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Rip off Britain

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Rip off Britain

Postby mark » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:30 pm

The good news is that I have just become a father.

The bad news is it costs 400 quid just to apply for British citizenship for my child, and as I am British by descent (born abroad) it is highly uncertain that the application will be successful.

To apply I have to fill in a fiddly form, and provide, amongst other things, documents such as my parents’ birth and marriage certificates. I have to find 2 referees, and demonstrate good character. Then, of course, there is the 400 quid, non-refundable if they turn down the application. It could take 2 to 4 weeks just to get the application acknowledged.

Contrast this with an application for Swiss citizenship. Citizenship by descent is guaranteed. All you have to do is post a birth certificate to the Swiss consulate, the whole process takes a week to 10 days, and there is no fee.

You pay lower taxes in Switzerland, yet the state is much more efficient.

Britain has become a bloated, rip off, nanny state.

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Postby charlie » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:09 pm

CONGRATULATIONS MARK !

......and of course, congratulations also to Mum + Baby.

Best wishes to you all.

Not much sleep for you chum for a while :lol:
.
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Postby hillybilly » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:27 pm

Oh wow, congratulations! Boy/girl, name?
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Postby Peter Good » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:30 pm

Great news Mark. I wish you all well and hope to be seeing more of you on the board in the early hours :shock:
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Postby charlie » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:35 pm

hillybilly wrote:Boy/girl, name?

I wondered that.....he's obviously not sure. Too busy writing his next property column?
.
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Postby katy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:38 pm

Enhorabuena!

A friend of a friend has just been refused citizenship for his Son. They are both South African, British parents.

Could be an article there for you as many who have moved over to Spain may want to consider the options (such as going back to the UK for the birth :wink: )
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Postby Peter Good » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:40 pm

Are Spanish Property Doctors allowed to deliver their own babies I wonder :lol:
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Postby rob-fuengirola » Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:49 am

Mark - firstly congrats.

Likewise, my youngest son was born Christmas Eve here (in Marbella Hospital). Between my wife and myself, number 10!! (she has 4 others I have 5, first and last together!!)

My lad has a Spanish Passport at a cost of €16, obtained in one hour by prior appointment at the National Police in Fuengirola. At the end of the day, he was born in Spain and is, therefore, Spanish.

However, as he has two British Parents, he is entitled to claim the second Nationality of British and with it a second passport. To ease things later in life if he wishes to claim to be British, we will get him a first passport and then he will be able to obtain later if he wants. Now come our problems..... We need to get a copia literal of his record of birth in the registry of Mijas. No problem - two copies issued free of charge along with the "Libro de Familiar". Then we have to have a British Birth Certificate issued by the Consulate - no more than a copy of the Copia Literal - at a cost of €70 . Then we have to get a copy of our decrees absolutes from the relevant British Courts. Our originals were taken from us by the consulate in Bali when we married 2 years ago (after 8 years together) as we had to produce letters of "No Impediment" to the Bali Authorities. The two letters cost $300, which were 4 line letters in English and Indonesian produced in a word processed document with five facts from the decree's included. We have to pay the two County Courts in the UK £10 each for duplicates where the originals are already in the hand of the FCO. Then we have to pay €140 for a passport application ( 5 years only) when sending to Madrid. Only problem is we have to add a further €40 for courier return despite the fact that my courier will do the job in half the time for €20. Then, if the photo of the baby does not meet their standards, it is returned by courier for replacement and return along with another €40 for further courier services. Oh, sorry - because my wife only has a "short" UK birth certificate, we need to get a full certificate for £10 from the registry office in the UK. We also need to answer 200 questions about our grandparents and parents.

At the moment, we really do think if it is worth it. He has a passport issued for €16 (£12) in 1 hour. Do we need to pay the extortionate prices of the British Consul to issue the second? He is probably better off not claiming to be British as a second Nationality!

PS - If you are resident and paying SS here, don't forget to claim the €2,500 baby allowance and the €100 a month for three years! It is the only SS payment the baby will probably ever see!

Katy - no one should consider returning to the UK to give birth. The care and facilities here (or at least certainly at the CDS Hospital) are so superior to the UK (and this is the first here with 9 experiences in the UK!)
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Postby mark » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:31 pm

Thanks to you all. As you ask he is a boy, very sweet and well behaved. He will, of course, be Spanish, like his mum.

And congratulations to you Rob. 10 kids. The mind boggles.

Rob’s comments just confirms what a bureaucratic place the UK has become. Is British citizenship worth the hassle and expense? Does a British passport do you any favours in the world today? I’m not sure it does. Certainly a disadvantage when it comes to the Eurovision song contest.

The birth of our son was covered by our private medical insurance, which costs around 150 Euros a month for two. We were in a state of the art hospital, and the care was exceptional. I don’t think private medical insurance in the UK covers births, so you have to pay extra if you want to go private in the UK. I know someone who gave birth in a private hospital in London, and it cost them 12,000 pounds, whereas here it didn’t cost us anything over and above our normal health insurance premiums. Rip off Britain.

