Deciding to naturalise as a British Citizen can bring many benefits such as being able to live and work freely in the United Kingdom (‘UK’) without being subject to immigration control. Other benefits could also include being able to vote and travel visa free to many countries across the world and receive consular assistance when travelling abroad.
How to apply?
You will be required to complete a Form AN. The application can be submitted by post or online.
The key requirements for British Naturalisation are:
- The applicant must be over 18
- Must have Indefinite Leave to Remain (‘ILR’) in the UK
- Must be at least 12 months free from immigration control unless you’re married to a British Citizen
- Must have sufficient knowledge of the English language and pass a Life in the UK test (unless you are over 65 years of ago or qualify for an exemption)
- Must have be a person of good character and be a person of sound mind
- Cannot have been absent from the UK for long periods of time
- Must have an intention to live in the UK
When would I be able to apply?
In most circumstances, you will only be able to apply for British Naturalisation if you have been living lawfully in the UK in the 5 years prior to the date you submit your application.
Once you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (‘ILR’) or Permanent Residence (‘PR’) as an EEA National, you must be free from immigration control for a 12-month period unless you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen.
How long can I be absent from the UK?
UK Visas & Immigration (‘UKVI’) will determine your naturalisation application based on a residence period of 5 years prior to the date of the application. During the 5-year period, you cannot have spent more than 450 days outside of the UK during those 5 years.
Furthermore, you cannot have spent more than 90 days outside of the UK in the12 months prior to the date of the application.
Can I include my dependent children in my application?
You can submit applications for your dependent children at the same time as your British Naturalisation application but the applications for children will be for British Registration instead of British Naturalisation.
The circumstances in regard to where the child was born and the status of the parents at the time of the child’s birth will determine whether the child will qualify for registration as a British Citizen.
Applying for a British passport after being naturalised?
Once you have been issued with your certificate of naturalisation, you can then apply for a British passport by either applying online or by filling out a form. The nationality checking service will be able to check your application and supporting documents prior to submitting the application.
It is worth noting that you may be called in for an interview prior to being issued with a British passport.
If you require further information in relation to applying for British naturalisation or British Citizenship, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation on 0161 826 6922.