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Naturalisation As British Citizen

Unless you are married to a British Citizen, the British Nationality Act 1981 requires you to have resided in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen. If you're married to, or the civil partner of, a British citizen, you can apply for naturalisation as British Citizen under section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation of the British Nationality Act 1981 if:

  • You're 18 or over
  • You're of good character, for example, you don't have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven't tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
  • You have intention to continue to live in the UK
  • You've met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • You meet the residency requirement
And you must usually have:

  • Lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application or lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received if married to a British Citizen.
  • Spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years or 270 days in those 3 years
  • Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • Had settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK for the last 12 months if you're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Had permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you're a citizen of an EEA country - you need to provide a permanent residence document
  • Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Home Secretary. Under s.6 of the British Nationality Act 1981, s/he may, if s/he thinks fit, grant a certificate of naturalisation to a person of full age and capacity if s/he is satisfied that person meets the requirements set out in Schedule 1 to the Act.

The naturalisation application Form (AN) requires an applicant to be supported by two referees. One referee must be a person of professional standing and the other must be the holder of a British citizen passport and either a professional person or over the age of 25.

An application for Naturalisation as British Citizen is made to the Home Office, UKVI using application form AN. After you have submitted your application, the Home Office will usually acknowledge the receipt of your application by sending an acknowledgement letter within 4 weeks of the receiving your application. You will then receive a biometric enrolment letter from the Home Office for you to attend a designated post office to enrol your biometrics as part of the application process. If your application is successful, you will receive a letter confirming that your application was successful, and the Home Office will also return the original documents which were submitted in support of the application. Shortly after the receipt of the aforementioned letter and the return of documents, the applicant will receive a letter from the Home Office requiring the applicant to book an appointment with the relevant council to attend citizenship ceremony. In the ceremony, you will be required to have an oath of allegiance and then issued with certificate of Naturalisation as a British Citizen. You can use your certificate of Naturalisation as British Citizen to apply for your first British passport.

Further information, help, and advice

Our team of specialists have years of experience in visa services. We work with clients under Section 84 of the 1999 Immigration Act and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or email us at Info@worldwideimmigration.co.uk

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WorldWide Immigration