British Citizenship

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Homunculus, Apr 11, 2008.

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  1. Not entirely sure if this post belongs here...

    My girlfriend is in the process or renewing her South African passport which has run out. In order for her passport to be renewed she needs a letter from British Consulate with proof that she has not applied for British Citizenship.

    We have been writing since February but with no results. We have also called numerous times and been put onto other departments and then told "oh yes you'll have great difficulty getting through to them...try faxing them". Several faxes later still no reply.

    Is there any other body we can contact to chase this up?

    Also assuming all goes well and the letter arrives and her passport is renewed how long will a Visa take to process for a week long trip to New York?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Well, you've made your situation about as clear as mud to us.

    First of all, where are you? If you're in the UK I wouldn't have thought that you should be chasing up an inquiry with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since it's the Home Office that deals with immigration matters.

    If you're outside the UK, it's a little more tricky. For example, one's Frau (a septic living about a 5min walk from the US Embassy in Washington DC) still had to submit her visa application to the Consulate General in New York. If you're outside the UK, I would suggest that you collar the senior consular officer in whatever UK mission is closest to you. IF you're stuck in Um-Bongoland where the UK doesn't have a full embassy, find out where the nearest one is if you can't figure out the right person. Be warned though, in my experience, FCO staff are pretty reluctant to step on Home Office turf. A mate of mine lost his passport in the US and the Los Angeles Consulate General didn't seem to have much of a clue what would happen when he got to the UK sans passport. (As it turns out, he was let right in because apparently your average, benefit-scrounging asylum seeker tends not to disguise themselves as a sunburned weegie ex-squaddie.)

    Of course, the obvious thing to do also, is to get back to the Saffas and ask them which sort of UK civil servants they've been receiving the letters from.

    Now, are we to assume that you're asking how long the visa branch at a US Embassy will take to approve and dispatch a tourist visa for a South African passport? The short answer is, I haven't the fcuking foggiest because a) we don't know what country you're in and what embassy you're visitin; b) I don't know if you have to schedule an in-person interview; c) whether they look at people from the Dark Continent more closely than people from the UK. What I can tell you, from my experience that if your g/f does have to have an interview you can be waiting 4-6 weeks for an appointment for an interview that takes about 90 seconds. You leave your passport behind and they can have it back to you in a few days. The last time I had to renew, I had the interview on the Thursday and the thing was back in my hand the following the Tuesday. The will hustle if you're in a hurry, but you WON'T get it on the day.
  3. Written in the early hours of the morning I'm afraid. I'm in the UK and there has been some news on the matter. The letter confirming that she has not applied for British Citizenship is in the post and should be with us next week. This including the remaining forms will be sent to the South African High Commission in London in order to renew her passport or so I have been told.

    This apparently can take up to four months seeing as the 'Saffas' are too busy with cricket etc.

    Once she has her new passport she can apply for a tourist Visa to New York, US.

    Reason I'm asking is we are on a fairly tight timescale. Assuming it takes us four months to get the new passport this means we'll get it mid August, the wedding is at the end of which leaves a gap of about two weeks in order to apply for and confirm a Visa....tall order?
  4. Who knows. We are a site associated with the British Army not The Home Office or Immigration... :evil:
  5. can't you phone them and ask? or pop in if you are in London
  6. Indeed however ArRSE seems to prove useful for a number of weird and wonderful areas of life...don't lose any points for trying.
  7. Homunculus,

    You gotta PM
  8. I do? Nothing in my inbox...
  9. Bugger - I'm not typing all that out again!!

    US Embassy London Non-immigrant Visa process times

    The above link takes you to the US Embassy Non-Immigrant Visa pages.

    Basically if the SA passport comes in early, or smack on time, you may just be in luck. But everything's got to go right for you.

    You can only ring and make an appointment when you have the passport number (you pay at that time for the interview over the phone). Details can be found on the website.
    Arrive at the embassy in plenty of time for the interview ('bout 30 Mins prior). Read up on what you can, and cannot, take into the Embassy. Security is tight as you can imagine - no "just popping in".
    Take a book as the wait can be some time. You also need to pay for the courier to deliver the passport with spanking brand new Visa stamp in it. This is a change from what the website says, you have to use the Embassy's courier service details here , so don't forget to bring a card. depending on the type of Visa you may also have to pay for the stamp as well.

    Make sure the application is spot on (take all supporting paperwork you can think of), if you need to come back you go to the back of the Q and you need to pay for the additional interview also.

    Be aware that the photo they ask for is not the same size as a British passport photo so check out the requirements on the website.

    Edited to add link and general mongness
  10. Thanks a lot, lets hope the cricket is rained off and they churn out a passport instead. Much appreciated footpad6.
  11. British Citizenship...but why I ask? Before being British I would rather be... I don't know Nigerian?

    At least they have skinny birds running round nakid, and if you swat the flies off and hold your nose they do a go, for 3 grains of rice and a punch in the mouth quit fine.
  12. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Whilst we're all focused on pports I have small Q.

    I'm a brit, and an expat in a major european country, I won't say which one but I will say we're not importing any clocks, chocolate or pen knives..

    I have an OLD passport, e.g. issued by the UKPA in 2001. It runs out in 2011. I would like a new biometric pport because I will be doing a lot of running to the US starting in July. I also go abroad on average once a fortnight so don't want to give up my old pport whilst applying for a new pport. Does anyone know the rules of issuing new pports without receiving the old one?
  13. I looked on the Embassy website of a theoretical European country (one with lots of mountains, where some blonde slut named Heidi allegedly hangs out with some creepy old guy) and it didn't say anything about what you were expected to do with their old one under the application section, although the process for issuing biometric passports at the Consulate General certainly seems to be in place.

    You can't be the only expat in this situation. Maybe they make exceptions for work (if that's your purpose of travel)? Probably worth a call.
  14. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    reckon you be right. An interesting story.

    My youngest was born May 2006 in a country that likes to eat sausages, we smuggled him across the border in a box (ish) in June 2006 and applied for his passport at the Brit embassy. the biometric duly turned up in 6 weeks. Mrs Happy having told a small fib about planned holiday dates. In the end it was late, Mrs Happy called in an (artificial) panic adn they biked the sucker across the country to get here in time.

    Two interesting things.

    You can smuggle children.
    The Brit embassy never batted a eye about the sausage-eaters birth certificate whilst applying in another country...
  15. I renewed both my sons passports last year (they were both under 16 at the time and thus had to be renewed after 5 rather than 10 years) and BOTH passports were the new biometric ones with the nice little copper coil circuit built in to the page.

    When I attended the UKPA Office in Glasgow the lassie in the office did say that all new passports are biometric now. However, I have to confess I have no idea if a Passort issued by Bristish Consulates or Embassies overseas would be biometric as well.

    PS Regarding passport photos. UKPA have gotten VERY **** about this. Do NOT take it for granted that the photos taken by the machines in your local Main PO/Tescos or taken by a local photographer with one of those 4 lens camera things is going to be suitable. I took my boys to my local PO to have their photos taken by one of those 4 lens things and UKPA rejected the pictures out of hand. Thankfully, I had foreseen this and had other pictures taken as well which were accepted.