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February 14, 2006

ID cards: this time it's personal

The Register: "Cards will be imposed on anyone who renews their passport - the voluntary element supposedly being that people could choose not to carry a passport."

It's not voluntary for all of us.

I'm pledged to refuse to carry an ID card, and to go to court if necessary in support of that pledge. That means I won't be able to renew my UK passport, or will have to fight an expensive and complicated court battle on the other side of the world to do so.

But hist! Under New Zealand immigration law, I don't become eligible for NZ citizenship until I've been a permanent resident for five years, i.e. April 2010. But my passport expires in September 2008. I don't mind not being able to leave New Zealand for a couple of years, but my passport contains my residence permit. If my passport expires, what's the status of my permit? We, like the Smothers Brothers, got trouble right here in River City, with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for passport.

Now I may have got lucky. Under the previous NZ law, one was eligible for citizenship three years after entering the country, which in my case would be January 2008. The new law was passed on 14 April 2005. My residence permit was issued on 12 April 2005, and the Citizenship Office indicated at the time that the new regulations would not be made retrospective, as was apparently the initial plan.

If the Citizenship Office's promise is good, I've escaped becoming an international test case by two days. If not, I have a choice of accepting a 'voluntary' British ID card, or being deported for not carrying a 'voluntary' British ID card... deported to Britain, which would refuse me entry because I couldn't renew my passport because of the requirement to accept a 'voluntary' British ID card.

Hey, Tony, explain again about the 'voluntary' bit?

February 14, 2006 in Current Affairs, UK-NZ Migration | Permalink

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