Naturalisation As A British Citizen
Applying for Naturalisation
Our team has extensive experience of preparing successful Naturalisation applications.
Having worked with the Home Office, we understand how carefully they will assess every application and if they deem that you do not meet the eligibility criteria, or if any of the requirements regarding the process or documentation have not been met, the application can be refused. Our team will work diligently to ensure that your applications are successful.
What is Naturalisation?
Naturalisation is the most common way for adults who were not born British to become British citizens.
If you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, or if you are an EEA national or the family member of an EEA national and have attained permanent residency, you may be able to apply to naturalise as a British citizen.
Benefits of Naturalisation As A British Citizen
Naturalising as a British citizen has a number of advantages.
First, unlike Indefinite Leave to Remain, citizenship cannot lapse if you spend extended periods of time away from the UK. Further, citizenship can only be revoked in exceptional circumstances.
Second, upon naturalising as a British citizen, any children you subsequently have will be automatically British by birth, irrespective of where they are born.
Third, naturalised British citizens are permitted to vote in UK General Elections.
Do I qualify to naturalise as a British citizen?
To be eligible to naturalise as a British citizen, you must show that:
- you are over 18 years old;
- you are of full capacity (i.e. of sound mind) and you are of good character;
- you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and have passed a Life in the UK test;
- you have not been in breach of any UK immigration laws whilst in the UK;
- you intend to make the UK your main home upon naturalisation;
- you have spent less than 90 days outside of the UK in the last 12 months immediately before applying; and
- you have been free from immigration control (i.e. have held indefinite leave to remain in the UK) for at least 12 months (unless you are married to a British citizen, in which case you must be free from immigration control on the date of application).
You must also meet the residence requirement, which differs depending on whether you are married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
If you are married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you must show that:
- you have lived in the UK for at least three years before the date of application; and
- you have not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days during the three years.
If you are not married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you will satisfy the residence requirement if you can demonstrate that:
- you have lived in the UK for at least five years before the date of application; and
- you have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the five years.
If you have been absent from the UK for longer periods, it may still be possible to qualify for naturalisation on a discretionary basis.
Not all countries permit dual citizenship. The UK does allow dual citizenship and the Home Office does not require you to surrender your existing nationality upon becoming a British citizen.
Before applying to naturalise as a British Citizen, you are advised to check that you are permitted to acquire British citizenship in accordance with the laws of your country of origin, and that you are aware of all the consequences for your present nationality that may flow from applying for British citizenship.
In some cases, an applicant may be required to apply to their country of origin for permission to retain their original nationality before applying for British citizenship.
For more information about us and our British Citizenship and Naturalisation services, please contact a member of the team who can answer any questions and guide you through the process.