Applications to become British are being subjected to increased scrutiny. The good character requirements are being interpreted increasingly strictly, and there is no right of appeal if your application is refused for any reason.
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.
- Am I eligible 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 any serious or recent criminal record or civil judgment which may disbar you.
- 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 must I 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 Indefinite Leave to Remain when you apply which you have held for 12 months, 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.
- Nb you should 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.
- You must correctly submit your application.
It is not possible to get a refund for an incorrect British citizenship application form. Thousands of citizenship applications are rejected each year for reasons that could have easily been avoided. In 2014 6,820 British citizenship application forms were refused! Many of the reasons for refusal were:
- Incorrect Documentation
- Failure to complete the British Citizenship application form correctly.
- Failing to respond to the UKVI’s enquiries in a timely manner.
Do not let your British citizenship application fail for these reasons. Applying for British Citizenship is a major step in your life so make sure you get it right first time!
To make absolutely sure why not contact us for advice and assistance on completing your application. You can speak directly to a specialist immigration adviser by calling 07596 408273 or alternatively you can complete our British Citizenship form.
At Immigration Street Legal, we have extensive experience of British Citizenship applications and can provide the following service regarding your application;
- Advise you about the relevant immigration laws, UKVI / Identity & Passport Service procedures and policies
- Discuss your immigration history and advise you about the merits of your application
- Check that you meet the good character requirement
- Ensure that your absences from the UK are fully documented
- Assist you with the type of documents you must submit in support of your naturalisation application
- Certify your passport and other documentation which means that you do not have hand over your passport whilst your application is pending consideration at UKVI / Identity & Passport Service
- Complete the application with you and check your referees have correctly completed their section
- Prepare the covering letter to introduce and support your application
- Submit your application and liaise with the UKVI / Identity & Passport Service for an expeditious decision on your application
- Deal with all enquiries from UKVI / Identity & Passport Service
- Advise you about the implications of the UKVI / Identity & Passport Service decision on your application
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens after your British citizenship application is submitted?
Your application will be reviewed and checked by UKVI to cover your visa status, tax status, criminal and civil matters. 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 which is usually processed within approximately six weeks.
- 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 2 months. 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.
- What is the cost of making a British citizenship application?
UKVI currently charge £1,282 for an adult and £973 for a child. The fees are subject to change and you should check before sending in your application.