Applying for British citizenship after Settlement

09 Dec 2022, 59 mins ago

You have just been granted settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK and you are now wondering what’s next, when can I apply for British citizenship? In this blog we discuss when you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship and a few key considerations. 

When can I apply for British citizenship?

Once you have been granted settlement in the UK, the date that you will be eligible to apply for British citizenship will depend on whether or not you are married to a British citizen on the date of application. If so, you will be eligible to apply for British citizenship automatically upon being granted settlement in the UK. If not, you will become eligible after having settlement for 12 months. 

You will also need to meet the other requirements for British citizenship, which relate to absences from the UK, the Life in the UK test, English language, good character etc.  

Key considerations 

Dual nationality 

The UK permits holding two (or more) nationalities, but before applying for British citizenship, you should check whether your country of nationality permits the same. If not, you should consider the potential impact of losing your nationality, so that you can make an informed decision about whether to apply for British citizenship. 

Entering the UK once you have British citizenship 

You must time the submission of your British citizenship application appropriately, especially if you have travel plans within the next 12 months. 

Once your British citizenship application has been approved, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony within 3 months. Once you have attended your citizenship ceremony, you will become British. From this point, you will no longer have settlement in the UK and will be unable to use your settlement documents to facilitate entry to the UK. 

You will need to apply for your first British passport as soon as possible, so that you can continue entering the UK smoothly. Obtaining the passport can take several weeks. 

If you have travel plans within the next 12 months, you will need to time the submission of your application and the attendance of your citizenship ceremony accordingly, to avoid any issues when travelling into the UK. 

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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