If you need help with any type of UK visa, settlement (ILR), or British citizenship application, give us a call at 0203 959 7755 to schedule a consultation today.

British citizenship by naturalisation is a legal process through which a non-British adult (ages 18 or over) can apply to become a British citizen.

However, it is very important to understand the eligibility criteria and navigate the application process efficiently. Applicants must carefully review each requirement and gather the necessary evidence to support their application.

If you need expert assistance with your British citizenship application, Moeen & Co. Solicitors is here to help. Our experienced team of immigration solicitors can guide you through the UK naturalisation process, ensuring a smooth and successful application.

Call our immigration lawyers at 0203 959 7755 to schedule a consultation and let us help you in navigating the British citizenship application process smoothly.

Table of Contents

  1. What is British citizenship by naturalisation?
  2. What is the difference between British citizenship by naturalisation and by registration?
  3. What are the benefits of British citizenship?
  4. Who is eligible to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation?
  5. What documents are required for British citizenship by naturalisation?
  6. What is the process to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation?
  7. How long does it take to process a naturalisation application?
  8. How can solicitors help with British citizenship applications?
  9. Frequently asked questions
  10. Contact immigration solicitors in London

What is British citizenship by naturalisation?

Naturalisation is the process by which a foreign national becomes a British citizen and is granted the same rights and privileges as someone who is born British.

British Citizenship by Naturalisation offers a range of benefits and opportunities, from the right to vote to access to healthcare and education.

To be eligible to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation, you need to have lived in the UK for at least 5 years (or 3 years if you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen) and have held indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status for at least one year.

Successful naturalisation applicants are granted British citizenship by the Home Office and receive a certificate of naturalisation.

What is the difference between British citizenship by naturalisation and by registration?

Both naturalisation and registration can lead to British citizenship, but they differ in terms of eligibility criteria, residency requirements, and the process involved. Naturalisation is generally for individuals who have lived in the UK for a significant period and meet specific requirements, while registration may be available for those with certain connections to the UK or unique circumstances.

What are the benefits of British citizenship?

Gaining British citizenship by naturalisation brings with it numerous advantages and opportunities. Being a British citizen grants you various privileges and rights that can significantly enhance your life in the United Kingdom.

Privileges of British citizenship:

  • Right to live and work in the United Kingdom without restrictions
  • Access to social welfare benefits and healthcare
  • Visa-free travel to numerous countries around the world
  • Ability to vote and participate in democratic processes
  • Opportunity to apply for a British passport
  • Possibility of sponsoring family members to join you in the UK

Who is eligible to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation?

Before applying for British citizenship through naturalisation, it's essential to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, which typically include:

You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on your circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.

Residency requirements for British citizenship

To be eligible for British Citizenship by Naturalisation, you must have lived in the United Kingdom for a specific period of time. The residency requirement is generally five years, with some exceptions. This period may be reduced to three years if you are married to a British citizen.

Another important aspect of the residency requirement is continuous residence. This means that you should have been continuously living in the UK throughout the specified residency period. Any significant or prolonged absences from the UK may affect your eligibility for British citizenship. 

To be eligible for British citizenship, the applicant must have spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months or no more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years before their application.

English language requirement

Applicants aged between 18 to 65 must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by completing an approved English language test at the required level. The test assesses speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

If applying for British citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can prove your knowledge of English by having an English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ( CEFR ) scale.

Applicants may be exempt from the English language requirement if they hold an academic qualification taught in English or are nationals of certain English-speaking countries.

Knowledge of life in the UK requirement

Applicants must also pass the Life in the UK test, which evaluates knowledge of British traditions, laws, customs, and institutions. This test is designed to ensure that individuals have a good understanding of life in the UK and can fully integrate into British society.

Applicants aged under 18 years, or 65 years or older on the date of their application are exempt from the knowledge of life in the UK requirement.

Good character requirement for British citizenship

The good character requirement is a fundamental aspect of the British citizenship application process. When assessing your application, the Home Office will evaluate your character and conduct to determine if you meet the necessary standards to become a British citizen. This requirement ensures that individuals who are granted citizenship uphold the values and principles upon which the United Kingdom is built.

To assess your character, the Home Office may consider various factors, including but not limited to:

  • Criminal history
  • Immigration offences
  • Compliance with immigration laws
  • Financial dealings
  • Deception or dishonesty
  • Associations with individuals involved in criminal activities

The good character requirement aims to ensure that individuals who become British citizens contribute positively to the society and uphold the principles of lawfulness, integrity, and good moral conduct.

What documents are required for British citizenship by naturalisation?

Applying for British citizenship through naturalisation requires submitting various supporting documents to prove your eligibility. It is essential to have a complete and well-organised document package to ensure a successful naturalisation application.

