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Frustrations as naturalisation wait time pushed back six months

Frustrations as naturalisation wait time pushed back six months

Thursday 02 February 2023

Frustrations as naturalisation wait time pushed back six months

Thursday 02 February 2023

Jersey residents who want to become fully fledged islanders have expressed frustrations over the wait times for their naturalisation applications, which are now taking up to 18 months.

Naturalisation is the process of registering to become a citizen of another place.

In Jersey, it involves a lengthy application process, which historically took up to 12 months, and culminates in an oath-taking ceremony at the Royal Court.

However, more recently, the processing time has been extended by six months.

Andrew Allan, Senior Manager Casework Customs and Immigration, explained that some parts of the application process are completed in the UK which means that the processing time of these aspects are out of the control of the Jersey office.

“Naturalisation applications historically took 12 months to process. Applications are currently taking anything up to 18 months. This includes already submitted applications and future applications. Some elements of the process are completed in the UK," he said.

“We are aware that the timescales around these UK elements have been severely impacted by both the impact of covid and the Ukraine crisis. The Jersey Customs and Immigration Service are continuing to liaise with Home Office partners to expedite Jersey applications.”

Among those to have been affected by the delays is Tim Krins, who moved from Australia to the UK nine years ago, before then moving to Jersey with his British wife. He first applied to naturalise as a British citizen through the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service in February 2021.


Pictured: The final part of the process to naturalise as a British citizen in Jersey involves taking an oath in the Royal Court.

It wasn't until almost 18 months later, in July 2022, that he finally took his oath in the Royal Court to complete the process.

Tim admitted that he was surprised at how long the process took.

"Usually things in Jersey have been handled quicker or better than when I was living in the UK dealing with the Home Office," he said. "Dealing with the Jersey immigration department and seeing people face-to-face has always been much appreciated."

Tim explained that he found the year-and-a-half wait "weird", particularly as he had a friend in the UK who applied to naturalise at a similar time who completed the process within four months.

Tim added: "I did call [Jersey Customs and Immigration] up a few times while waiting for naturalisation just to check that something hadn't gotten stuck, and was told things were still progressing."


Pictured: Covid and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine were cited as the key reasons for the six-month delay.

Tim and his family were also considering the possibility of moving to London during the time that his application was being processed. However, he was told that this was likely to increase the timeframe as he had started the process locally, so the move was off the table

Despite the delay, Tim described the application process to naturalise as a British citizen as "relatively easy". He said that having a wife as a lawyer made it a lot easier for him to find witnesses for the various aspects of the application, but admitted that he could imagine this part could be a "headache" for those without relevant connections.

Tim is delighted that he now has his citizenship sorted.

"It was nice to finally take the oath," he said "[It was] a bit nerve-racking, but a relief afterwards. I am glad I now have the same citizenship as my wife and children!"

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