Naturalisation as a British Citizen

Call us on 0207 100 2525 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

Request a call back from our British Citizen Solicitors

Page Contents

Call Us 24/7
0207 100 2525

What is Naturalisation?

Naturalisation is the legal process by which a person becomes a natural citizen of the UK. You can become a British citizen either by birth or you can apply for naturalisation if you are aged 18 or over. To be eligible to become a British citizen, you need to prove that you have been in the UK on Indefinite Leave to Remain or EU Settled Status for at least three years, and that you have never broken UK law, including immigration breaches.

Once your permanent residence status request is approved, you can live, work and study in the UK permanently, without any immigration restrictions. You will also be able to travel and spend time abroad without the need to worry about losing your status.

How can I show I am a person of Good Character?

To qualify for British citizenship, you must demonstrate your “good character”. In deciding whether you are a person of good character, the Home Office will consider your criminal record, if any. British nationality law is quite strict, and thorough background checks are an important part of validating your legal right to claim citizenship in the UK. The Home Office will also review any criminal offence committed overseas and UK immigration-related issue. Generally, the UKVI and the Home Office will not consider applications if a person has held a custodial sentence for four years or longer. Furthermore, those who fail to disclose the full details of their criminal history will also have their application automatically refused. The Home Office will, however, consider any contributions that you may have made to the society since you have been in the UK.

It can be extremely difficult to navigate through the naturalisation process, having a member of our expert London-based team guide you effortlessly through the process will not only put your mind at ease but give you the best chances of success.

What are the different immigration routes to obtain British citizenship?

According to your circumstances, there are several routes you can follow to register as a British citizen. These are following:

  • British citizen by birth or descent
  • British citizenship by marriage
  • 5-year route
  • Citizenship for stateless individuals
  • Nationality for those who have renounced it

What are the eligibility requirements to become a British Citizen?

The eligibility requirements to become a British citizen are set out in the British Nationality Act 1981. You need to meet the following requirements to be eligible to become a British citizen:

  • Be over the age of 18.
  • Have spent at least 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, with no longer than 450 days outside the UK.
  • Have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK for at least 12 months.
  • Meet the B1 CEFR level English language requirements (unless exempt).
  • Pass the Life in the UK Test, to show that you are aware of the basics of the British customs, traditions, and culture.
  • Not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules.
  • Demonstrate that they meet the Good Character requirement.

Exemptions for the English Language Naturalisation Requirements

Situations where evidence of proficiency in the British language would not be required for a Naturalisation application, are:

  • Evidence of having completed a degree which was either taught or researched in English.
  • Are either under 18 or aged 65 or over
  • Suffer from a severe physical or mental condition that has affected you on a long term basis.
Book Video Consultation Now
Zoom | Teams | Whatsapp | Skype

What is the application process to become a British citizen?

To apply for British citizenship, you can complete the relevant Home Office naturalisation form. This is Form AN Application for Naturalisation as a British citizen. You will be required to provide documentary evidence to support your application.
Your biometric details (photograph and fingerprint scans) need to be collected at your nearest UKVCAS Centre. The Home Office may contact you to let you know if you can provide your information at a local post office. If you wish, you can get in touch with the Home Office directly.
You can submit your forms and documents either from abroad or from within the UK.
You will also be required to provide details of two referees, who will need to sign a Referee Declaration form to confirm that the information you have provided on your form is correct.
The application process usually takes from three to six months. If your application is approved, you will receive an invitation to attend a Citizenship ceremony to obtain your Certificate of Naturalisation.

Express Booking
Free Online Consultation

What documents do I need to apply for British Citizenship?

When you are applying to become a natural British citizen, you need to ensure that you have a list of documents to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements. These can include the following:

  • Evidence of your identity and permanent residence status, such as your passport, birth certificate or any valid travel document.
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), residence card, or any proof that you hold Indefinite Leave to Remain or EU Settled Status.
  • Evidence of your previous immigration status and your right to remain in the UK, including any visa that you held before you settled in the UK.
  • Proof of English language and knowledge of life in the UK. You will receive a valid pass certificate after completing both the Life in the UK Test and the ESOL language exam. If you have already completed the Life in the UK Test when you obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain, you do not need to resit the exam.
  • Evidence of lawful residential presence in the UK during the qualifying period. As a resident of the UK, you must have always respected all the immigration laws.
  • Travel details of any period of absence that you have spent outside the UK. To become a British citizen, you need to show that you have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the five-year residence period
  • Proof showing that you are free from UK immigration time restrictions, and you have the right to remain in the UK.
  • You meet the good character requirement and you have never been in breach of any UK immigration laws.
  • Proof that you have exercised treaty right in the last 3 or 5 years, depending on your immigration status. To this end, you can provide letters confirming your current employment, bank statements or letters from your education establishment.

Get in touch with our expert Naturalisation as a British Citizen Solicitors today.