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British Citizenship

An individual may lay claim to British citizenship in several ways; either by birth, ancestry, 5 years legal residence in the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least 12 months amongst many others.

UK Citizenship Requirements

For foreign nationals who seek to naturalise as British, the following requirements need to be met.

  • UK residency for at least 3 years and is a settled person (ILR/Permanent Residence) as at the time of the application;
  • The application would have been in the UK from the start of the 3 years;
  • The applicant’s absences must not exceed 270 days throughout the 3 year period;
  • Prior to the application, i.e. the last year during the 3 year period, the absences must not exceed ninety days;
  • The applicant must meet the good character requirement
  • Pass the life in the UK Test
  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Demonstrable intention to live in the United Kingdom.

British Citizenship application

If you meet the requirements above, please contact one of our nationality lawyers on 020 3744 2797. Alternatively send your enquiries to info@reissedwards.co.uk

British Passport Application

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) of the UK government are known for the issuance of British passports. An interview with the IPS must be attended by the individual applying for a passport for the first time to confirm his or her identity and all the individuals applying for this passport must be aged 16 and above. It is recommended that an individual will give an allowance of 6 weeks for the passport application to be processed. Individuals are advised not to make any travel arrangements until they receive their passport.

In the case of urgent passports, where an individual needs an urgent passport renewal, IPS offers two types of services which are;

  • Fast-track one week service
  • Premium one day service.

An appointment is required at the Passport Office if both types of services commences. There are also some situations where additional time might be needed to assess an individual’s application such as contacting the individual’s countersignature or confirming the details of the application.

IPS can be contacted for advice to make an appointment at 0300 222 0000.

Registration as a British Citizen If You Had Previously Given up British Citizenship

There may be several reasons why you may need to re-register as a British citizen haven previously given it up. A major example may be where you have been born outside the UK to British parent in a country that either doesn’t permit dual nationality or only permit dual nationality on restricted grounds.

Nationality is commonly renounced where the individual in question is looking to hold a political office and/or is a public office in a country where he is a dual citizen of.

Please note that it is not in all cases where you renounce your British citizenship that you will be able to apply to get your British nationality back. Please contact our UK Nationality immigration solicitors to be sure that you qualify.

Resuming your British Nationality

In order to reapply, you need to complete the form RS1 and pay the appropriate fee. The following are some of the documents you may need to support your application: -

  • A copy of your declaration of renunciation
  • Identity documents
  • A letter from the country you are currently a citizen of saying that if you hadn’t given up your British citizenship you’d have lost or failed to get your current citizenship or nationality

Resumption as of Right

The British Nationality Act 1981 posits that resuming British citizenship is allowed if renunciation was important to allow the applicant retain or acquire citizenship of another country. Please note that the applicant can only as a matter of right resume nationality just once.

Please note that if you relinquished your nationality voluntarily, you may not be able to apply to resume your UK nationality as a matter of right. This means that the only time you may be able to resume your nationality as a matter of right is where you have had to relinquish your UK Nationality to serve another country which forbids you from having dual nationality whilst holding such positions.

If an individual has previously given up British citizenship, he/she may apply to resume the British citizenship status if they are in the right state of mind and:

  • have made a formal statement to relinquish British citizenship after 1 January 1983;
  • have made a formal statement to give up citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies before 1 January 1983.
  • Is born, naturalised or registered in the United Kingdom; or
  • Is a recorded citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in an independent Commonwealth Country.

British citizenship application

You will be authorised to make an application for British Nationality by Naturalisation if:

  • You are 18 years old or more;
  • You are credible and you do not have a serious criminal record or have been involved in any form of unlawful immigration act in the last ten years;
  • You intend to take up continuous residence in the United Kingdom;
  • You fulfil the requirements for Life in the UK and English Language;
  • You fulfil the requirement for residence in the United Kingdom.

You are required to:

  • Have spent a minimum of five years resided in the United Kingdom prior to the application date, during which you should spend no more than 450 days outside the United Kingdom
  • Have not spent more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in the last twelve months prior to your application
  • Have been issued an Indefinite Leave of Remain (ILR) in the last twelve months, if you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Be a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country or you are a permanent resident for the last twelve months. You will be required to make a permanent residence document available.
  • Have not breached any of the United Kingdom Immigration laws.

If your Husband/wife or civil partner is a British National different requirements would be asked of you.

It is important to note that any time spent in the United Kingdom away from the control of the UKVI as a diplomat or Armed forces officer will not be seen to be among the five year period.

