Naturalisation is the legal process by which a person becomes a national of another country, such as the UK.
If you are at least 18 years old and have been granted indefinite leave to remain or have acquired a document certifying permanent residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation.
There are a number of requirements that an applicant must meet to be eligible to naturalise as a British citizen.
An application for naturalisation as a British citizen can be submitted on the basis of three years (if married to a British citizen) or five years of lawful residence in the UK, under section 6(2) or 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, respectively. There are various requirements which must be met in order to naturalise. The main stumbling blocks, however, are often the residence requirements, which are as follows:
- In any event, in order to qualify for UK citizenship, you must not have spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of your application for British citizenship by naturalisation;
- In addition, if you are not married to a British citizen, you will also need to have not been away from the UK for more than 450 days in the preceding five years and you must have held Indefinite Leave to Remain for a minimum of 12 months before submitting your application;
- If you are married to a British citizen, you will need to have spent not more than 270 days outside the UK in the preceding three years. You are not required to have held Indefinite Leave to Remain for any prescribed period but you will be required to hold it at the time of application.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many people who would not usually meet the residence requirements may now potentially do so, and it may therefore be the ideal time to prepare an application for naturalisation.
Gherson have extensive experience in assisting with applications for naturalisation. If you believe you may qualify to prepare and submit an application for British citizenship at this time, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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 don’t 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.