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Naturalisation as a British Citizen- Eligibility, Fee & Required Documents Checklist!

What is British Citizenship or Naturalisation as a British Citizen?

British Citizenship is a privlege and can be acquired in different ways such as by descent or through Naturalisation. A British citizen by descent granted if either a person born in the UK, or born outside the UK if they have one British citizen parent. Naturalisation, however, is a popular way of becoming a British citizen. Once you have gained Naturalisation you can apply for a British nationality or passport, you can live and work in the UK legally and free from immigration controls.

Naturalisation is generally granted in form of a certificate issued under the British Nationality Act 1981. The British Nationality Act 1981, came into effect on 1st January 1983, defines how UK citizenship can be acquired and how an individual may become a British citizen. It also defines how a person can be deprived of a British Nationality. 

British Citizenship Requirements & Eligibility

In order to become a British citizen, you need to prove that you are eligible by satisfying a number of requirements when making your UK citizenship application, such as showing that you have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time. When making a British Citizenship application, these eligibility requirements include:

  • You should be 18 years or over
  • You should be of “good character” - for example, you have no serious or recent criminal record, you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 5 years
  • You intend to continue to live in the UK
  • You must have the requisite knowledge of English and Life in the UK requirements
  • You have met the residency requirement

In addition, you must make sure that the application form for British Citizenship or Naturalisation is completed properly as mistakes on the application can lead to refusal or delay in getting a decision. 

If the applicant is married to a British citizen, they should have:

  • Lived in the UK for 3 years and on the date of application should have be possession of ILR for at least 11 months.
  • Not been absent from the UK in excess of 270 days during the past 3 year period
  • Not been absent from the UK in excess of 90 days before the application during the last 12 month period

Finally, you must usually have also:

  • Lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application
  • Not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • Not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

In certain cases that Home Office is willing to exercise discretion in the cases where the applicat has travelled in excess of the above days, as recently people were unable to return due to covid-19, the evidence must be provided in a proper manner to request for discretion to be exercised in your favour for grant of Britsih Citizenship.

Regardless on what basis you are applying for Britsih Citizenship or Naturalisation, you must not have any criminal conviction. Under British citizenship even a simple fine can lead to 3 years suspension, so you need to be very careful when submitting the application that you do not miss any relevant information when applying for the British Citizenship.

Get in touch with us in order to find out more information if you are looking to begin the process of making an application for naturalisation as a British Citizen.

Documents Required British Citizenship or Naturalisation as a Britsih Citizen

In order to apply for British citizenship you may provide the following documents - 

  • Fully completed application form AN 1; 
  • Evidence to confirm your length of residence in the UK (P60, tax returns, etc); 
  • Evidence that you are free from Immigration Control (BRP card, Visa for ILR, etc);
  • Details of your employment or self employment; 
  • List of days out from the United Kingdom;
  • Details of Referee in Support of your application for Citizenship; 
  • Evidence to prove that you meet the English Language Requirement at ESOL Level 3 - B1;
  • Evidence that you have passed the Life in the UK;
  • Evidence of your family in the United Kingdom (Marriage Certificate, Birth certificate, etc); 
  • Evidence of cohabitation with family (evidence of living togther under same roof);
  • Evidence of ownership of property or assets in the UK;
  • Evidence of yoru employment or self employment (Payslips, bank statements); 
  • Completed Declarations from your referees; and 
  • Any other evidence relevant to your circumstances 

The above list is not a complete set of documents as documents may vary according to the circumstances of the applicant and the basis of their application for British Citizenship or Naturalisation. 

In addition, to the the doccuments above you must meet the Good Character requirement, which relates to your immigration history in the UK and also the fact that you do not have any criminal convictions, such information is very important to yoru application as it can result in grant of refusl of your application for British citizenship. 

Should you need our assistance with your application for British Citizenship or Naturalisation, please contact our lawyers by calling us on 02034111261 or email us

Naturalisation as a British Citizen fee 

The fee for British Citizenship has recently increased on 10 April 2024 and currently the Government fee is £1630, which is divided into two that are £1500 for yoru application and £130 for your citizenship ceremony. Both the fees are paid at the time of the submission of the application. 

In the event your applicatio is refused you will receive a fee of £130 refunded to you. 

