Applying for British citizenship is a momentous life event. It can open doors to opportunities including a British passport which is one of the strongest passports in the world.
There are different ways to become a British citizen. You can either naturalise as a British Citizen (Naturalisation as a British Citizen) or register yourself as a British Citizen (Registration as British Citizen).
Naturalisation as a British Citizen – 5-year route under sec 6(1) of the BNA 1981
You can apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen 12 months after the grant of your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) by virtue of section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981. The law also requires that you must have been resident in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application for naturalisation as a British Citizen.
- You’re 18 or over
- 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
- Intend to permanently reside in the UK
- You have met the English Language (minimum of Level B1) and Life in the UK requirements
- You have met the residence requirement*
Additionally, you should have:
- Been granted settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or
- Been granted permanent residence status or settled status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country and
- Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
*Residence requirement for naturalisation as a British citizen:
- You should have been in the UK at the beginning of the period of 5 years ending with the date of the application
- Must not be absent from the UK for more than: 450 days in that 5-year period and 90 days in the period of 12 months ending with the date of application
- Not, on the date of application, subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period of stay in the UK
- Not, at any other time in the 12-month period ending with date of application, subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on their period of stay in the UK
- Not at any time in the period of 5 years ending with the date of application, in the UK in breach of the immigration laws
Naturalisation as a spouse of a British citizen – 3 year route under sec 6(2) of the BNA 1981
When applying for naturalisation under section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981, the applicant is not required to wait 12 months after the grant of ILR before applying for British Citizenship. An application for British Citizenship can be made soon after the grant of ILR if your spouse is a British Citizen.
- You’re 18 or over
- Of sound mind, you’re able to think and make decisions for yourself
- Of good character, for example you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record
- You’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
- You’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave) or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national (and you have a permanent residence card or document that shows you have permanent residence)
- You meet the residency requirement
How can we assist with your application?
Our expert team of immigration lawyers will represent you in your application. We will prepare and submit your application to the Home Office and ensure that you have submitted all the documents that are required.
Our review service
If you have already prepared your application and would like an expert to review it to ensure that you have completed your application correctly, use our review service. As a part of the review service we also review your supporting documents to ensure that your application has the best prospects of success.