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How petty the IND can be

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Old 21-08-2006, 10:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern Wilds where it's cold and wet
How petty the IND can be

I am just going to tell you all my little citizenship story.
I did a little over 6 years for the British Army and went on two tours for them. A United Nations tour of Cyprus, and Iraq in 2003. the pre requisite time in the U.K is 4 years in approved employment, and I did a couple years more because I wanted to go to Cyprus, and then Iraq came up and I wanted to go to that. I was not allowed to apply for indefinite leave to remain whilst still serving and had to wait till I got out so I could have just jumped ship at 4 years and been a citizen by now.

I applied for citizenship at the end of last year after waiting the required 1 year after getting my ILR, my application was originally returned to me because according to them I had failed to include my knowledge of life in the UK test result, which was in fact stapled to the application. I obviously complained and sent the application back, with the test result un- stapled and put on top of the application so it would be the first thing they saw.
Latest news from just a couple weeks ago, I received my reply from IND. They turned me down. They turned me down for the heinous crime of having a conviction for driving without a seatbelt a year ago. Firstly I wasn’t the driver, I almost never drive in the UK if I can help it. But secondly, the IND’s own guide that comes with the application states in section 4 Good Character 4.6 “You must give details of all criminal convictions. These include road traffic offences, but not fixed penalty notices which have not been given in a court. Fixed penalty notices include parking and speeding offences. Drink driving offences must be declared” and on reading the webpage it says “If you’ve committed a minor traffic offence, like not wearing a seatbelt or driving with a broken headlight, the police may issue you with a one-off fine called a fixed penalty notice.Non-endorsable offences - meaning those which don’t result in points on your licence, like driving while talking on a mobile phone - usually incur a fine of £30.”

Since the fine is a fixed penalty fine as stated on a home office webpage and it was issued after the car was pulled over, on a roadside and not in a court, it seems quite clear that they cannot use this as a basis for denying me citizenship just by using their own guide to determine this.
Another point that really irked me was that they said, because of this ‘conviction’ I have not proved that I am of good character. As if failure to wear a seatbelt has any bearing on a person’s character. Included in my application as supporting evidence, I included every annual report I received in the Army, my tour reports, which are all very complimentary and my certificate of service which I was issued on discharge, which has on it along with an awesome testimonial, the record of my military conduct, which was exemplary (their words not mine)

So I have appealed their decision, using the above quotes and all the statements on my reports made by my senior officers. I have also got in touch with my local MP. The thought has crossed my mind that this was payback for making a complaint.

Now I just have to sit and wait and the date of expiration on my South African passport draws rapidly nearer. Oh yeah with this whole ‘anti-mercenary’ law on the way, and I know for a fact that my name was released to the SA govt regarding certain activities and incidents in Iraq, I have absolutely no desire to renew, I was actually hoping to renounce as soon as the British citizenship comes through.

I will let you know how this all turns out.
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Old 22-08-2006, 05:59 AM   #2
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Location: Hertfordshire
Sterkte - may it all work out well for you at the end.

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Old 22-08-2006, 06:30 AM   #3
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Location: Portsmouth
Thats disgraceful, keep appealing until they give you citizenship. You were good enough to fight for the country you should be good enough to hold a passport. I am British so have not had to go through this process, for which I am grateful
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Old 22-08-2006, 06:55 AM   #4
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hoping it all turns out well in the end
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Old 22-08-2006, 07:18 AM   #5
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Location: Scandinavia
hang in there Darkwing

[BUZZ="1"]I hope everything
works out for you
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Old 22-08-2006, 05:17 PM   #6
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Location: Surrey
Should your appeal have no effect I would write to John Reid (Home Office Secretary) and one of the big newspapers (Daily Mail etc) might be interested!!
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Old 22-08-2006, 06:10 PM   #7
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It might also benefit you to write to your local MP and get his support on this issue.
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Old 24-08-2006, 02:07 PM   #8
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That really does seem incredibly petty! I do hop eit gets sorted, and you get it approved!
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:32 PM   #9
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Location: Northern Wilds where it's cold and wet
I got a letter back from the IND, apologising that things didn't go well for me, but that my appeal is being processed, Also made several calls to my MP, well to some of his staff and they say they are on the case so we will see how things turn out.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:21 AM   #10
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Location: Poole, Dorset
that is just appauling considering how many "other" people they let have citizenship, but someone who fights for the British People is not allowed it! Did you use the NCS by any chance?

Good Luck I hope you are successful very soon!
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