Why My British Passport Is My Most Valuable Possession

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Nearly seven years ago the friend Libby of mine and I had been backpacking around Cuba in the start of the gap year of ours. On a bus from Havana to Viñales we got contacting a Australian, whose father had emigrated from Ethiopia to Sydney and also had managed to have citizenship there. So far as travellers go, this fellow was the actual deal, having around only one small rucksack with him, iPod-less and phone-less totally, rather reading community newspapers for entertainment. He seemed a little eccentric but was obviously that smart and the discussion turned to the topic of nationality. At the tender age of eighteen, and also having had an especially sheltered upbringing, up until that time I’d totally taken for granted the British nationality of mine. He recounted the story of the many challenges the dad of his had faced to go into Australia in the very first place, then adapting to the label of’ immigrant’, and ultimately managing to get Australian citizenship and thereby safeguarding the descendants of his from the struggles entailed in the lifetime of an immigrant. Next, he fished out the passport of his and waved it at us to illustrate the point of his, as he uttered a phrase that is come to me on a few occasions since: “Your passport will be your most precious possession.”

I’m fortunate enough to support a British passport, and I frequently get it as a given – I believe many Brits do. Then something is going to trigger that memory and I recall precisely how fortunate I’m. Recently I got contacting an American female about her troubles getting visas to operate in Europe, plus it set me off once again. Regardless of this particular impossibly materialistic, capitalist earth we find ourselves in, I still think the British passport of mine is my most valuable possession and here is why:

  1. Britain is an element of the European Union

Belonging to the EU provides me freedom of movement and also allows me to live, work, learn and do whatever I please anyplace in its twenty eight member states. No hassle, no restrictions, no visa programs. In addition to this ease and freedom of mobility comes the amazing Erasmus programme, the Leonardo da Vinci programme along with a selection of other initiatives to create and nurture us European people. It’s what allowed me to take a Third Year Abroad to study in Córdoba and work at Armani in Italy, and it gave me the chance to work as an au pair near Rome and do a ski season in Courmayeur, in the Italian Alps. All these experiences living abroad has received a deep impact on who I’m, and also it is all because of the EU. As a non-European it’s much more difficult to get a work permit right here, as this American female was thinking, who’s just permitted to teach English as part the BEDA Programme and also not permitted to find various other work.

  1. Ease of travel in the Commonwealth

Though a great deal of bad outcomes emerged from Britain’s colonial footprint, one particular history it did leave will be the Commonwealth. A modest amount of this particular group of fifty three sovereign states provide visa-free or favourable entry conditions for Commonwealth citizens, including individuals with British passports, which means I do not need a visa to go to destinations like Malaysia, South Africa, Canada while some other nationalities do. Moreover, in 2013 the British passport essentially ranked 1st in the planet (tied with Finnish and swedish passports) in terminology of freedom of travel, because it provides visa-on-arrival or visa-free entry to 173 countries and also territories, over every other passport. Here is an up-to-date complete ranking of every nation in the planet, and also it is really fascinating to find out what countries have what amounts of freedom of travel.

  1. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

You will find 268 British Embassies & Consulates in over 170 countries, meaning in principle that I’ll be looked after anywhere I’m, in the event which I am robbed, etc. While lots of other advanced countries provide related protection through the diplomatic missions of theirs, when as opposed with a lot of developing countries with a lot less resources, the British have an enormous edge. I differ with the concept that several nationalities tend to be more newsworthy compared to others, though it’s regrettably accurate that when a citizen out of a developed nation becomes missing abroad, it will make international news and consequently prompts increased efforts to recover them, that I am certain isn’t the case for each nationality in the globe. Having a British passport with a digital passport photo allows me a chance to access among probably the finest global support networks on the planet.

  1. Immigrant vs. expat

Technically speaking, I’ve been an immigrant to a selection of nations. Nevertheless, I’ve never truly heard anyone reference me as an’ immigrant’, only actually as an’ expat’. I do not truly have to explain the semantic disparities between these 2 synonyms. One of these simple terms has created very negative connotations even though the other is one thing numerous folks dream of being. I do not know precisely the reason I have only been labelled as an expat, maybe since I am not out of an ethnic minority, though I think that it is since I come out of an advanced, prosperous country that on the world stage pulls nicely above the excess weight of its. For instance, the United Kingdom is the 7th biggest economy in the planet, however in terminology of population it is just 22nd and also in surface area it is just 80th.

  1. The Social System

Brits like nothing much more than to complain about the way the country is run and we quite often take the social system of ours for granted. Free healthcare, a benefits system which, although flawed, will at any rate take care of us (to some degree) in many eventualities, so the protection of essentially political system and stable economic system. The home country of mine is much from ideal, & I for one like to live abroad in any situation, though this particular blend of social security systems and political stability plays a role in a somewhat high Human Development Index along with a top Quality-of-Life Index, each of that are great to fall again on in a crisis. Only some countries take care of the citizens of theirs in this particular way…

  1. The English Language

Even though the great bulk of the British Empire’s colonies later gained independence, something that has not been lost will be the value of the English language internationally. Did my colonial predecessers ever think they were imposing the native language of mine onto the an enormous swathe of the globe? Circa 1.5 billion individuals are believed to speak English. English would be the lingua franca of small business in the Western world and of the colossal travel industry right across the world. That is quite fantastic news for anybody who grew up, in Britain, like me, though few of us Brits truly realise what an enormous advantage this’s. I cannot count the amount of non English speakers who may have complained to me about the reality that they are made to research for years and years to find out a language which I simply acquired effortlessly without actually attempting – it is profoundly unfair for them. While I firmly think that additional Brits must take the time to master international languages, it’s correct that the command of ours of the English language opens several doors for us.