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Postby rob-fuengirola » Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:59 am

mark wrote:And congratulations to you Rob. 10 kids.

No problem, just like Christaning cake! Oh, dont forget 2 Golden Retrievers to boot!!

mark wrote:The birth of our son was covered by our private medical insurance, which costs around 150 Euros a month for two. We were in a state of the art hospital, and the care was exceptional. I don’t think private medical insurance in the UK covers births, so you have to pay extra if you want to go private in the UK.

To be honest, and maybe that does not apply in your area Mark, on the CDS I would advise against private health insurance - it really is a waste of time and money! The biggest provider here, Sanitas, is a part of BUPA but the moment the going gets tough, the private insuranve provides cover for a transfer from the private hospital by private ambulance to the CDS Hospital!

I was outside the CDS A&E department for an hour on Easter Sunday whilst my sister-in-law underwent tests for a kidney infection. In that hour, 18 ambulances arrived with patients. 6 were Social Security ambulances, 3 were private ambulances providing just ambulance services and 9 were private ambulances from private hospitals transferring patients into "NHS" care. That suggests something to me.

I know of 4 other mothers who have given birth in the private sector in the past 6 months that wished they had used the facilities of the CDS Hospital. As I said, CDS may be different, but Private Hospital here are overshaddowed by the CDS
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Postby Inez » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:39 pm

Congratulations Mark! Now you will really find out what life is all about.

I second Robs description of the loacal care here, I have had to use the Spanish public system for the last year and I can say it was tremendous.

Enjoy your son.
Quite frankly m'dear, I don't give a damn!
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Postby El anciano » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:50 pm

Congratulations Mark, I hope your sleep doesn't get too disrupted by you new arrival.

My son, was born here. I was disappointed to learn that he doesn't qualify for Spanish citizenship. We were advised that two British parent means that he is British. He can however elect to become Spanish when he is 18. So we are stuck with rip off UK passports.

We also tried to get a UK birth certificate, again very expensive. We were advised that it was a pointless document, and we wouldn't need it for anything. So my lad just has the Spanish Family Book.
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Postby heatherpsk » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:01 pm

Definetly agree this is something that needs writing about Mark..along with the Spanish obsession with stamped documents! Living here is not just about buying a property!

Meghan was born here on the 23d Dec last year, and as with El anciano, we were told by the national police that she was NOT entitled to Spanish passport etc...How on earth did you get one Rob!!

From my research, she is entitled to a UK passport (at a ridiculous cost) but any children she has will not as she is British by descent. The UKBA website has actually got quite a long section on who can apply for a UK passport, and it states "British by descent: British citizenship gained through your parents. This type of citizenship cannot normally be passed on to your own children" so it looks like you would be wasting your money Mark.

Its http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/

I had posted previously about changing nationality, but, surprise surprise, the UK government CHARGE you for this..a whooping 500 quid!!

If you can claim Spanish or Swiss nationality, why bother?
Unless you think Spain and the UK are about to have a major falling out!!

Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood..and all the joys it entails!

Heather, with a sleeping child in her arms...
"You´ll be needing a new house, owl", said Eeyore. "It might take a day or two but I´ll find one."
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Postby rob-fuengirola » Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:26 am

heatherpsk wrote:Meghan was born here on the 23d Dec last year, and as with El anciano, we were told by the national police that she was NOT entitled to Spanish passport etc...How on earth did you get one Rob!!

Spoke to my Asesoría this morning as something didn't add up and now have the answer! It was he that helped me obtain the Spanish passport for my son and I hadn't realised there was a twist in the tail because of his past financial dealings on my behalf! Four years ago, for divorce reasons, I wanted to transfer my sleeping partnership (via a UK Limited Company) in a hotel in the UK "offshore". Because of tax reasons, it suited me to be a Spanish Citizen as well as a resident and tax resident of Spain so I took Spanish Citizenship (but not Nationality) at a total cost to me of €55, and transferred the shares in the property company to offshore ownership. At the time it saved me a lot of CGT on the shares and an even more substantial saving on my divorce settlement!!

As a result, my son born on the 24th December last year, was entitled to automatic Spanish Citizenship and with it to get a Spanish Passport - sorry if I have misled as I didn't know myself that had I not got that citizenship, he wouldn't have got till his 18th Birthday.

However, the fact he was issued with one and it was still only €16 for that Spanish Passport with much less red tape and cost in getting a British one (I still claim to be a British National and citizen - the Spanish do not recognise dual citizenship but the British do!!) shows just how much a rip off state the UK is. Actually, I am entitled to a Spanish Passport myself and think next year when my UK one expires that a €16 one may be a preferred option!
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Postby El anciano » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:22 am

That's really interesting, I was under the impression that you needed to be resident in Spain for 10 years or more to be eligible for citizenship. Was this the case for you?

If so, I'm not sure how you'd prove it these days, now that the residents cards have gone and we have the silly yellow piece of paper :(
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