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Thirty-two 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).
His Excellency the Governor, Mr. John S. Duncan, OBE, presided over the ceremony held at Government House on January 9, and congratulated the new citizens on their journey towards British Citizenship.
The Governor said, “I know that for many of you today is a very historic day in your milestone as you have just become subjects of Her Majesty The Queen and citizens of the whole of the United Kingdom. For many of you I know that represents the culmination of a long chain of effort, and perhaps of some hardships that you had to undergo to get here today.”
The Governor highlighted the importance of the new found responsibilities in being British. He said, “Today’s ceremony reminds you of the responsibilities that you now carry on becoming a British Citizen. These include respect for law and order; defending everyone’s right to his or her opinion; under the principle of freedom of speech; and tolerating and respecting other people’s beliefs including their religious beliefs.”
The ceremony was chaired by the Registrar General, Mrs. Stephanie Benn who encouraged the recipients to treat their certificates with special care as they, among other documents will be needed to apply for a British passport.
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 Mr. John S. Duncan, OBE and Registrar General Mrs. Stephanie Benn are pictured here with the 32 newest recipients of British Citizenship. Participants in the morning’s programme and senior government officials are also featured in the photo. (Photo Credit: GIS/Franklyn Skerrit)