Search icon


09th Sep 2019

Denied citizenship after 55 years living in Britain

Rich Cooper

Anna Amato moved to Britain when she was a baby

Her parents came from Turin in the 1960s to join Britan’s workforce. Fifty five years later, Anna is being denied British citizenship due to “insufficient evidence”.

JOE went to Bristol, where Anna has lived for almost her entire life, to meet her.

Anna had lived trouble-free in the UK since she moved, but following the Brexit vote in 2016 noticed that something had changed.

“I was stopped at the airport when we were coming back from holiday,” Anna says. “Someone said, ‘Where do you live? Why are you coming here?’ And that’s when I realised that something’s changed.

“Why am I being questioned and singled out in front of all these people?”

Following that incident, Anna applied for citizenship, but was denied as she was unable to provide sufficient evidence that she was a permanent resident, despite having been in the UK for over half a century.

Crucial pieces of evidence, from her time working in the NHS, had been lost in a fire. Other evidence that she submitted – so much evidence that it costs £35 to send – was rejected.

Regarding Anna’s case, the Home Office said: “Ms Amato hasn’t applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but we’ve contacted her to help her apply. The Scheme is the easiest way for EU citizens to guarantee their rights – over 1.4 million people have applied.”