Apply for British Citizenship
UK naturalisation applicants face strict eligibility criteria and a lengthy Home Office process.
We can support you in making your citizenship application.
Do you need help with a British citizenship application?
For individuals who do not automatically hold British nationality by birth or descent, the most common route to British citizenship is through naturalisation.
Naturalisation is a Home Office application process requiring applicants to evidence that they meet the British citizenship eligibility criteria.
Applying for British Citizenship is a major step in your life. It is a demanding process on applicants, requiring extensive supporting documents and incurring a significant Home Office application fee. It’s important to get it right first time.
Yet British citizenship applications are commonly refused due to incorrect supporting documentation, failure to complete the form properly and failing to be responsive to Home Office enquiries.
Given the cost of making a naturalisation application, ensuring you follow the Home Office process and that your submission is complete, comprehensive and accurate will be critical to avoiding delays or even refusal.
British citizenship application process guidance
After completing and submitting your application form, you also have to compile and submit extensive documentary evidence proving that you are eligible and that you meet all of the naturalisation requirements.
You will in most cases also need to book and attend an appointment at UKVCAS to submit your biometric information and supporting documents to the Home Office for processing.
Your British citizenship application will be reviewed and checked by UKVI to verify your visa status, tax status and any immigration, criminal or even civil legal issues.
If you are granted citizenship, you will receive an invitation to attend a Citizenship ceremony where you will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation.
Thereafter you are free to apply for a British passport.
For children registering as British citizens, you should use form MN1. You can submit your application at the same time as your children’s.
Are you eligible to apply for British citizenship?
Before starting your naturalisation application, you should first check that you are eligible:
|Age||You must be at least 18 years old.|
|Residency||You have spent 3 continuous years in the UK prior to your application date (the ‘qualifying period’). Your total number of absences from the UK over the qualifying period does not exceed 270 days. Your total number of absences from the UK during the 12 months prior to application does not exceed 90 days|
|Immigration status||You must have lived in the UK for a minimum of 5 years and held a permanent residence card or EU settled status if an EEA national or indefinite leave to remain if a non-EEA national for at least 12 months prior to making your application.|
|Good character||You meet the good character requirements and not have a serious or recent criminal record.|
|Knowledge of language and life in the UK||You must satisfy the English language requirements and pass the Life in the UK test.|
|Compliance with immigration rules||You have been compliant with UK immigration rules throughout the qualifying period.|
|Intent to reside||You intend to remain in the UK.|
What is the Life in the UK test?
Applying for British citizenship involves a commitment to respect the laws, values and traditions of the UK. The ability to communicate in English and have knowledge of life in the UK, otherwise known as the KoLL requirement, forms an integral part of this commitment.
You can satisfy these requirements by passing the ‘Life in the UK’ test, together with either obtaining an approved English speaking and listening qualification or providing evidence of a UK degree or other academic qualification deemed to be equivalent to a UK qualification taught or researched in English.
If you are a national of a majority English speaking country you will not be required to obtain any qualification, although you will still have to pass the Life in the UK test at an approved test centre.
You may be wholly exempt from this requirement if you are aged 65 or over, or have a long-term physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the English language and KoLL requirements.
The life in the UK test is a computer-based exam taken at an approved test centre. You will have to pay the fee to sit the test. The questions are multiple choice and you must score 75% to pass.
It is possible to resit if you fail, but you will have to wait 7 days to take the test again.
If you passed this test as part of your ILR application, you will not have to resit the test provided you can show your pass certificate.
Exempt from the test are applicants who are under 18 or over the age of 65, or those who have applied for exemption due to a long-term physical or mental condition.
Applying for British citizenship through marriage?
If you marry a British national, you will not automatically attain British citizenship. You will need to make a naturalisation application.
As the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen, provided you satisfy the general eligibility requirements, you can apply for British citizenship as soon as you are granted indefinite leave to remain, or permanent residence if you are an EEA national. This means you do not have to wait a further 12 months before becoming eligible to get British citizenship.
You will also have to have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3 years prior to making your application. During this qualifying period, you must not have been out of the country for more than 270 days, or 90 days in the 12 months prior to your application.
How long does it take to get British citizenship?
You may qualify for British citizenship having held for at least 12 months either indefinite leave to remain, permanent residence or EU settled status, following five years or more of residence in the UK, or with three years if married to a British citizen or in a Civil Partnership.
How long do British citizenship applications take to process?
Naturalisation applications can take up to 6 months in total to process. Processing will take longer if there are complications or errors with your application, making it even more important to ensure your initial application and supporting documents are comprehensive.
What is the cost of making a British citizenship application?
A British citizenship application costs £1330 for an adult. Home Office fees are subject to frequent change and you should check before sending in your application.
Also note, if you make a mistake and fail to submit a relevant document, your application will be automatically refused and you will lose the fees.
Can you hold dual citizenship with the UK?
Dual citizenship is permitted in the UK, meaning you will not, under British law, be required to relinquish your original nationality once you attain British citizenship.
However, you would need to check the position in your home country, as not all countries permit their citizens to hold dual nationality with the UK whereas others may require nationals to notify of their acquired citizenship.
What happens at the citizenship ceremony?
If your application for British citizenship is successful, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony. It costs £80 to attend a group ceremony.
At the ceremony you will be asked to affirm or swear an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and to pledge your loyalty to the UK.
Following the ceremony you will be presented with your certificate of naturalisation under British citizenship.