Naturalisation

Naturalisation applications are costly and you will not be refunded if your application is refused.

We are specialists in British citizenship applications.

Unless you are British by descent, you must apply to be granted British citizenship. Applications can be made by spouses of British citizens or by individuals who meet the naturalisation criteria.

What is naturalisation?

British naturalisation is the process by which you can apply to become a British citizen. With British citizenship, you can apply for a British passport, vote, and live and work in the UK free from immigration controls. 

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 naturalisation?

You are eligible to apply 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 not broken any immigration laws or conditions while in the UK.
  • The total number of absences from the UK over the qualifying period.
 
Spouses of British citizens can apply after three years’ continuous residence in the UK, where they have ILR, permanent residency or settled status.

Before applying you should also confirm if your existing country of nationality permits citizens to hold dual citizenship with the UK. As some countries do not permit its citizens to hold two nationalities, it will be important to understand the impact of naturalisation on your current nationality.

What is the naturalisation process?

To apply you will need to complete the relevant Home Office form and compile and submit evidence to prove your eligibility. In most cases, you will also need to attend an appointment at a UKVAS centre to submit your biometric information.

UKVI will then review and check your visa status in the UK as well as checking for any criminal or civil matters which may disbar you. 

Once approved, you will receive an invitation to attend at a Citizenship ceremony which is usually local to where you live and at the ceremony you will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation.

Thereafter you are free to apply for a British passport.

Naturalisation application: 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 and naturalisation applications. We can support you through every step of the process.

What will I need to show to apply for naturalisation?

While the application form may be relatively straightforward, the information concerning yourself, absences and documents that you submit in support of your application must be comprehensive or you risk the application being delayed or refused. In some cases, action may be taken if UKVI allege you have made a false statement or submitted a fraudulent document.

How long does it take to get British citizenship? 

On average, we advise our clients to anticipate that their application will be processed in approximately three to six months to process naturalisation applications. The complexity of your application will determine how long it will take for your application to be processed as well as the volume of other applications they have to process.

Under the current rules, you do not need to send your original passport with the application providing a certified copy (every page) of your passport is sent as part of the document bundle. This allows you to continue to travel whilst your application is being processed.

What is the cost of naturalisation?

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.

What if the application is refused?

You may resubmit an application however it is important to understand why the application failed in the first instance and how this can be addressed or recitifed, for example an error in completing the form, the incorrect fee paid or failure on discretionary grounds.

I have criminal convictions will this affect my application?

Previous offences and convictions are likely to affect your application, although this does depend upon the type of conviction or offence.

For more information, it is best to speak to DavidsonMorris. Our lawyers will be able to advise as to when a conviction will become spent and when it is possible to apply to naturalise.

 

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020 7494 0118

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