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British Citizenship

Naturalisation

Naturalisation is a process by which a foreign national can apply for British citizenship. To apply for British nationality you must be over 18, of sound mind and good character and plan to continue living in the United Kingdom.

Additionally, you must demonstrate that you have good knowledge of the English language by completing an approved English test or academic course.  You must have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test to show that you understand British history and culture.

You must alsomeet various other requirements to be able to make an application for Naturalisation as a British citizen;

  • You must have lived in the United Kingdom for at least 5 years prior to applying for British citizenship. In this 5 year period you must not have left the UK for more than 450 days and you must not have been outside the country for more than 90 days in the 12 months before making your application.
  • A key requirement is that you must have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. This means that you do not have a date by which you must leave the United Kingdom.
  • You cannot apply for British Citizenship if you have broken any immigration rules whilst in the United Kingdom. Therefore, if you entered the United Kingdom illegally or have overstayed on your visa, you will not be eligible to apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen.

There are different requirements for applications made by spouses or civil partners of British citizens.

If you are applying for naturalisation after gaining ILR through the Investor or Entrepreneur routes, you may need to extra financial information relating to the payment of tax to the HMRC.

If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) National or a Swiss national or a family member of such a person, you will automatically gain permanent residency if you have been exercising Treaty rights for a continuous 5 year period. You will then be eligible to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen providing that you have not been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in the last 5 years. In exceptional circumstances, the Home Office may use discretion when assessing your absences.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony which is organised by your local council. At the ceremony you will be asked to make an ‘oath of allegiance’ to the United Kingdom. You will also need to pledge to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK to affirm your commitment as a new British citizen.

After making you oath, you will be presented with a certificate of your British Citizenship.

As a naturalised British citizen you will be entitled to the same rights and benefits as a person who has been born with British Nationality.

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