How to apply for British Citizenship

Becoming a British citizen is known as Naturalisation as a British Citizen. A citizen or a national of another country  generally eneter the UK on a relevant visa and once they are granted Indefinite Leave to remain, they need to wait 12 months in certain cases or apply immidiately for Britsih Citizenship or Naturalisation. Certain applicant's can directly claim their British citizenship if they were born in the UK on or before 1st January 1983. All other applicant must be naturalised or in cases of children may achieve registration. 

You can apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen after you have lived as a resident in the UK for 5 years. This is reduced to 3 years of residence or if you’re in a civil partnership with or married to a British citizen. However in certain cases you need to wait for 1 year after settlement to apply for British citizenship or Naturalisation.

In order to apply for British Citizenship you must submit an online application after you are elibible, pay for the relevant application fee, submit the documents in support of yoru application and attend the biometric appointment.

After your Naturalisation as a British Citizen application has been approved, you will  receive an invitation to attend a Citizenship ceremony, at which you’ll be given your Certificate of Naturalisation. You can then apply for a British passport. This is usually processed within six weeks, although the Home Office may need to interview you while processing your UK naturalisation application.

What is Naturalisation as a British Citizen under Section 6(2)?

Naturalisation can be achived on the basis of being married to a British citizen after 3 years of your marriage, however, you must hold Indefinite Leave to Remain before applying for Naturalisation as a British Citizen under Section 6 (2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. The 3 years period was kept as before 2012 people married to British citizens use to get Indefinite Leave to Remain after 2 year and after 9 July 2012 this has not been increased to 5 years. 

The only difference now in applying for Naturalisation as a British Citizen under Section 6 (2) is that applicants do not need to wait one year after receiving their Indefinite Leave to Remain and can stright away apply for Naturalisation after receiving your Indefinite Leave to Remain.

What is Naturalisation by Discretion? 

British Citizenship can be granted by discretion, it means when you are unable to meet all the relevant requirements but have compassionate and compelling circumstances or can prove that you have long term commitment to the United Kingdom then the considering officer at the Home Office may be willing to grant your application at Discretion. Generally, it depends how your application is presented in the circumstances when you are unable to meet all the requirements. 

If you are looking to apply for British Citizenship you can call and speak to one of our lawyers at Visa and Migration Ltd - 02034111261 or email us

What if my application for British Nationality is refused?

British Citizen applications can be refused due to an error of the Home Office or in cases where discretion may not have been exercised objectively. In these cases you may request for a reconsideration of your application for which you need to complete a Nationality Review of yoru British Citizenship or Naturalisation and submit grounds and evidence on the basis of which the Nationality review is being requested. The Government fee for review of your British Citizenship or Naturalisation application is £450.

Children Applying for British Citizenship

A child born in the UK to parents with ILR or Permanent residence or who are British Citizens can apply for registration as a British Citizen. Children born in the UK and who have lived in the UK for 10 years can apply for registration as British Citizen. Children born outside the UK to a British Parent who themselves were born outside the UK can only apply for Britsih Citizenship by registration after residing in the UK for 3 years and meetng the residence requirement, 

Life in the UK Test

The Life in the UK Test is a computer-based test looking at the requirements for anyone seeking naturalisation as a British citizen or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK under the Immigration Rules. The test consists of 24 questions; you are given 45 minutes to complete the test. The required pass rate is in order to achieve naturalisation as a British citizen is 75%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my name before or after applying for British Citizenship?

If you intend to change your name you, should do it before submitting the application and make sure the name is changed on your passport before application

Will my application be refused if I exceed the maximum dates out?

The general requirement is that you should not outside the UK for more than 450 days in last 5 years or more than 270 days in the last 3 years if applying on the basis of your British spouse, however there is discretion to the rules and it depends on your reason for absence

Can I apply for British Citizenship if I have a criminal conviction?

It depends what sort of criminal conviction you have, it is best to discuss this before starting the application process

Do I need to do life in the UK test again?

If you did your life in the UK test at the time of Indefinite Leave to Remain, then you do not need to take the test again. The Life in the UK test is valid for life.

Am I allowed to travel while my application is still pending?

Unlike the immigration applications, there is no restriction on travel after submitting your application for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen.

Do you need to apply for a British Citizenship?

Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.