Naturalisation as a British citizen
Those who have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or, in the case of EEA nationals and their family members hold evidence that they have acquired permanent residence, may be eligible to apply to naturalise as a British citizen.
Applicants for naturalisation as a British citizen must demonstrate that:
- they are over 18 years old;
- they are of good character and sound mind;
- they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test;
- they have not broken any immigration laws whilst in the UK;
- they intend to make the UK their principal home;
- they have spent less than 90 days outside of the UK in the last 12 months; and
- they have been free from immigration controls for at least 12 months (unless married to a British citizen).
Applicants must also meet the residency requirement by demonstrating that:
- they have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of application; and
- they have spent less than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 year period.
If an applicant is married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, then the residency requirement is reduced. In this case, the applicant must demonstrate that:
- they have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before the date of application; and
- they have spent less than 270 days outside the UK during the 3 years.
In certain cases, it is possible for applicants who have been absent from the UK for longer periods of time to qualify.
Once acquired, British citizenship status cannot be revoked other than in exceptional circumstances.
Children who are born to those who have naturalised as British citizens are themselves British citizens.
Whilst the UK allows its citizens to hold dual nationality, many other countries require their citizens to give up their nationality when becoming British. We therefore recommend that prior to making an application to naturalise as a British citizen, applicants check the rules regarding nationality in their home country.
Naturalisation applications: How we can help
The Home Office will carefully scrutinise an application for naturalisation as a British citizen. If it considers that the applicant does not intend to stay in the UK or if any of the other requirements have not been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that the application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing naturalisation applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
For further advice, please contact us.