Stunned by rules in bid for passport
A MAN who has lived and worked in Wales all his life said he was stunned to be told he must prove he really is a British citizen.
Lee Owen, 28, from Kidwelly, recently applied for his first passport — but hit a major stumbling block.
He cannot prove who his mother is — having had no contact with her since he was born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1984.
Without her birth certificate, and as his parents were not married, he can not show he is British.
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Mr Owen — who even has "Cymru" tattooed on his arm — said: "It's making me feel like an immigrant in my own country.
"Obviously, I've never been abroad before, and I really want to go to America.
"Perhaps if I tell them I'm American they'll deport me," he joked.
Humour aside, Mr Owen said he was frustrated and angered at the rules.
"My birth parents were never married and I've been told I can't claim citizenship off my father," he said.
"Because I've only got limited information about my mother, I don't know what to do.
"If this is the law, I think it must be changed."
Mr Owen worked in Llanelli until he was made redundant earlier this year.
The Identity and Passport Service said anyone born before 2006 whose parents are not married can only prove their citizenship through their mother. In a letter to Mr Owen, the service said he must get more information about his mother and track down her birth certificate, which is a public document.
Otherwise, he was advised to apply for British citizenship, for which he has to pay a fee.
The Home Office, of which the Passport Service is an Agency, declined to comment, saying it did not talk about personal cases.