Before making an application for British citizenship, you have to make enquiries if you have to give up your nationality if you have one once you become a UK citizen. If you are allowed dual nationality, you may still continue to be subject to the duties of citizens of that country when you are in its territory.
Becoming a UK citizen means that you can stay in the UK permanently without any immigration restrictions.
Once your British citizenship application is approved you can apply for a UK passport to use it for ID purposes, travelling and to prove your nationality.
You can apply for UK citizenship by:
Registration is usually a less complicated procedure, but a person needs to be eligible. If you want to know whether you are eligible, contact one of our immigration specialists for an advice.
There have been changes in criteria for granting UK Citizenship under the good character requirement. In addition of other undesirable behaviours including criminal convictions, quite a few new were introduced. The Secretary of State considers you to be not of good character if you entered the UK illegally, assisted illegal migration or evaded immigration control.
Decisions made by the Secretary of State to refuse applications for British citizenship are not appealable decisions. However, an individual can apply for reconsideration.
We therefore advise to seek specialist immigration help before you apply in order to avoid disappointment and loss of your money in the Home Office fees, especially when your application is not straight forward.
Naturalisation as a British Citizen
Application for naturalisation as a UK citizen involves paying a fee to the Home Office which is not refundable if a person is not eligible to become one. It is therefore highly recommended to seek professional advice on eligibility requirements before making the naturalisation application.
A person can apply for naturalisation if:
- He or she is aged 18 or over;
- He or she is of sound mind;
- He or she intends to continue living in the UK;
- He or she can communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable level;
- He or she has passed Life in the UK test;
- He/ she is of good character;
- He/ she meets residential requirements: has been resident in the UK for 5 years, has been present in the UK 5 years before the date of the application, has not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years time, has not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of 5 years period and has not been in breach of immigration laws at any point during 5 year period.
In order to make a successful naturalisation application, a person must be free from immigration time restrictions during the last 12 months of his or her residential qualifying period.
There are certain situations where a person who does not meet all the eligibility requirements can ask the Secretary of State to exercise her discretion considering application for naturalisation as a British citizen.
Registration as a British Citizen
Child Registration to Become a British Citizen
A child has two avenues to be registered as a British citizen:
- He or she has a right under the UK nationality law to apply and be registered as a British citizen.
- He or she may be registered as a British citizen only at the Secretary of State’s discretion.
A child can apply to be registered as a British citizen if he or she is under age of 18, of good character and:
- Was born in the UK to parents who are now settled in the UK or are UK citizens.
- Was born in the UK to parents who have joined the armed forces.
- Parents are applying for UK citizenship.
- Was born abroad to parents who are British by descent and have lived in the UK or British overseas territory.
- Was born abroad to parents who are British by descent but are now living in the UK or British overseas territory.
- Was adopted abroad by UK citizen parents.
- Parents had renounced and subsequently resumed UK citizenship.
- Any other case not listed above where it is in the child’s best interests to be registered as a British citizen.
- Was born abroad to parents serving in the armed forces.
Adult Registration to Become a British Citizen
An adult can be registered as a UK citizen if he or she is:
- British overseas territories citizen; or
- British overseas citizen; or
- British protected person; or
- British subject; or
- British national (overseas).
An applicant only needs to meet one of these requirements:
- Residence in the UK; or
- Time spent in crown or similar service; or
- A person meets the alternative provisions for British overseas territories citizens.
We can provide you with a professional advice about your entitlement to be registered as a UK citizen and we can assist you with your application.