With possible changes to immigration policies in the United Kingdom (UK), more and more people are seeking out ways to obtain a British passport to ensure security and permanent residence in the United Kingdom. Recent vote for Britain to leave Europe means a dramatic impact on how individuals can move in and out of the UK).
Although it may seem that Brexit will only affect migration to and from the UK this is not the case. The relationship between Europe and Britain and how goods are imported and exported as well as the public sector are a few areas likely to be affected by Brexit.
The Windrush generations, named after the ship that brought the first group of West Indian immigrants to Britain in 1948 to support the country after World War II have already been affected. It has been reported that many of them been denied access to health care, lost their jobs and face deportation despite the years of service they have dedicated to Britain (Marion MacGregor.2018)
Due to possible changes to regulations, many immigrants are actively seeking ways and finding any means necessary to secure stability in Britain, due to the perception that it is a land of opportunity. Unfortunately, immigrants are being exploited and abused by perpetrators who prey on their vulnerabilities and desperation to secure the red book.
In the world of immigration, it is not uncommon to pay someone (often known as connections) illegally in hopes to obtain the red book.
Fake British passports can be bought at £2000, one black market insider reported. It reported that this (a British passport) can be obtain through a search on the web via a deep web site which is now a criminal underground (Simon Osbourne. 2016)
An article published by the Sun (2018) stating, “Stolen and fake British passports are for sale on Facebook for as little as £800”. It was reported that, an investigation has claimed that the Facebook page has been used to trade illegal passports and other documents for at least three (3) years.
An Arabic Facebook page called European Passports for Sale VIP “offered a genuine British passport for £2,400, another at £1,700 that looked ‘90 per cent real’ and a third ‘50 per cent real’ document for £1,400, adding that an ordinary person can’t tell the difference, but passport control may recognise the fakes, “so you have the choice of paying more for an original passport or paying less and taking a risk”.
Online is not the only place to obtain a fake British passport. In some communities, people are often introduced to connections by friends, other immigrants and at times family members in hopes that they will get a British passport after the requested payment.
Subsequently, this isn’t always the case as connections prey on individuals’ vulnerabilities then exploit them for more money with no passport to offer. Immigrants are left broke with no money to feed themselves or family and no guarantee of remaining in the United Kingdom. This then increases criminality, manipulation, depict and abuse as means of survival.
Another growing problem associated with the desire to obtain a British passport is human tracking. Individuals including young teenagers and children are being transported into the United Kingdom and other countries under fake documentation or the promise of British documents.
When at the desired destination, they are often forced into prostitution, used as domestic slaves and used for labor work with little or no pay. Most are threatened to be hurt or killed if attempts are made to get help and their families are also threatened leaving victims and families feeling isolated and unable to ask for help.
This issue around the desire to obtain the red book is much deeper and calculated as it often at the expense of freedom. It is not just about the search for permanent residency in Britain, the abuse, threatens and inhuman situations faced can cause death.
Though there are clear benefits of having a British passport, is it worth it? People looking to obtain a British passport should consider the risk and harm they could face if sought illegally.
How to legally apply for a citizenship in the United Kingdom (information below obtained from Expatica.com)
If you are living in the UK and want to settle permanently, you can apply for UK permanent residency – also known as UK indefinite leave to remain – and will then have the chance to apply for full UK citizenship.
Foreigners can apply for UK indefinite leave to remain after 5 years of legal residence in the UK in most cases, although in some instances it will be sooner.
For support around human trafficking please contact The Nation Crime Agency on 0370 496 7622 (available 24/7) for general questions. In cases of emergency always dial 999 for the police.
References and Further Reading