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What is British Citizenship?
British citizenship or Naturalisation is a status given to non-UK residents that can meet the required criteria. Many people often confuse naturalisation with applying for a British passport and presume that they can apply for a British passport after having been granted settled status. This is not the case. A person must have British nationality to be able to apply for a British passport.
If you currently have settled status, permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain and meet the requirements, you can apply for British citizenship. Being British means you can work and study without restrictions in the UK, take part in the UK electoral process; stand for the public office; enter without a visa to the territory of some other countries; receive free healthcare treatment; pass the benefits of citizenship to your children.
Citizenship cannot be lost and this is the main advantage of naturalisation vs settlement. A person is completely out of immigration control, can travel for unlimited period of time or work abroad.
What Our Clients Say
I would like to thank Master Legal Services for the job they have done to get my 5 years UK Residence Card as a family member of a EU national. I recommend this immigration firm as they have provided me with a tailored service, by speaking my native language (Russian) and charging less than other law firms in London.
I have asked the Master Legal Services for help with my Family Leave to Remain application. Elena was very professional and knowledgeable in explaining the process and what was required for this application. She made me feel assured that all the information submitted was correct and I would get my FLR without any problem (and I did). I highly recommend using this company as they are professional and efficient.
Kelly A – 47
I have instructed them to handle my very complex case regarding EEA Permanent Residence Card. They handled my immigration case in a very professional manner. They have been staying in constant contact, responding promptly to my queries. I have been granted Permanent Residence Card. Now I will instruct them to assist with my application for a British citizenship. It is very difficult to find a good law firm that charges a reasonable fee. I would highly recommend Master Legal Services.
Who qualifies for British Citizenship?
To be eligible to apply for British citizenship, a person is required to:
- be 18 years old or over;
- be of good character;
- meet the residency requirements – spent less than 450 days outside the UK during 5 years or 270 days during the three-year residence period if married to a British citizen;
- have not been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months;
- have had a settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’), permanent residence status in the UK for the last 12 months;
- be planning to reside in the UK;
- pass the English Language Test (unless exempt);
- pass the Life in the UK test (unless exempt);
- have been present in the UK at the start of the 5 year qualifying period, e.g., if you decide to submit the application on the 1st of August 2025, you should have been present in the UK on the 1st of August 2020.
- In support of the application to qualify for naturalization, the applicant will need to provide sufficient documentary evidence of their residence in the UK. These documents may include academic qualifications, economic activities, evidence of the relationship if married to a British citizen and others.
It is important to provide evidence of your stay in the country for the past three or five years. So it becomes imperative that your presence in the country be properly documented if you are to boost your chances of getting British citizenship.
If you are trying to acquire British citizenship by marriage, which means you are seeking naturalization on the basis of civil partnership or marriage with a British national, it becomes important that the evidence of your relationship and cohabitation be provided.
It is also required to demonstrate that you are planning to make the UK your main home.
It can be done through showing strong family, financial, property ties with the country.
You must wait until you have completed the full 12 months of having settled status or indefinite leave to remain to apply for naturalisation. If you submit your application before completing the 12-month period, the application may be refused. However, if you are married to or civil partner of a British national you are eligible to apply for naturalisation immediately after you have been granted settled status, indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence.
Why Our Clients Choose Us
High Success Rate
Our team is dedicated to providing excellent services to each client.
Affordable Fixed Fee
We offer one of the most competitive fees in London.
Our office is very conveniently located in the City of London with a walking distance from underground stations (Chancery Lane, Holborn).
When to apply for a British passport?
If your application for naturalisation as a British citizen is successful, you’ll be invited to attend a Citizenship Ceremony. At the ceremony, you’ll make an oath of allegiance or an affirmation and a pledge, promising to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK.
Then, you’ll be presented with your Certificate of British Citizenship, since this moment only you are considered to be British.
Thereafter, you are eligible to apply for a British passport.
Once the application and supporting documents are submitted, it can take up to 6 weeks for your first adult UK passport to be ready, though in some cases, it may take longer. This application can be completed online or using a paper form, and our London based British Citizenship lawyers can certainly help you navigate the complexity of the legal procedure. All other types of applications like renewal or getting a UK passport for a minor may take around three weeks. If you fail to fill in the forms correctly, have not provided relevant documents the process can take longer or be refused. Please note for passport application you will also need a referee.
