Important: British women married to Dominicans

Matilda

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Sep 13, 2006
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As some may remember, when I was shot I had no help from the British embassy. they said, as I was married to a Dominican I was not their responsibility. My mother has since contacted her MP, who has been in communication with the Foreign and Commonwealth office, the Dominican embassy in London, and the British embassy here. The bottom line is, after you have been married to a Dominican national for more than six months, the British embassy has a 'Protocol' that you are to be classed as a dual citizen. Even if you do not have Dominican nationality. From 6 months after your marriage you lose all rights to any assistance from the British embassy and become the responsibility of the Dominican Government (God help us!!). No problems if you are living together. You are still entitled to help. The only thing the embassy will do is notify your UK family in the event of your death.

Be warned!!!!

I have no idea if this applies to men marrying Dominican women as well, or if it applies in other countries. Just thought if there are any more Brit ladies out there, married to Dominicans then you should know this!

matilda
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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The point is, Ladybird, that even if you do not have Dominican Nationality, which most of us do not, if you marry a Dominican after 6 months the British embassy here WILL NOT HELP YOU!!! If you are arrested, shot or whatever. This is important for all women married to Dominicans. If I had known this I might have thought twice about being married.

matilda
 

Mirador

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the British embassy has a 'Protocol' that you are to be classed as a dual citizen. Even if you do not have Dominican nationality. From 6 months after your marriage you lose all rights to any assistance from the British embassy and become the responsibility of the Dominican Government

The British Embassy may have such a 'protocol' to the effect, however I suspect it goes against British law and international conventions. I suggest you contact your MP about this.
 

Sharlene

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Mar 4, 2006
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My mother has since contacted her MP, who has been in communication with the Foreign and Commonwealth office, the Dominican embassy in London, and the British embassy here.

matilda
It looks to me like Matilda already had contacted an MP (via her mother). Doesn't look like it's made any difference......
 

Sharlene

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This is important for all women married to Dominicans. If I had known this I might have thought twice about being married.

matilda
Just out of interest Matilda (and not because I'm suggesting anything untoward....;)) what happens if you get divorced? Do you automatically revert back to your previous status as a British Citizen who is entitled to help or are there still complications to consider?
 

El_Uruguayo

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Dec 7, 2006
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I think it's bs. there is a clause on the link that says:

"Under the nationality laws of some countries, a married person automatically has his or her partner's nationality and children have a parent's nationality wherever they were born. So, if your wife, husband or child is visiting the country of your nationality, this advice may apply to them also, but you should check this."

but I don't believe that by marrying a dominican you receive automatic citizenship status. So it may be an informal policy that they have, but probably not a true govt. policy.

There is the issue that if you are in a country where you hold citizenship, another country where you hold citizensip won't help you - this isn't the case.

Many countries have changed their policies on helping their citizens when abroad since the Lebanon crisis last year. Canada for instance evacuated some 15 000 citizens, which ran near $100m.

Still I believe that it is in your right to get assistance in the case of an arrest, seeing that you have not taken up DR citizenship.
 

Chris

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Matilda, this is quite a serious issue, and good for you to write about it. Even if it is just a convention or protocol that the consulate may function with, and not a written rule. This is all such crazy stuff and sometimes I'm really glad that I've never had to depend on help from my consulate .. they would probably roll around on the floor laughing if I had to.
 

Ladybird

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I think it's bs. there is a clause on the link that says:

"Under the nationality laws of some countries, a married person automatically has his or her partner's nationality and children have a parent's nationality wherever they were born. So, if your wife, husband or child is visiting the country of your nationality, this advice may apply to them also, but you should check this."

but I don't believe that by marrying a dominican you receive automatic citizenship status. So it may be an informal policy that they have, but probably not a true govt. policy.

There is the issue that if you are in a country where you hold citizenship, another country where you hold citizensip won't help you - this isn't the case.

Many countries have changed their policies on helping their citizens when abroad since the Lebanon crisis last year. Canada for instance evacuated some 15 000 citizens, which ran near $100m.

Still I believe that it is in your right to get assistance in the case of an arrest, seeing that you have not taken up DR citizenship.
I totally agree. Thats why I posted it..Matilda you have not renounced your British nationality and also on my passport it says

"British nationals who are also nationals of another country cannot be protected by Her Majesty's representatives against the authorities of that country". You havent become a National of D.R. have you so you should still be protected and are entitled to assistance from H.M. representatives here even though that quote does not specifically mention aid from H.M reps.
On the old passport info it used to say you werent entitled to that aid if you took Dual Nationality. The new Brit Ambassador is coming up soon why dont you take it up with him
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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Thanks for all responses. When I had this problem (being shot) and no help I didn't want to make a big fuss in cased it affected my husband getting British visa. So my mum sorted it via her MP, the foreign office, the Birtish Govt etc. The situation is now quite clear. Regardless of whether you have taken the time and the effort to get Dominican citizenship, the British govt vis their embassy in the Dominican Republic DON NOT WANT TO KNOW YOU if you have a dominican husband. This cannot be changed. So, if you are living here and thinking of marrying a Dominican - think twice!!! If I go to jail, the British embassy willl not help me. I have the letter from the foreign office. Now we need to know if this affect other nationalities or only British? If this affects British men married to Dominicans as well as women? I will go back to the Uk govt and check on divorce and men. You canadians and americans and all other nationalities out there need to check for you, unless you too wnat to be the responsibility of the Domincan Govt too!!!!

