Up until recently, those applying to naturalise as British citizens in the UK were required to complete a 30-page paper application form and submit this, along with all of their documents, to the Home Office. It was possible for an applicant to keep their passport throughout the process, but all other documents were held by the Home Office until a decision was reached, often for periods of up to six months.
The introduction of the new Nationality Document Return Service means that applicants will no longer face this problem. Applicants are now able to use an online application form before taking all documents to a participating local authority where the documents will be copied and sent to the Home Office on the applicant’s behalf. Whilst local authorities will charge a fee to use this service, it is expected that the fee will be in the region of £10- £20.
Further information regarding this service along with a list of the local authorities offering it can be found here.
The new scheme also offers the opportunity to apply for a British passport at the same time as applying for British citizenship rather than making a separate application once British citizenship has been acquired.
Applying to naturalise as a British citizen is an important step for many of our clients and we are able to provide detailed guidance and assistance, including ensuring that the requirements are met, the case is presented in a strong manner and the preparation of all relevant forms. If you would like to discuss your application with one of our team, please contact us.