How we can help
At Master Legal Services we have a team of experienced specialists, all based in London and ready to provide you with a free initial assessment regarding your immigration matter. You can contact us on 020 8935 5205, +44 7710987064 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- A comprehensive consultation and assessment of your case;
- Advising you about the relevant documents and immigration requirements;
- Filling in the application form;
- Checking your documents to make sure that they meet the requirements;
- Drafting a cover letter in support of your immigration matter;
- Correspondence with the Home Office / UKVI;
- Advising about booking biometric appointments or using the new UKVCAS IDV app;
- Submission of all necessary documentation to the Home Office / UKVI system.
Immigration rules are regularly changing so it is very important to make sure that you receive up to date advice before applying for the British Citizenship. It is why we recommend you to book a free initial assessment with our British Citizenship Lawyers in London, who will ensure that you receive the most up to date information to apply for British citizenship.
How long does the application for British citizenship take?
We are often being asked, “How long does it take to get British Citizenship?”. Naturalisation applications usually take between 2-6 months before a decision is made. It should be noted that there is no option of Premium service available for British Citizenship applications.
Can I apply 28 days early?
You must wait until you have completed the full 12 months of having settled status or indefinite leave to remain to apply for naturalisation. If you submit your application before completing the 12-month period, the application may be refused.
However, if you are married to or civil partner of a British national you are eligible to apply for naturalisation immediately after you have been granted settled status, indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence.
When is the British Citizenship application refused?
Failure to submit sufficient or adequate documents;
Having a criminal record or failing to meet good character requirements;
Spending too many days outside the UK;
Not meeting other requirements.
For this reason, it is always best to speak to one of our London based British Citizenship advisers, who can assess your particular circumstances. At Master Legal Services we will provide you with a free initial assessment on your British Citizenship application, advise you how to proceed, and provide a thorough document checking service.
How much does it cost to get British Citizenship?
The current application fee for the naturalisation application to the Home Office is £1,330 GBP. Please note that if you make a mistake and/or fail to submit the right documents, your application will be refused and the Home Office will not refund the fee. Our experienced British Citizenship team of lawyers offer a free initial assessment to assist you with a submission of your British citizenship application form.
How to get British Citizenship by Investment?
The Home Office has stated that the Tier 1 Investor Visa category is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the UK.
The amount of investment will be the determining factor of the long-term status of the investor in the UK. When investing in the UK, many investors are often giving consideration to getting British citizenship through investment. The application for British Citizenship by Investment can be a complex and confusing process. Fortunately, our affordable British Citizenship Lawyers in London are in hand to provide you with a free initial assessment on your British Citizenship by investment application.
The £2 million must have been held for 5 years to qualify for indefinite leave to remain and then 12 months should pass by to apply for naturalisation.
The applicant will be eligible for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
The applicant is a non-EEA or Switzerland national (who is over 18 years old);
Investments at least £2,000,000 into the UK;
The minimum investment of £2,000,000 will allow the investor to apply for ILR after 5 years.
Investment of £5,000,000 will make the investor eligible for ILR after 3 years.
Investment of £10,000,000 will allow the investor to be eligible for ILR after only 2 years.
It should be noted that the investor will also be subject to the relevant eligibility criteria of naturalization. However, it is apparent that this route into citizenship is more hassle-free than any other route into the UK. The Tier 1 visa advantages include:
No English Language requirement;
No maintenance fund requirement;
Tier 1 Investor is able to work, study and engage in business activities in the UK;
Essentially, the higher the investment, the sooner they can settle in the UK;
The investor is also required to give due consideration to where they are investing. The Immigration rules are clear in stating that the funds needs to be invested in “UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies”.
It should be emphasized that investing in property will no longer be considered an eligible investment in accordance with the Immigration Rules. This was removed from the scope of investment in 2014. There are still many investors who have this misconception. This is one example of why employing our professional and affordable British Citizenship services in London will help you to better navigate the complexity of applying for British Citizenship.
Can EU Citizens apply for British Citizenship?
To begin with, it is worth noting that the United Kingdom has already outlined proposals for ‘settled status’ for European Union Nationals living in the UK. Settled Status is applied to those ordinarily resident in the UK and also those without any immigration restriction on the length of their stay in the UK. EEA Citizens who have already secured their permanent residency since Brexit, will also be required to register for ‘settled status’. The Settled Status will not apply to those who are exempt from immigration control like Diplomats, those who have a limit on the length of their stay in the UK or those who have a type of British passport that does not give them British Citizenship.
