As a British citizen, you can live and work in the UK free from immigration controls. Unless you are British by descent, you must apply to be granted British citizenship. Applications can be made by individuals who are married to a British citizen, or by individuals who meet certain criteria for ‘naturalisation’.
What is British citizenship?
The rules governing eligibility for British citizenship and for the application process are strict and vary depending on the circumstances of your application.
Am I eligible to apply for British citizenship?
You are eligible to apply for British citizenship if you satisfy the following criteria:
- You must be 18 years old or over.
- You must not have a serious or recent criminal record.
- You have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, or as an EEA national have permanent residence in the UK.
- You have not broken any immigration laws or conditions while in the UK.
- You must satisfy the English language requirements and pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test.
What will I need to show to apply for British citizenship?
As part of your application you will need to demonstrate:
- If you are married to a British citizen – that you have been in the UK for three years and have Indefinite Leave to Remain when you apply, and that you have not been outside of the UK for more than 90 days in the past 12 months or 270 days in the past three years.
- If you are not married to a British citizen – that you have lived in the UK for at least five years before your application date, that you have not been outside of the UK for more than 90 days in the last 12 months, or more than 450 days during the last five years, and that you will continue to live in the UK as a naturalised citizen.
What you need to know about British citizenship
You can apply for naturalisation after 12 months of Indefinite Leave to Remain.
It is important to check if your country of origin allows you to hold both British citizenship and citizenship of that country, as some do not permit this. The UK does allow you to have more than one nationality.
How we can help
At DavidsonMorris we have the experience to advise you on the most appropriate type of application for your individual circumstances and have the insight to make the application process as smooth as possible.
As a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, we have an established reputation for effective and efficient management and processing of British citizenship applications.
We can also assist with:
- Obtaining tax advice before you apply
- Your dependents applications for citizenship
- Your Citizenship ceremony
- Obtaining your first British passport once your application has been approved