Registration Of A Child As British Citizen - MN1 Application

Application for registration as British nationals (MN1 Application) by children (under the age of 18) to the UKBA is possible at contained in the about to be mentioned sections of the British Citizenship Act of 1981. If the child is 18 years he/she will be required to make the application for naturalisation by making use of the AN form.

The sections of the British Citizenship Act of 1981 concerning child registration as a British National are:

  1. Section 1 (3): A child who is born in the United Kingdom to parents who have taken up residence in the United Kingdom or who have become British Nationals.
  2. Section 1 (3A): A child born in the United Kingdom, whose parents are members of the armed forces.
  3. Section 3 (1): A child whose parents are British Nationality applicants.
  4. Section 3 (2): A child who is born in a foreign country to parents who are British citizens by ancestry and have resided in a British Overseas Territory or the United Kingdom.
  5. Section 3 (5): A child who is born in a foreign country to parents who are British citizens by ancestry and are presently residing in a British Overseas Territory or the United Kingdom.
  6. Section 3 (1): A child who is adopted in a foreign country to parents who are nationals of the United Kingdom.
  7. Section 3 (1): A child whose parents have relinquished and later resumed British Nationality.
  8. Section 3 (1): In any other case not been listed that has been contemplated to be for the benefit of the child that he/she be granted British Nationality.
  9. Section 4D: A child born in a foreign country to parents who are serving in the military.

Registration As A British Citizen - Age 10

Application For Registration As A British Citizen If You Were Born In The UK On Or After 1 January 1983 And Lived Here Up To The Age Of 10

For an individual to be registered as a British National he must:

  • have been born in the United Kingdom; and
  • have been born on or after 1 January 1983; and
  • be 10 years of age or over; and
  • have spent no more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in each of the first 10 years of your life.

However, if an Individual has spent more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom, the UKBA can make an exception if the reason for this situation is exceptional. This reason should be explained on the application form.

Registration As A British Citizen By Person Born Before 1983 To British Mother

An individual is entitled to register as a British citizen if:

  1. He/she was born before the 1st of January 1983;
  2. At the time of birth would have become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if women had been able to pass this citizenship on to their children in the same way as men; and
  3. He/she would have been entitled to reside in the United Kingdom on the 1st of January 1983, and become a British citizen if they had become a national of the United Kingdom and Colonies.
  4. He/she is of good character.

It is necessary that the applicant fulfils all the requirements for application. However, you cannot make the application using the form UKM except you would inevitably have become a British Citizen on January 1983 if women were able to pass citizenship on before that date. More so, the reason why many applications using the form UKM fail is because the applicant fulfils the second requirement but not the third.

If you would have become a British Citizen or a British dependent territories citizen on the 1st of January, 1983; you will not be entitled for registration if women had the ability to pass citizenship on before that date.

Application By British Subject For Registration As A British Citizen

You may be eligible for applying for British citizenship if you meet the following requirements.

  • You have resided continuously in the United Kingdom for at least 5 years (qualifying period).
  • You must have been for a consecutive 5 year period resident in the UK from the date of your application.
  • The total number of days you must have spent outside the UK must not be in excess of forty five days during the qualifying period.
  • Just prior to your application, you must not have resided outside the UK for a period in excess of ninety days.

It is important to note that periods spent away from immigration control will be discounted as part of the qualifying period.

British citizenship On The Basis Of Crown Or related Service

To meet the requirements for British citizenship registration on the basis of the Crown or similar service you will need to show that:-

  • You have or now is a under crown service; or
  • You have or now have been chosen to serve the crown as a member of an organisation established by British law from a British overseas territory.

It should be noted that been granted citizenship based on the Crown is only possible in rare cases; as such the individual must demonstrate that:-

  • They hold or have been in a responsible role; or
  • Have served in an exceptional manner within that role
  • They have strong and close ties to the country

Application By British Protected Person For Registration As A British Citizen

People who are British Protected Persons, might be qualified for registration as a British National under one of the accompanying criteria below:-

Enrolment On The Basis Of 5 years Residence

To be allowed to enrol under the 5 years living arrangement, you should meet these requirements:

  • You have surpassed the qualifying time frame; which is living in the UK for at least five years.
  • You resided in the United Kingdom for five years before the date of your application
  • You have resided outside the UK for over 450 days within the 5 year period.
  • You have not spent over ninety days outside the UK within the twelve months of your 5 year period.
  • You have not disregarded the UK Immigration rules amid this five-year time frame.
  • You must not have breached any of the time limits of your immigration conditions with regards to the most recent 12 months of your private qualifying period (5 year term) in the UK. Your private qualifying period will be registered on the day you present your application to guarantee that you have effectively finished this qualifying period. In this way, if your application is gotten on fifth August, 2012, you will need to demonstrate that you were in the UK on the sixth of August, 2007.

