Hull-born woman 'facing citizenship test'

  • Published
Joanna Banks
Image caption,
Joanna Banks was born in Hull to a Polish mother and British father

A woman who has spent her entire life in Hull has been told she is not British and may have to take a citizenship test if she wants to stay.

Joanna Banks, 34, was born to a British man and Polish woman but her dad's name was not on her birth certificate as her parents lived apart when she was born.

She said she has been told that if she wants a British passport she must pay £1,500 and pass a citizenship test.

The Home Office said it had not had a passport application from Ms Banks.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Ms Banks's case has been taken up by Hull East MP Karl Turner

Ms Banks told the BBC her parents had separated while her mother was pregnant but had gone on to marry after she was born.

She said the issue had arisen when she enquired about getting passports for her three children.

"They basically said to me 'you're not British, you're Polish' and that I needed to either apply for a Polish passport or pay the residency fee for a British citizen," she said.

"In my eyes I've always been British. I was born and bred in Hull."

Karl Turner, Labour MP for Hull East, described the situation as "appalling" and said he had written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to raise Ms Banks's case.

"This [woman] is a British citizen who was born and bred in Hull being asked to stump up £1,500 to apply for British citizenship," he said.

"I'm very hopeful that the Home Secretary will look at the case individually and make the right decision."

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