A BOY who was born in Bury and has never left England got the shock of his life when government officials told him he is actually Italian.
The bizarre ruling arose when Kyle Butterfield, aged 12, of Holland Street, Radcliffe, wanted to go on a trip with his school, Philips High in Whitefield, and applied for a British passport.
The Passport Office revealed there was a problem because he was classed as being of a different nationality.
His stunned father Paul carried out some research and found that, because Kyle’s mother, Debora Lonergan, was born in Genoa, Italy, and has not applied for a passport since she arrived in the UK at the age of two, Kyle is technically not British.
Paul, who separated from Debora seven years ago and has full custody of Kyle, said: “It’s farcical. The closest Kyle gets to being Italian is that he likes to eat pizza and playing Super Mario.”
The 43-year-old father said: “He was born at Fairfield Hospital, has never left here and only speaks English. Of course he is a Brit.”
Paul took his fight for a resolution to the UK Passport Service office in Liverpool and was told that he could pay £673 to submit a form that would register Kyle as a Brit.
However, he was told that if he did not fill in the correct form — one of two which could be relevant — he would lose his £673.
Paul, who is unemployed, said: “I can’t afford that sort of money, especially if I’m throwing away the best part of £700 on a 50/50 chance.
“They really should be able to advise me better and we shouldn’t have this problem in the first place.”
By law, Kyle’s nationality is determined by where his mother is born.
Experts say cases such as this are deemed rare, because the mother would usually have applied for a passport for herself at a young age and so would have been aware of the problem.
And it only applies to children who were born before July 1, 2006, when the law was changed to avoid such situations which Paul and his son now find themselves in.
Paul added: “I’m really worried about it. It’s not just a case of Kyle wanting to go on school trips.
“He will need a passport to provide his identity when he learns to drive and when he starts work.
“He could get an Italian passport, but then he would be classes as an overseas student if he decides to go to university. It’s bonkers.”
Kyle said: “I feel like an outsider and that I don’t fit in because everyone I know is British, yet I’m not.
“I am worried about how it might affect my student loan when I’m older. It’s unfair and stupid.
“I don’t want to cause the Italians any offence, but I am British. Three of my grandparents are British, so why am I Italian?”
On behalf of the Passport Office and the UK Border Agency, a Home Office spokesman said they could not discuss individual cases.
He added: “People born in the UK after 1983 and before 2006, whose parents are unmarried, citizenship can only be claimed through the mother.
“In such a situation, we would advice the applicant to enquire with the UK Visa and Immigration Service about registering to become a British citizen.
“The service can provide the correct advice on the correct form to fill in so the price of registration is as low as possible.”