However, this is subject to change depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. At the end of the day, a lot of European citizens remain curious about what the final provisions will be and how it will affect them.
At the moment, there’s no need for panic because EU Nationals currently residing in the United Kingdom have several options to choose from. We encourage you to visit our British Citizenship lawyers in London, Chancery Lane for a free initial consultation before applying for your British Citizenship.
Can EU Nationals apply for Permanent Residence?
First thing you’ll need to know moving forward is that after staying in the United Kingdom for 5 lawful years, as a European Citizen, you can acquire Permanent Residence – so that’s good news. This is a major pre-requisite before getting British Citizenship. The next step is to understand that an application for Permanent residency will not only require a number of document but can be complex.
For another piece of good news, the application for Permanent residency only costs £65, an undoubtedly small price to pay for a decision that will affect the rest of your life. With permanent residency, you can remain in the United Kingdom with no restrictions and you can leave and return as whenever you’d like without worry deportation; however, you are not allowed to leave the country for more than two years at a stretch if not your Permanent Residency will be lost. Our immigration team will provide you with a free initial assessment if required.
Can EU nationals be naturalised as British citizens?
At the moment, there are no separate rules regarding naturalization for EU and Non-EU citizens due to the British Nationality Act of 1981. As a result, these applications are not affected by the Immigration Rules and European Regulations. Regardless of nationality, every single applicant is expected to meet the same requirements when applying for the British Citizenship.
You are eligible to apply and receive naturalisation as a British citizen if you have lived in the United Kingdom for 6 or more years, exercising Treaty Rights, which simply means you should have been a student, working or been self-employed.
You are also required to meet the residence requirement which will evaluate your number and length of your absences from the United Kingdom during the last 5 years. It will also assess where you intend to reside after making the application.
Do EU Nationals Need to Take the Life in the UK Test for British Citizenship?
Another step in the application for British Citizenship process will be to pass the Life in the UK test. The test will not take up much of your time – it costs £50 and has 24 questions with 45 minutes to complete it. Before you can write the test, you must book online at least 3 days in advance. There are about 60 Centres in the United Kingdom to choose from. The Life in the United Kingdom test is an integral part of your application and it is based on the Life in the United Kingdom handbook. If you are over 65 years old, you’d be delighted to learn that you don’t have to take the test.
Do ALL EU Nationals Need to Take the English Language Test for British Citizenship?
You can either pass an approved test or have an approved degree from a majority English speaking countries. Another option to bypass this test is to be a national from an approved majority English speaking country.
What are the British citizenship requirements for “Good Character”?
This might seem like a minute requirement but it is among the important enough reasons for refusal of British citizenship, as our London based immigration solicitors often find. Good Character guidance requires you to not have any recent or serious criminal convictions. You should also not be bankrupt at the time of assessment. You are also expected to divulge if you have been subject to the risk of sexual harm order, foreign travel order, sexual offenses prevention order, and notification order. Any Drunk driving offenses should be disclosed as well.
This also applies to the family members of the European citizens applying for British naturalization. The reason for this is simple; their legal entitlement to stay in the UK depends on their EU family member exercising their rights under the European Regulations. For this reason, the government should be aware of any family members that could be potentially problematic.
What happens once all the requirements for British citizenship are met?
Our British Citizenship Lawyers find that once all the requirements for Naturalisation have been met, obtaining your certificate is often much easier. This then allows you to apply for a British Passport. There are many benefits of having a British passport, the first of which is the fact you don’t need to apply for a visa every time you need to make a trip. The British passport allows visa-free travel to 173 countries which is why it is considered one of the most powerful borders in the world, if not the most powerful.
Another reason the UK passport will be beneficial is because you no longer have to prove your residence to the Home office on a regular basis. While the process might be somewhat tedious, there is no denying that it will be ultimately worth it.
Though Dual Citizenship is allowed in the United Kingdom, it is may not be permitted in some countries so before you begin your application for British Citizenship, be sure to check the law regarding dual nationality in your country of origin.
I am an EU Citizen. Will my child get British citizenship?
Will a child automatically have British citizenship at birth?
