/quote]Hear hear, time to oust all these illegals, they are parasitical criminals[/p][/quote]Why are you saying "hear hear~" to your own posting? I guess you forgot to change screennames eh. _Lotus_
  • Score: 13

3:49pm Sat 2 Aug 14

EcoPatriot says...

Our government is corrupt and anti-British. Time and time again we see British people born abroad not given the same treatment as ethnic minority foreigners.

There is a reason.
Our government is corrupt and anti-British. Time and time again we see British people born abroad not given the same treatment as ethnic minority foreigners. There is a reason. EcoPatriot
  • Score: 3

4:27pm Sat 2 Aug 14

MusicalMummy says...

Friendly Fire wrote:
Dunno why you want to get married for anyway. Loads of crap. Your be divorced after a year anyway. He looks like a wife beater.
A wife beater? Why are you personally attacking someone you probably do not know? Do you have evidence their marriage would fall apart? And sorry, your English and grammar is very poor. You come across so uneducated. If you are British, I will eat my hat!
[quote][p][bold]Friendly Fire[/bold] wrote: Dunno why you want to get married for anyway. Loads of crap. Your be divorced after a year anyway. He looks like a wife beater.[/p][/quote]A wife beater? Why are you personally attacking someone you probably do not know? Do you have evidence their marriage would fall apart? And sorry, your English and grammar is very poor. You come across so uneducated. If you are British, I will eat my hat! MusicalMummy
  • Score: 9

4:34pm Sat 2 Aug 14

runwellian says...

Why get married, you have done the breeding thing so why does a piece of paper change anything?
Why get married, you have done the breeding thing so why does a piece of paper change anything? runwellian
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Sat 2 Aug 14

MusicalMummy says...

runwellian wrote:
Why get married, you have done the breeding thing so why does a piece of paper change anything?
Done breeding? Marriage isn't just for the sake you have kids together! Some people want to marry because they want to celebrate with friends and family. They want to show they can commit to each other in such a way that it's not as simple to walk away. And a relationship like that is one where wether they have ups or downs, they work through it together and show they are a team, not oy by actions but by a simple piece of paper too.
[quote][p][bold]runwellian[/bold] wrote: Why get married, you have done the breeding thing so why does a piece of paper change anything?[/p][/quote]Done breeding? Marriage isn't just for the sake you have kids together! Some people want to marry because they want to celebrate with friends and family. They want to show they can commit to each other in such a way that it's not as simple to walk away. And a relationship like that is one where wether they have ups or downs, they work through it together and show they are a team, not oy by actions but by a simple piece of paper too. MusicalMummy
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Sat 2 Aug 14

MusicalMummy says...

Nice to see more positive than negative comments. Shows some decent and understanding people out there. Of course there will be negative people out there but negativity will not discourage, it will only make people more willing to see things through.
Nice to see more positive than negative comments. Shows some decent and understanding people out there. Of course there will be negative people out there but negativity will not discourage, it will only make people more willing to see things through. MusicalMummy
  • Score: 0

9:23am Sun 3 Aug 14

John Right says...

walshy92 wrote:
I have the very same problem I have a mother who is German and both parents never married. I was born here and lived in Germany for 5yrs. I came back when I was around 6-7 and I'm 22 in September. I cannot get a British passport. I'm due to see if I can can get an German passport Wednesday.

Hope they can get it sorted somehow.
If not, I hope you have a one way flight home.
[quote][p][bold]walshy92[/bold] wrote: I have the very same problem I have a mother who is German and both parents never married. I was born here and lived in Germany for 5yrs. I came back when I was around 6-7 and I'm 22 in September. I cannot get a British passport. I'm due to see if I can can get an German passport Wednesday. Hope they can get it sorted somehow.[/p][/quote]If not, I hope you have a one way flight home. John Right
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Sun 3 Aug 14

MusicalMummy says...

John Right wrote:
walshy92 wrote:
I have the very same problem I have a mother who is German and both parents never married. I was born here and lived in Germany for 5yrs. I came back when I was around 6-7 and I'm 22 in September. I cannot get a British passport. I'm due to see if I can can get an German passport Wednesday.

Hope they can get it sorted somehow.
If not, I hope you have a one way flight home.
Why so negative?
[quote][p][bold]John Right[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]walshy92[/bold] wrote: I have the very same problem I have a mother who is German and both parents never married. I was born here and lived in Germany for 5yrs. I came back when I was around 6-7 and I'm 22 in September. I cannot get a British passport. I'm due to see if I can can get an German passport Wednesday. Hope they can get it sorted somehow.[/p][/quote]If not, I hope you have a one way flight home.[/p][/quote]Why so negative? MusicalMummy
  • Score: 1

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