If you have been in the UK for a sufficient amount of time (usually 5 years with additional 12 months or more with Indefinite Leave to Remain) and wish to apply for British citizenship, you can apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen.
Once granted, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony where you will give an oath of allegiance (or an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God) and a pledge. This means you promise to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK.
At the end of the ceremony, you’ll be presented with your certificate of British citizenship, which you can then use if you choose to apply for your British passport.
You must have lived in the UK for 5 years and had one of the following for 12 months:
- Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK
- Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) in the UK.
You do not need to wait 12 months to apply if you’re married to a British citizen.
In addition, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be over 18 years old
- Meet English Language requirement
- Pass the Life in the UK Test
- Intend to continue living in the UK
- Be of ‘good character’ according to Home Office requirements.
You must have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application.
You must not have:
- Spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years before your application
- Spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months before your application
- Broken any UK immigration laws
- You must still have a valid indefinite leave to remain or enter.
You can apply for your children to register them as British citizens if they were:
- Born outside of the UK
- Born inside the UK before you were granted indefinite leave to remain
You must also pay for your child’s citizenship ceremony if they turn 18 during the application process.
Your child may automatically be a British citizen if they were born in the UK after you were granted ILR.
The main requirements are “good character” requirement, knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK and residence in the UK. Please get in touch with us to discuss each of these requirements in more detail specific to you individual situation.
The Life in the UK test aims to assess your knowledge of English history and culture. The test comprises of 24 questions, and you have 45 minutes to answer them. You can retake the test as many times as you like, and once you have passed you will not need to retake it for further applications (for example where you have already passed it as part of your Indefinite Leave to Remain application). You may be exempt from passing the Life in the UK test if you are over 65 years old or have a serious condition which would prevent you from taking it.
The “good character” is assessed through an applicant’s criminal record in the UK or any other country including any criminal convictions for which the applicant has not yet been tried in court. These include penalties, fines and certain motoring offences. The scope of the assessment is very wide and takes into account issues including bankruptcy, non-payment of Council tax, etc. Please get in touch with us if you are concerned about how the “good character” assessment could impact your application and we will discuss it with you in a complete confidentiality.
If your application for British citizenship is successful you will be invited to take a citizenship pledge and an oath of allegiance at a citizenship ceremony. These normally take place at your local council and you will need to book an appointment for your ceremony. You may book a “group ceremony” to attend along with other persons also attending their ceremony, or a “private ceremony” if you wish to invite your friends and family (number of persons attending is limited). If you are applying for your children and they are under 18, they may choose not to attend the ceremony.
At the end of the citizenship ceremony, you will be issued with a Certificate of Naturalisation. Once you have received this, you can apply for your first British passport.
The Secretary of State may revoke a person of his British citizenship if there has been a serious misconduct committed by that person. The situations like this are rare and very complex situations in which British citizenship can be lost or where it is stripped away are fairly complex. Please get in touch with us if you have been notified that your British citizenship has been revoked or if you are being deprived of it and we can assess your circumstances to assist you.
Your child may be British automatically if they were born in the UK and at least one of their parents was a settled person (who held either Indefinite Leave to Remain, permanent residence documentation, Settled Status or British citizenship) at the time of their birth. Your child may also be automatically British if they were born outside the UK and at least one of their parents was a British citizen.
This depends on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances. Please get in touch with us so we can discuss your individual situation to establish whether you are a British citizen.
The current fees for an application for Naturalisation as a British citizen (from October 2021) are £1,330 and £1,012 for an application for Registration of a child as a British citizen. You will also need to pay £19.20 for biometric enrolment. If you apply for your child and they turn 18 during the application process, you will need to pay £80 for your child’s citizenship ceremony. The Home Office reviews its fees and these may be subject to increase in the future.
The decision process takes up to 6 months. However, some delays may occur depending on your individual circumstances or the Home Office/UKVI.