Be that as it may, at whatever time you have spent away from the control of the migration won't be considered as part of your five-year private qualifying period. Time of confinement in the UK, or time of appearance as a negotiator or military guest will be viewed as periods absolved from the control of the UK movement.

Enrolment On The Basis Of Crown Or Similar Service

You might be qualified for register as British Citizen on the off chance that you don't satisfy the requirements of the five-year residency period; as a British Citizen on the premise of your crown or related service.

To be qualified for this, you will be required to demonstrate that:

  • You have under the legislature of a British Overseas domain been or is as of now in Crown Service; or
  • You have been or is at present designated by or for the benefit of the crown for service as an individual from a body set up by law in a British Overseas domain.

To be allowed British Citizenship on the premise of the Crown is conceivable just in uncommon condition. This makes it essential that any person who is applying demonstrates that:

  • The applicant(s) have either been in or are as of now a holder of a respected position;
  • Such persons have served in an extraordinary way in that position; and
  • They have close ties with the UK.

British Citizenship By BOC

An individual, who is a British national Citizen (BOC), may be eligible to register as a British person under one of the following criteria:-

5 years legal residency

You may be able to register for British citizenship if you have lived continuously and legally (without breaking British laws) in the UK. You will need to meet the following requirements: -

  • Whilst in the United Kingdom for 5 years, you must not have spent any more than 450 days outside the UK throughout the period.
  • In the last year, and at the time of application, you must not stayed out of the UK for a period more than ninety days.
  • You must have lived in the UK lawfully (not in serious breach of laws in the UK) throughout this period
  • Within the five year period, you must have not been in breach of any immigration laws; especially regarding lawful residence. This means that you must have had valid leave throughout your stay in the UK

With regards to lawful residence, time spent in detention, or periods of work on diplomatic trips or as a member of the military will be not count as time away from immigration control (unlawful residence).

Registration On The Basis Of Crown Or Similar Service

Having resided in the UK for a period of 5 years, lawfully and continuously registration for British Citizenship on the basis of the Crown or similar service is also possible if: -.

  • The applicant either currently is or has been under Crown Service;
  • The applicant either is or have been appointed for service by the crown as a member of an organisation recognised by law in a British Overseas territory.

It is very important to note that British Citizenship on the basis of service to the Crown is only possible in an exceptional circumstance. This therefore means that, in under to be granted British citizenship under this route, you will need to show the following: -:

  • That you are currently holding a high and responsible position.
  • You have in an exceptional manner served in the position in point 1 above and
  • You have a close link to the UK.

Registration As British Citizen If You Are A British National (Overseas) With No Other Nationality

If you are looking to register as a British citizen as an overseas person with no nationality, the following requirements will need to me met.

  • You must be a British national (overseas);
  • you must not have held any other country’s citizenship or nationality
  • you must not have renounced any citizenship or nationality;
  • You must not have lost any citizenship or nationality by action or inaction.

You must make sure that you are not already a citizen before you make an application for naturalisation because it is a possibility for individuals to be citizens or nationals of a country without ever holding a passport or having been issued one by the authorities of that country.

Application By BNO For Registration As A British Citizen

The Hong Kong Act 1985 gave rise to the status of British National (Overseas) which was further incorporated into Section 4 (1) and was enforced on the 1st of July 1987 by Article 7 (2) of the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order of 1986.

You are authorized as a British National (Overseas) to register as a British Citizen if you meet any of the criteria mentioned below:

Registration - 5 yrs Residence

In order to be able to register under the 5 years rule, the applicant would have to meet for following requirements: -

    • The applicant has not gone past the qualifying period for residency (5 years);
    • You must show that you have been a resident of the UK 5 years prior to the date of your application.
    • There must not be a period where you spent above four hundred and fifty days away from the UK during the 5 year period
    • There must not be a period in which you have resided for a period more than ninety days outside the UK in the last twelve months in the 5 year period
    • You have not been in breach of any UK Immigration rules within the same period
    • You must not be found wanting in violation of any time restrictions within the last twelve months of your qualifying period in the UK

Please note that the 5 year period will be determined from the day your application was submitted. Also, time spent outside immigration control are not usually counted as part of the qualifying period. Such periods may include time in detention, time spent as a diplomat or armed forces visitor.

Registration On The Basis Of Crown Or Similar Service

Apart from the 5 years residency period, you may also qualify to register as a British Citizen on the basis the crown or other related services.

Please note that been granted citizenship on this basis is only possible in exceptional circumstances. Hence applicants must show that:

  • Such an applicant have been in or is a holder of a responsible position
  • Such an individual must have distinguished themselves with an outstanding service in that position.
  • Such an individual have close and strong ties with the UK.

