Eleven persons are now British citizens after having been previously naturalised as British Overseas Territories citizens.
The new citizens accepted their certificates, and recited the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and the Pledge of Loyalty to the United Kingdom (UK) at a ceremony held at Government House on March 13.
His Excellency the Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, presided over the ceremony, his first since taking office. He congratulated the new citizens on their journey and acknowledged their commitment in taking this decisive step to make the Virgin Islands their home.
The Governor said, “Taking on a new nationality is a matter of great significance for any individual,” adding, “by reaching and obtaining British Citizenship, you have exercised the right to enjoy as a British Overseas Territory Citizen, under the 2002 legislation.”
The Governor congratulated the newest citizens for persevering and highlighted the importance of the new found freedoms and responsibilities of being British.
He said, “I hope as you exercise your new freedoms for travel and employment, you will never forget that you will be ambassadors for your home base, the British Virgin Islands, where all of you have put down roots; where your contribution to the development of this community has, I am sure, already been substantial; and, where, as we collectively seek to seize the opportunities of the global economy, that contribution will be increasingly valuable.”
The ceremony was chaired by the Registrar General, Mrs. Stephanie Benn who encouraged the recipients to treat their certificates with special care. Mrs. Benn also congratulated and welcomed the newest British citizens on their achievement.
British citizens have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom or any other European Union country. They may also travel to the United States under the visa-waiver programmme for UK citizens.
British citizenship was extended to all British Overseas Territories (BOT) citizens as a result of the British Overseas Territories Act of 2002. Persons naturalised as BOT citizens following the enactment of the Act on May 21, 2002, do not automatically become British citizens but are eligible to register as British citizens.
The extension of British citizenship to British Overseas Territories citizens was part of the UK Government’s 1999 White Paper entitled Partnership for Progress and Prosperity, which outlined the UK’s policy in respect of the overseas territories.
NOTES TO EDITOR
His Excellency the Governor Augustus Jaspert and Registrar General Mrs. Stephanie Benn are pictured here with the 11 newest recipients of British Citizenship. Platform personnel and officials from the Civil Registry and Passport Office are also seen. (Photo Credit: GIS/Ronnielle Frazer)
1. The eleven persons registered as British citizens today, Tuesday, March 13 are:
- Tiayana Alicia ALEXANDER
- McKay Debrah ANDREW
- Alfida Maria CRUZ DAVID
- Vincia Espirena FAHIE
- Averille Felicia Anetta GUMBS
- Kamica Nadene Raquel HARRIS
- Jessica KING
- Chanelly Rosemarcy Nisbett PAUL
- Cordell Corrick SCOTLAND
- Bridgelal TEELUCKSINGH
- Angela Mary WEBBER