When applying for British citizenship by naturalisation, you'll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel document to prove your identity
  • residence permit or biometric residence card (BRP)
  • proof you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status
  • evidence of continuous residence in the UK
  • list of absences from the UK
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • birth certificates of dependent children (if applicable)
  • evidence of meeting the English language proficiency requirement (unless exempt)
  • Life in the UK test certificate

Remember, the document checklist provided above is not exhaustive, and additional documents may be required based on your personal circumstances. Properly preparing your documentation is key to the success of your application. Contact us today to get a comprehensive list of supporting documents.

What is the process to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation?

Applying for British citizenship by naturalisation involves a step-by-step process that ensures a smooth and efficient application experience. Here, we will guide you through the necessary steps, including completing the application form, paying the fees, and submitting the required documents.

  1. Determine your eligibility
  2. Gather the required documents
  3. Complete the application form
  4. Pay the application fees
  5. Submit your application
  6. Attend the citizenship ceremony
  7. Receive your British citizenship certificate

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

Before starting the application process, it is crucial to ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements for British citizenship. This includes fulfilling the residency requirements, meeting the age criteria, and demonstrating good character.

Step 2: Gather the required documents

To support your application, you will need to provide various documents, including proof of identity, proof of residency, and evidence of your knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK. Make sure to gather all the necessary documents and keep them readily available.

Step 3: Complete the application form

Once you have confirmed your eligibility and gathered all the required documents, you can proceed to complete the British citizenship application form. Pay close attention to the instructions and provide accurate and honest information.

Step 4: Pay the application fees

There is a fee associated with applying for British citizenship. Ensure that you pay the correct amount and retain the payment confirmation, as you will need it during the submission process.

Step 5: Submit your application

After completing the application form and paying the fees, it is time to submit your application. Make sure to include all the necessary documents and double-check that everything is filled out correctly. You can submit your application by post or through the online system.

Step 6: Attend the citizenship ceremony

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony. At the ceremony, you will take an oath and pledge your loyalty to the United Kingdom, officially becoming a British citizen.

Step 7: Receive your British citizenship certificate

Following the citizenship ceremony, you will receive your British citizenship certificate. This certificate serves as evidence of your citizenship and can be used to apply for a British passport.

Please note that the requirements and procedures may change, and the processing times can vary. Always consult with an immigration solicitor for the most up-to-date information and guidance on the British citizenship application process.

How long does it take to process a naturalisation application?

You should receive a decision within 6 months, once you've applied for British citizenship by naturalisation and attended your biometric appointment.

However, complex cases or delays in document verification may extend this timeframe. It is important to submit a complete and accurate application to avoid unnecessary delays.

All the applicants are advised to check the latest information about UK visa application processing time on the official UK government website.

How can solicitors help with British citizenship applications?

At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, we are dedicated to providing expert legal advice and guidance throughout the British citizenship application process. Our experienced immigration solicitors understand the complexities of UK citizenship applications and can help you navigate the requirements with ease.

Here are some ways in which our team of highly experienced UK immigration solicitors can assist:

  • Legal Expertise: Our immigration solicitors have in-depth knowledge of UK immigration & nationality laws, policies, and procedures. We can assess your eligibility for British citizenship, advise you on the most suitable option, and ensure that your British citizenship application complies with all relevant legal requirements.
  • Application Preparation: Our immigration solicitors will fill in your British citizenship application forms accurately and submit them.
  • Supporting Documents: We will advise you on the required documents to be submitted in support of your British citizenship application and ensure that they meet the specific requirements.
  • Legal Representation: We can represent you in communications with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department, embassy, or consulate handling your application. We can correspond with immigration authorities on your behalf, respond to requests for additional information, and address any concerns or queries raised during the processing of your application.

If you have any questions or want assistance with your British citizenship application, please call our expert immigration solicitors based in London at 0203 959 7755. Alternatively, fill in our online contact form, and one of our UK immigration experts will get back in touch with you soon!

Frequently asked questions

Yes, if you are over 18 and your application for citizenship by naturalisation is successful, you must attend a citizenship ceremony. At the ceremony, you'll make an oath of allegiance or an affirmation, and a pledge to respect the rights, freedoms, and laws of the UK.

The UK allows dual citizenship, which means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries. However, your country of origin may have restrictions on holding dual citizenship.

If your application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons for refusal. You may reapply for citizenship after addressing the reasons for refusal, but it's advisable to consider seeking legal advice before reapplying.

Hiring an immigration lawyer can significantly increase your chances of a successful application. They have expertise in navigating the complexities of UK immigration law, ensuring that your application is complete, accurate, and meets all eligibility requirements.

To schedule a consultation with our immigration solicitor regarding your ILR as a health and care worker application, you can contact us by calling 0203 959 7755. Alternatively, you can fill out the online contact form, and a member of our team will reach out to you promptly to arrange a suitable time for a consultation.

Contact Immigration Solicitors in London

If you need immigration advice or help with any type of UK visa application, British citizenship application or sponsorship licence application, contact our team of immigration solicitors in London on 0203 959 7755 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential advice and help you need.

We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

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