According to The Daily Star, Gilberto Silva has recently been awarded British nationality. If this is true, it is quite exciting for the G-man. Check it out from The Shields Gazette:
Edit: this story has been reported on the BBC website since being posted
Arsenal’s Gilberto is expected to stay at the Emirates Stadium next season after passing his UK citizenship test, says the Daily Star.
As you can see, The Star go on to say that this fact is proof that Gilberto will stay at Arsenal next season. I don’t think this can be true – Gilberto is far too frustrated with not playing.
However, I did a little research into what conditions must be met for a non-UK citizen (married to a non-UK citizen) to get British nationality:
For those not married to a British citizen the requirements are:
- five years legal residence in the UK
- indefinite leave to remain or “equivalent” for this purpose (see above) must have been held for 12 months
- the applicant must intend to continue to live in the UK or work overseas for the UK government or a British corporation or association
- the same language and knowledge of life in the UK standards apply as for those married to British citizens
- All applicants for naturalisation must be of “good character”.
Gilberto has indeed been working legally in the UK for five years (he joined Arsenal in August 2002), and it can technically be argued that he intends to stay in the UK. Whether or not this turns out to be true has no bearing on his nationality after it is actually awarded. (I assume.)
Gilberto has a lovely knowledge of the UK, too – since he evidently passed his nationality test. His wife would apparently have to do this, too – but I assume that wouldn’t be a problem, since she’s been in the UK an equally long time as Gilberto. An interesting point is that his kids are fluent in English, and probably consider themselves British, since they’ve spent their entire lives in England. This is a good reason for Gilberto to try and get Brazilian nationality – so that he can return to the UK in the future to visit (or live with) his children.
Gilberto clearly fits the “good character” criteria. In fact, I’d say that Gilberto pretty much sets the criteria for that point. He is ‘good character’ personified, really.
So… yeah. Go Gilberto. He is now British. Long live the Queen. And stuff.