Registration As British Citizen Under The British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997

To be registered as a British Citizen under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act of 1997, the must meet two requirements in order to ensure your eligibility. The requirements are the ordinary Residence Requirement and the Nationality Requirement.

Ordinary Residence Requirement

To meet the ordinary residence requirement you must:

    • be normally resident in Hong Kong on the date of your application; and
    • have been normally resident in Hong Kong before 4 February 1997.

In some cases where a child is born on or after the 4th of February, 1997; consideration of this circumstance will be determined by taking into account if the parents of the child were normally resident in Hong Kong as at the time of the child’s birth.

A child born on or after 4 February 1997 must have been ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the time of his birth. In such cases account will be taken of where the parent/s were ordinarily resident at the time of the birth.

For an individual to be adjudged as an ordinary resident in a country, he must:

      • be a regular resident in the country (excluding any temporary or occasional absences); and
      • not violate any immigration rules; and
      • have entered the country on his own volition with the purpose of taking up residence.

The United Kingdom court has pronounced that the following attributes are associated with ordinary residence:

      • it is a consistent and continual manner of living in a particular place;
      • its progress perseveres through periods of temporary absences;
      • it may be of a long or short time span;
      • it must be legitimate;
      • it must have been taken up on one's own free will;
      • it must be for an established motive.

Nationality Requirement

In order to fulfil this necessity, on the applicable date (immediately before 4 February 1997), you must have been:

      • a citizen of a British dependent territory by virtue only because of a connection with Hong Kong; or
      • a British national (overseas); or
      • a British overseas citizen; or
      • a British subject; or
      • a British protected person; and
      • you must not have held any other country’s nationality

Only if you become a British National after the relevant date of 3rd February, 1997; by birth, registration or naturalisation, will the relevant date become the date at which you attained this status of naturalisation in your case.

You must make sure that you are not already a citizen before you make an application for naturalisation because it is a possibility for individuals to be citizens or nationals of a country without ever holding a passport or having been issued one by the authorities of that country.

You must therefore not hold (held) any other, citizenship or Non-British nationality on the relevant date.

It is important to that:

    • There is a possibility that you have held (hold) one or more of the above statuses. You may have held (hold) one or more of the above statuses.
    • You can be a British Dependent Citizen by connection with more than one British dependent territory. In illustration to that effect, an individual born in Hong Kong to parent(s) born in another dependent territory could be a citizen of a British Dependent Territory notwithstanding the fact that he was born in Hong Kong. In this case, only a former British Dependent Territories citizen is authorised to apply under the 1997 Act.
    • You can be a national or a citizen of a country even if you have not been issued a passport by the authorities of that country.
    • You are ethnically Chinese, and you may still be regarded as a Chinese citizen as implied under the Chinese nationality rules; in which case you will not be permitted to register under the 1997 Act. It is therefore important that you take particular care if you wish to become a British national through your Hong Kong connections. It is further advised that individual who fall under this category contact the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Immigration Department for clarification before commencing with the application.
    • If you formally declare abandonment of citizenship for another country on or after “the relevant date”, you will not be authorised to register as a British Citizen.

Should you need help, we have a team of experienced nationality lawyers who are more than happy to advice you on your best options.

BOTC British Citizenship Registration

You may be considered for registration as a Citizen of the country if you are a citizen of British Overseas Territories.

If you are registered as a citizen in this category, you will become eligible to pass British citizenship to you children born overseas. You may qualify for this registration on the basis of:

  • Your residence in the country
  • The period of crown service or similar services
  • Fulfilling the British Territories Citizens alternate provision

If you meet any of the following conditions your chances of success under this application would increase, they are enumerated here under:

5 years registration Grounds

To qualify here under you must meet the following:

  • You must have gone pass the five years residency qualification period
  • You should have before making your application lived for five years in the country
  • At most 450 days should be spent outside the country
  • Not more that ninety days should be spent in the last year of your five year period outside the country
  • You must not during this time, break any immigration laws
  • You should not have gone contrary to the UKBA’s time restriction in the last year of your five years eligibility period. Your stay will however be checked on submission of your application to see if you really are qualified.

The time you spent incarcerated; or on diplomatic or military duties in the country, in which you were not monitored by the UKBA would be taken to be times of absence from the country.

Crown or Similar Service basis of British Citizenship Registration

You may be eligible for a registration for British Citizenship in this regard if you do not meet the five years stay condition but you can demonstrate that:

  • You have been or is presently in a Crown Service under the leadership of the British Abroad Region
  • You are appointed presently or was previously assigned to serve as a member of an establishment under the legislation of the British Abroad Territory; by or in the stead of the Crown.

