What does it mean to become British?
Many people think it's a great goal to become British. There are several reasons for this: good standard of living in Britain; good education system; strong traditions; good legal system; beautiful royal family, etc. However, all these considerations are just clichés. Of course, there is something deeper, more mysterious and simply "different" in the British way of life. We tried our best to find words to define and explain this "something".
In an amazing book called "The How To Be British Collection", the author describes a "typical" British family who chose to prioritise cats over children after discovering that cats are allergic to children. This may sound silly, but some readers will undoubtedly see a little bit of truth. Otherwise, however, there is something very definite and useful in the life of a British citizen: the right to a British passport.
The British passport is traditionally considered to be one of the best in the world in terms of countries to which the holder of such a passport can enter without a visa. This is still true, although according to a recent survey conducted by Henley & Partners, a respected organization that regularly provides statistics on the subject, the British passport has "moved out" from a leading position, giving way to Germany. However, this change is not significant and the British passport is still an excellent option: 173 countries can be visited with it without a visa. The German passport, on the other hand, allows to visit 176 countries without a visa. So, the difference is insignificant.
Speaking on this topic, Christian Hälin, Chairman of the board of directors of Henley & Partners, said that in general, visa requirements are a reflection of the country's diplomatic international relations. This is the reason for bilateral visa requirements, security risks and the probability of immigration and visa violations. We suspect that the likelihood of visa and immigration violations is particularly high in the case of Great Britain, which is a very popular country for immigrants from all over the world.FF
Home Office provides a visa national list of those countries whose nationals must obtain a visa to enter the UK. If your country is not on this list, you will not need a visa either. It is always interesting to notice the combination of such a list. Large areas of Africa (including South Africa) and the Indian subcontinent are home to countries whose nationals need a visa. However, the requirements for the countries of Far East and Southeast Asia are diverse. Nationals of Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore do not need a visa to visit the UK. However, China and other countries in the region are on the Home Office list. Holders of a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport may also visit the UK without a visa.
There is a tendency to give preference to democratic countries, but this is not a firm rule either. For example, the Philippines is such a country, but at the same time Philippine citizens need a visa and perhaps this reflects the fact that the UK is a popular destination for Philippine citizens, there is already a large Philippine society and the government is interested in keeping the situation under control. By comparison, there are also Japanese societies in the UK, but they are not that big and the Japanese have no particular interest (based on statistics) in moving to the UK. One thing that comes to mind here is that Kälin has not mentioned in its list. A country like Japan is prosperous and much more prosperous than some other countries in the region. The fact that people from poorer countries want to move to the UK to change their lives and that of their families for the better is not surprising at all.
As for Europe, something like the Iron Curtain is dragging the continent, only the borders have moved in comparison to what they were during the Cold War. Some Eastern European countries are now democratic members of the European Union, NATO and other "clubs". But some Eastern European countries have not yet reached this level (or in some cases were simply unable to do so). There are no Western European countries on the list, but Russia is present as well as Belarus, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
It is difficult to determine a clear trend. Obviously, there are several important factors. Having good diplomatic relations is not enough to ensure visa-free entry. The UK, for example, has good relations with India and Ukraine, but citizens of these countries need a visa to enter the UK. Many countries on the list are Commonwealth of Nations countries, a kind of British "club" and it is clear that there is a visa-free regime for citizens of these countries.
The British are seen on the international stage as nice, good and decent people despite unexpected cultural artifacts, and it is worth trying to become British. If you need legal advice on how to do this, we will be happy to help you.
The article is an intellectual property, published for information and is not legal advice. Our team will be happy to provide further information for advice.