As a British Citizen you are free from immigration controls to live and work in the UK. You can apply for British Citizenship or British Nationality through the process of either ‘registration’ or ‘naturalisation’ and apply for a British Passport once you have been granted British Citizenship or British Nationality. Registration process is usually used by children to apply for British Citizenship, although there are certain adults that can also apply to ‘register’ as a British Citizen. Registering a child for British Nationality can be a complex process as the British Nationality law have been updated a number of times.
For children born outside the UK to British Parent who are British by Descent, or children born in the UK before parents achieved settled status, aswell as many adults born in the UK before 1982 to non British Parents, an application to register as a British Citizen will need to be made. For majority of adults the process of application involves ‘naturalization’.
You can apply to become British Citizen by ‘naturalization’ after you have obtained either Indefinite Leave to Remain, Permanent Residence documents or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Unless you are married or in a civil partnership with a British national you will have to wait 12 months after obtaining the settled status before you can apply for citizenship.
For an application for naturalization you will need meet certain requirements such as having a good character, as well as fulfilling the residency requirements. 121 Immigration Lawyers can advise you on how to meet the requirements and assist you in making a successful application for British Citizenship or British Nationality through Naturalisation or Registration. Call us on 0121 285 5121 or 0203 745 1616 or request a call back to speak with an expert advisor.
For a naturalization application the following requirements must be normally met:
- Must be aged 18 or over
- Not have been in breach of any immigration laws in the UK
- Must have held settled status for at least 12 months (unless married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen)
- Pass the Life in the UK test
- Meet the English language Requirement
- Intend to continue to live in the UK (nor required for a spouse)
- Meet the requirement of ‘good character’ and sound mind
- Not have spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 month period before making the application
The residency requirements differ depending on whether or not you are applying on the basis of marriage or civil partnership with a British citizen.
If you are married or a civil partner of a British citizen
- You must have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before application is made and
- Must not have spent more than 270 days in total outside the UK in the 3 years before making the application.
If you are not married or a civil partner of a British citizen
- You must have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before application is made and
- Must not have spent more than 450 days in total outside the UK in the 3 years before making the application.
If your naturalization application is successful you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will make an oath of allegiance (or affirmation) and a pledge. At the ceremony you are promising to respect the freedoms, rights and laws of the UK, after which you will receive your certificate of British Citizenship. It is mandatory to attend the citizen ceremony within three months of receiving your invitation.
What can 121 Immigration Lawyers do for you?
Our immigration lawyers can help you with the British Citizenship application process and ensure you have the all the paperwork that is required for a successful British Citizenship application. We can help by:
- Discussing the options that are available to you in terms of Registration or Naturalisation and ensuring this is the most appropriate application for you.
- Advising you about the requirements and the relevant documents that are required for the application.
- Reviewing the documents to ensure they are satisfactory for the application.
- Provide a detailed letter of representation, which will outline how you meet the requirements of the British Citizenship, with reference to the relevant British Nationality Laws.
- Completing and submitting the relevant application form on your behalf.
- Advising you the timescale and liaising with the home office until a decision is made.