Matilda
 

El_Uruguayo

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Dec 7, 2006
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Now I'm not doubting in anyway what the High Commission told you. But I believe that the HC is using a very loose interpretation of the clause mentioned above. Just because you are married to a DR national does not mean that you are automatically a DR national, and they cannot decide that for you. You should be entitled to the exact same rights as any brittish citizen, as long as you do not have DR citizenship, regardless of marriage. It's probably just an issue of lazy people enjoying a tax free job in paradise and not wanting to do any work. They are there to represent the best interest of their citizens, as long as you are not a dual citizen of the DR also, you should be entitled to the same rights as any other visitor. I highly doubt that this "policy" is actually reflected by any law. But what can you do?

As for Canadians, same rules follow as per the dual DR-Can citizenship, tough luck if thats your situation. Even if you travel to the DR and hold citizenship of another country (which is not dominican), you are entitled to the same assistance that any canadian would get, as long as you travelled with a canadian passport. That being said, due to the lebanon crisis the govt will not necessarily bail people out in a crisis situation, unless it is really bad, and it might include the person to pay back costs associated with evacuation. As for criminal offences I'm sure the embassy is there to assist with negotiations.

I can't say for americans, but I'm sure it must be similar to Canada's guidelines.
 

lexi

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Jan 23, 2007
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This is nothing new...this has been happening for years and it is true in most countries. You need to look into how your spouses nationality will affect yours when getting married. This should be one of the things you research when getting all your papers ready to get married. Most people don't and just assume "their" consulate will always be there to bail them out but this isn't true.
Most times you are considered to have dual citizenship and then it depends on the country you are in at the time on who you go to for help. It sounds crazy but this is the way it is. Many people have found their own country will no longer help them when they are married to a person from the country they are in at the time.
I know the DR's government is not like Canada's but at the same time you are in their country and should expect to have to answer to them. Especially if you are married to a Dominicano.
 

BushBaby

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Bushbaby is very experienced with these kind of things Im sure he would be able to clarify the situation much better
Not correct Ladybird - Bushbaby is NOT very experienced in these kind of things. I was involved working in the offices of the British Consulate here in Puerto Plata some 6 years ago but my dealings with the Embassy in Santo Domingo was limited to more mundane document chasing! However, as you might imagine, we have been in touch with Matilda on this matter but had so far kept it to PM & e-mail.

Had I been involved/experienced in matters of this nature, I am sure I would have had bigger & more extensive rows with Santo Domingo than I used to have. This is an OUTRAGE & a pure abrogation of Her Majesty's Government's responsibilities.
How DARE they suggest that one of their citizens should live in sin or lose their RIGHT to Governmental support in times of serious problems? It would be morally wrong for any human being to refuse help to someone shot in these circumstances but it is INHUMAN in my opinion for the citizen of a country to be refused help BY that citizens Government. I would also suggest it is illegal & will be proven so if it gets taken to the (in this case) European Community Council for civil liberties!
I would love to hear from HMG if this rule also applies to a man wedded to a Dominican woman? If so I am appalled - if NOT, then this is sexual discrimination & should be challenged!
If HMG can justify that a British woman marrying a Dominican male loses her rights as a British citizen, do they therefore accept that a Dominican Female living with or marrying a British MAN, therefore will be entitled to receive (by Protocol) the same rights as her British partner?
I am ALL in favour of following protocol AS SUPPORTED BY THE LAW but I am totally anti 'Protocol' designed by lazy good for nothing Civil Servants who are just looking for a reason not to help (or financially support) a citizen in need. If a citizen from ANY country is not entitled to support from the Government in the country they now choose to live, then they are still the responsibility of the country that holds them as a citizen - dual citizenship or NO!! In this particular case, DUAL citizenship was NOT the case & so FULL rights of support from HMG should have been expected AND forthcoming WITHOUT QUESTION! (Knowing how certain people work in Santo Domingo British Embassy however, I am not overly surprised!!).

From a British Citizen's point if view this WILL go further - I would commend all Ex-Pats to take this question up with their respective Consuls/Embassies here in the DR & (if they don't get satisfactory replies) continue the fight through local media from their home country.

~ A slightly incensed Grahame. :pirate: :eek:gre:
 

Ladybird

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Dec 15, 2003
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Graham

We think alike, I have aleady started this with the Embassy in S.D and emailed my MP in the UK, hes a friend so Im sure he will respond even if they dont. Im also going to take it up with Ian Worthing when he comes up to the North Coast soon, where does this put all of this if they decide to pick and choose who they will help. Especially in such an awful case like Matildas
 

Criss Colon

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The ONLY Purpose Od "Embassies" Is To Collect "FEES"....

...and to have really nice "Garden Parties"! I have found that to be the case for US Embassies/Consuls,around the World. Don't expect them to "get their hands dirty" if you have a real problem!!!
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