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 January 22.
His Excellency the Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, congratulated the new citizens on their journey and acknowledged their commitment in taking this decisive step to make the Virgin Islands their home. He shared the importance of the new found freedoms and responsibilities of being British.
“By reaching and obtaining British Citizenship you have exercised the right you enjoy as British Overseas Territory Citizens under the 2002 legislation,” he said. Governor Jaspert added, “Though a right, it is nonetheless an important decision you have taken to seek British Citizenship by registration, and it is proper that the fulfillment of that process be marked in a formal way.”
The Governor added, “I congratulate you all on having persevered with the process and for having demonstrated your allegiance to the United Kingdom, as well as to your home in the Virgin Islands.”
The ceremony was chaired by the Registrar General, Mrs. Stephanie Benn who congratulated and welcomed the newest British citizens on their achievement. She encouraged the recipients to treat their certificates with special care.
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.
- His Excellency the Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert and Registrar General Mrs. Stephanie Benn are pictured here with the 11 newest recipients of British Citizenship. (Photo Credit: GIS/Franklyn Skerritt)
- His Excellency the Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert presenting a certificate to a British Citizen Recipient. (Photo Credit: GIS/Franklyn Skerritt)
The eleven persons registered as British citizens on Tuesday, January 22 are:
- Clifford Daniel
- Paulette Marciana Cruz David
- Sydney Augustus Dougan
- Marcos Edgardo Nisbett Faulkner
- Anthony Jr. Shacoy Tywon Glasgow
- Aracelis Hatchett
- Ronia Anetia Brown Jack
- Cindy Samantha Williams-Joseph
- Davina Lettsome
- Frank Sandy Providence
- Connillia Jamie Williams