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City Legal is a multi award winning law firm specialising in UK Immigration Law, Wills & Estate Planning, Global Citizenship as well as providing Business, Education and HR Consultancy to both individual and corporate clients around the world.
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Personal Immigration

British Citizenship by Naturalisation

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British Citizenship by Naturalisation

This route is for those individuals who are at least 18 years old and previously granted Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residence in the UK to apply for British Citizenship by naturalisation.

Requirements for British Citizenship by Naturalisation

In order to be eligible to naturalise as a British Citizen, the applicant must normally satisfy a range of criteria including immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK as well as good character. The applicants would need to satisfy the following general criteria.

  • Spent at least 5 years of continuous residence in the UK with no longer than 450 days of absence from the UK during that period
  • Not been absent for more than 90 days during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of application
  • Present in the UK on the day exactly 5 years before the date of application
  • Held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or free of Immigration restrictions in the UK for at least 12 months before the date of application
  • Meet the B1 CEFR level English language requirements (unless exempt).
  • Pass the Life in the UK Test or be exempt
  • Not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules
  • Be of good character and intend to continue living in the UK

If the applicant is the spouse of a British citizen at the time of application, then they can apply immediately after obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain and slightly different rules apply as summarised below.

  • Spent at least 3 years of continuous residence in the UK with no longer than 270 days of absence from the UK during that period
  • Present in the UK on the day exactly 3 years before the date of application
How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on obtaining British Citizenship. We carefully assess each of our client’s circumstances to ensure that the eligibility requirements are met & identify any potential issues with the application. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the UK permit Dual Citizenship?

UK law permits multiple citizenships and there is no requirement to renounce previous nationalities, as dual citizenship is allowed in the UK. It is however worth checking the national laws of the other country you are looking to continue or holding the nationality as they may have a different criteria.

Is it possible to apply for Resumption of British citizenship?

It is possible to apply for resumption of British Citizenship if anyone has previously surrendered their nationality. However it may be possible only if renunciation was necessary to enable the applicant to retain or acquire some other nationality.

What does good character requirement mean?

There is no statutory definition of good character and no statutory guidance on the interpretation or application of the requirement. The Home office internal guidance for caseworkers states that a person may be considered to be not of good character if they have a criminal conviction, used deception in previous immigration applications or filed for bankruptcy or had unlawful recourse to public funds.

How long does the British Citizenship application process take?

British nationality applications are decided by the Home Office normally within six months. Applicants will need to attend a Citizenship Ceremony to receive the Naturalisation certificate and then apply for a British passport.

Who can be a referee for my British Citizenship application?

Application needs to be certified by two referees, each of them has known the applicant for at least 3 years, has no criminal convictions within the last 10 years and is not related to the applicant or to each other. One must be a person of professional standing and the other person must be over 25 years old and hold a British Passport.
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