Apply for British Citizenship
What is British Citizenship?
British Citizenship is either acquired by descent or through naturalisation. A British citizen by descent is either a person born in the UK, or born outside the UK if they have one British citizen parent. British citizenship, however, can also be acquired through naturalisation. Once you have gained British nationality, you can live and work in the UK legally and free from immigration controls.
The British Nationality Act 1981, which came into effect on 1st January 1983, defines how UK citizenship can be acquired and how an individual becomes a British citizen. It also defines how they give up their own citizenship of the country they belong to.
How to apply for British Citizenship
Becoming a British citizen is known as British naturalisation. A citizen or a national of another country can apply for a visa for entry in the UK in several ways. If the candidate was issued a British passport on or after 1st January 1983, they are considered to be a British citizen.
You can apply for UK citizenship by naturalisation 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.
After your British naturalisation 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.
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 10 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
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
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.
Children Applying for British Citizenship
A child born in the UK to parents on ILR 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. This period for registration has been reduced to 7 years in some cases.
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. 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%.