A 66 year old British National who says he came to the country of Belize with the British Army in 1971 and got married to a Belizean says that he has been unable to receive his Belizean Nationality papers. 66 year old George Guest says he came to Belize in 1971 with the British Army to protect Belize against Guatemalan threats. He says he married a Belizean woman in 1972 and retired from the British Army in 1986 after serving in Belize for over a decade. After retiring, he left the country with his Belizean wife and then returned to Belize in 1992. Guest says he has served as a chairman in Crooked tree Village for two consecutive terms, from 2007 to 2013. Today, Guest visited our studio in Belmopan where he told us that he has been trying to get his nationality papers for the past 13 years with no success, and now he is having a hard time receiving his pension from Social Security.
George Guest, Registered Voter with British Passport: Why I am here now is that, I have had trouble for the last may be 13 years of getting nationality. But in 1972 someone told me that I could have gotten my nationality two weeks after I have been married, which I didn’t know at the time. That was in 1996, yes because in 1998 I registered as a voter and I didn’t have no problem in doing that because I used my British Passport. Yes, we are part of the commonwealth. But I went back to get my pension from the Social Security Board and they told me that I need an ID. I said ‘well I still got this card but it is out of date’, it’s my old social security card that I was working with. And they said ‘no that can’t suffice, because you got British on it’. I said ‘I didn’t put British on it, you were that gave me the card, you are the ones that took my photograph and other details. And now I come back to you and you are saying I can’t until I have get the nationality’.
Guest believes that being married to a born Belizean gives him the right to become a nationalized Belizean. He added that the Immigration Department has been giving him the run around for the past two years.
George Guest, Registered Voter with British Passport: I know I am not a born Belizean, but I am married to a Belizean which gives me the right to become a Belizean or a nationalised Belizean. Right now I am having trouble with the immigration. For the last two years I am up and down Belmopan, if it’s not Belmopan its Belize getting a stamp to stay in the country for six months which is unfair to me because I have to pay all the travelling expenses and everything. I even had to pay to send back to England to get my Birth Certificate, I got my marriage certificate here because it was here that I got married, in Belize. What I am asking from Social Security or from Immigration ‘Please I am not going to pay you, you have to give me what is rightfully mine, my nationality through marriage. Thank you’