UK Citizenship

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Living & Working in United Kingdom

British naturalization, also known as British Citizenship, is a concluding UK immigration service available to foreign nationals with permanent resident status (i.e. with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or ILR) and has spent a minimum of three – five years living and working in Great Britain. It brings to a close the need for a further UK visa application or UK visa extension by providing people with full rights of Citizenship, including a British Passport.

Benefits of UK Citizenship

Unlike visas for short term residency such as UK visit visas, travel visas or work permits, the British naturalization service offers permanent residency in the UK as a British citizen and imposes no time restrictions upon the holder. A UK work permit is not required and successful candidates are free to seek and undertake work in Great Britain without constraint.

Apply for UK Citizenship – Eligibility Requirements

To become a UK citizen a UK naturalization application must meet various criteria, which differ depending on the individual circumstances of the application. However, eligibility is usually based upon the applicant living in Britain for at least three or five years.

An application for British citizenship where a candidate has been in Britain for five or more years must:

  • Have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for 12 months or more. This may have been granted after being in Great Britain under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP, or a British work permit or after the completion of a two-year UK visa for spouse immigration, often known as a marriage visa. For more information on these routes, please visit the appropriate sections of the site.

  • Be married / Unmarried (after 2 years)

  • Have not spent more than 450 days outside the United Kingdom in the last five years and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months.

  • Be over 18 years of age when making the application.

  • Be of sound mind.

  • Intend to continue to live in the British Isles if they become naturalised.

  • Be able to speak an adequate level of English (or Welsh or Gaelic).

  • Be of good character.

A UK Naturalisation application must include:

  • Current passport and all passports held since entering the country.

  • A breakdown of all the dates you have travelled outside the United Kingdom in the last 3 years, naming the country, the dates you travelled and the reason for travelling.

  • Two referees who have known you personally for at least 3 years. They must be UK citizens, aged 25 or over, not related to you or to each other. They must not have been convicted of any criminal offence.

To apply for UK Citizenship where a candidate has been in Britain for three or more years candidates must:

  • Have held (ILR) and be married to a United Kingdom citizen.

  • Have not spent more than 270 days outside the United Kingdom in the last three years and no more than 90 days should have been taken in the last 12 months.

  • Be over 18 years of age when making the application.

  • Be of sound mind.

  • Intend to continue to live in the British Isles if they become naturalized.

  • Be able to speak an adequate level of English (or Welsh or Gaelic).

  • Be of good character.

In addition to the requirements for 5-year applicants, applications for the British naturalization service after 3 years must include:

  • Your spouse’s United Kingdom passport.

  • Marriage Certificate.

Other Ways to Qualify for UK Naturalisation

Right of Abode

Applicants who were born to a British mother outside the country before 1 January 1983 now qualify for British nationality through registration. Those who already hold Right of Abode and have done so for over five years may either register or naturalize.

Having British Born Parents

Applicants who were born to a British father outside the country are permitted to undergo United Kingdom naturalization.

Additional Information

A number of countries allow you to keep your current Citizenship when you become a citizen of Great Britain. This is often referred to as ‘dual Citizenship.’ However, some countries do not recognize ‘dual Citizenship’ and when you naturalise as a United Kingdom Citizen, you may forfeit your previous Citizenship and passport. You should check with the relevant authorities of the country/ies with which you hold Citizenship in order to be fully aware of the effect/s that a grant of UK citizenship may have on your present Citizenship/s.

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