Only in rare circumstances would you be granted nationality under this basis and so you would be required to demonstrate that:

    • You were or still is an executive office holder
    • You served or is serving exceptionally in the office
    • You have a direct link to the country

British Nationality Registration in Accord of the Alternative Provisions for British Overseas Territories Nationals

If you were not granted citizenship in accord with the British Overseas Territories Decree of 2002, you may be qualified for registration in this category, unless:

    • You nationality of British Overseas Territories is through your link to Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Sovereign Base Areas)
    • You have by Declaration of Renunciation given up British Nationality.

Registration as a British Citizen by a BOTC with a Connection with Gibraltar

If an individual is a British overseas territories citizen who is a British national for European Community motives because of a connection with Gibraltar, the individual can register as a British Citizen.

For an individual to be seen to have legitimate ties with Gibraltar:

  • his parents must have been born in Gibraltar;
  • his parents must have been naturalised in Gibraltar;
  • his parents must have been registered as British overseas territories citizen in Gibraltar;
  • his parents must have been registered as a citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies in Gibraltar before 26 February 2002.

If the individual’s parents share no marital ties, the individual’s connection to Gibraltar must be through the mother.

When you have given up your British Citizenship

You may be permitted to make a registration as a British national if you have previously relinquished your nationality as a British national or as a national of a British Overseas Territory by making use of the RS category application form.

If you intend to reclaim British nationality that was previously relinquished by you, you may make a registration for nationality by making use of the RS1 application form.

To qualify for the British Nationality registration using the RS1 application from you must meet the following criteria:

  • The declaration to relinquish your British nationality should be done subsequent to the 1st of January 1983; or
  • in addition to the declaration made to relinquish British nationality subsequent to the 1st of January 1983, you also:
      • Were given birth to, naturalised or registered in the United Kingdom; or
      • Are an independent commonwealth registered national of Britain and colonies.
    You may be permitted to make a registration as a British national if you have previously relinquished your nationality as a British national and you intend to reclaim it. You may make your registration using the RS2 application form if you are:
      • Mentally sound; and
      • The declaration you made to relinquish British nationality was subsequent to the 26th of February, 2002; or
      • The declaration to relinquish British dependent territories nationality you made was done within the 1st of January 1983 and 25th February 2002; or
      • A declaration to relinquish nationality of Britain and colonies was made by you; and
      • Your paternal grand-father (if you are married or in a civil partnership your spouse’s/partner’s paternal grand-father) was either given birth to, naturalised or registered in a UK Overseas Territory; or is a subject of the United Kingdom because the place in which he resides is now part of the British Overseas Territory.

Application by a Stateless Person for Registration as a British Citizen

Statelessness refers to a situation where an individual is not considered a national of any state. It is very common that most people who are stateless have never crossed a country border. Some of the common causes of statelessness include: -

  1. Conflict of law
  2. Gender
  3. Discrimination
  4. State succession
  5. Non-state territories

Conflict of law

There are two common ways of acquiring nationality.

  1. Jus Soli – right of the soil: Nationality on the basis of birth
  2. Jus Sanguinis – right of blood: Nationality through decent.

A scenario where an individual is born in a country that does not recognise nationality on the basis of been born in that country. If that child then grows in another country that recognises only nationality by birth. Since the second country only recognises nationality birth, both the parent and the child cannot be citizens of the third country. And since the first country does not accept nationality by birth, the child cannot lay claim to the first country either. The child in this situation may therefore be deemed stateless.

Gender

There are a number of countries in the world that do not allow female citizens to confer nationality to their children. Up to 27 countries in the world fall under this category. If the father in this situation is stateless, there is a strong likelihood that the child(ren) will also be stateless since nationality cannot be conferred by the mother.

Discrimination

Statelessness as a result of discrimination may arise where there the laws defining nationality are strict and regimented such that it excludes certain other parts of the society or the evolution of of societal normal and universal culture.

State succession

This may arise where a state ceases to exist; in most cases in control of another state.

Non-state territories

This is where persons are citizens of non-state territories. By definition, a stateless person is someone who has no state, so if you are from a place that is not deemed to be a state, you are automatically stateless. Practical examples where include people born and living in a place like western Sahara or Northern Cyprus.

Contact our immigration solicitors if you need assistance or have any questions. We offer a free initial assessment over the phone; call us on 02037442979.

Frequently asked enquiries on British Citizenship

This enquiry has been dealt with in a private email by our Immigration advisers

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I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.

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Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.

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I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.

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It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service.

I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice.

They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.

Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard


 
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