Our British Citizenship lawyers in London are often asked whether on birth a child receives British Citizenship automatically, or “will my child or baby have British citizenship?”. The answer to this question is that first to establish is if the child is British. The fact of the matter is that children born in the United Kingdom will automatically get British citizenship if one of the parents holds indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom or permanent residence at the time when the child was born. However different rules and regulations will normally apply depending on when the child was born. These rules apply in relation to how the HM Passport office sees the permanent residence nature of the parent.
Children born in the UK before 30 April 2006.
For the children born in the United Kingdom between the 2nd of October 2000 and 28th April 2006, they can only get a British passport if they can prove and provide evidence that is documentary in nature showing that one of the parents held a permanent residence. They can also prove that one of their parents holds indefinite leave to stay or enter the United Kingdom. This evidence must be in letter form from the department immigration or UK visas. The other form of evidence can be a passport with an endorsed Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE), No Time Limit (NTL) or an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The last evidence can be a Permanent Residence Card which is a document that certifies permanent residence.
As a result of the majority of the EU nationals never bothers to apply for these documentations, many children born during this period whose parents are EU national will not be able to be given British passports as their parents will not be able to give the documentations necessary. The parents would hence be required to make an application on their children’s behalf in order to register them as British nationals. Further information on this has been provided below, and as always do not hesitate to contact our British Citizenship Lawyers and Solicitors in London for a free initial assessment.
Children born in the UK, on or after 30 April 2006.
For the children who were born on or after 30 April 2006, they can get a British passport if they can give evidence that their parent has been staying in the United Kingdom and was exercising the Treaty Rights which means that they were either self-employed in the United Kingdom, working as a social worker or in some instances held a private medical insurance for a duration of five years at minimum before their birth.
The status of the parent would usually determine the evidence that will be needed. For instance, if the parent was a worker in the United Kingdom then what is needed is a letter from the employer and any relevant documentation to show that the parent was employed in the United Kingdom during the relevant duration. Such documentations may include pay slips or P60’s.
Children born to parents belonging to the A8 nations (Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia) which joined the European Union in 2004, in addition to the above documentations, the children will be required by the state to give a Worker Registration Scheme Card and Certificate which will show that a given parent was registered on these scheme.
This requirement by the government had a lot of repercussions, which led to massive press attention as a result of denial of a massive number of A8 children’s applications of passport renewal. For majority of the families, providing such documentation was close to impossible as many as some might have lost the documentation while some may not be registered. Now more than ever, employing British citizenship services from our experienced London based immigration lawyers will significantly improve your changes when applying for your child’s British citizenship.
EU children born in the United Kingdom who automatically are not born British.
For the children of EU whose parents have not finished five-year residence in the United Kingdom on a continuous basis under the terms stipulated in the EU law before birth will not get British citizenship at birth. However, this group of children will be entitled to register as British nationals that is in accordance with section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981.
EU children born outside the UK 30 April 2006.
There are the cases where the eldest among the children were not born in the United Kingdom while the younger kids of the family were born in the United Kingdom. For the younger children, they may acquire British citizenship at birth or the rough registration by automatic entitlement. For most of the parents, bringing the status of their eldest children to be in line with that of their younger brothers and sisters has always been a challenge.
In this kind of a scenario which is very common, the children are normally registered discretely by the National Team caseworker who normally acts in the place of the Home Secretary. This power is normally exercised in accordance with section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981. In exercising this power, the caseworker must always put into consideration the guidance entitled “Registration as a British citizen: children.”
Will children of Irish nationals get British Citizenship automatically?
For the children who have been born to Irish nationals who currently are residents in the United Kingdom, those kids will at birth automatically have British citizenship.
How can our British Citizenship Advisers in London help?
The application for the British naturalisation can be complex and it is easy for clients to make errors. We have extensive experience in British Citizenship applications and provide a thorough assessment and document checking service so that you can be well informed on the best way for you to proceed with your British Naturalisation application.
Master Legal Services with its team of highly skilled British Citizenship lawyers in London can help you navigate the highly complex British Citizenship application process. Our team of professionals will supervise your British naturalisation application throughout this process until you obtain your British passport.
What our British Citizenship services in London include:
Free initial assessment;
Precise examination of your case;
High success rates;
Application preparation and submission to the Home Office along with supporting documents;
Assistance to book biometric enrolment;
Regular updates on your case to keep you well informed;
Face to face and online consultations;
Support in different languages.
What is British Citizenship by naturalisation?
The question of what is naturalization as a British citizen has a simple answer. It means the acquisition of British citizenship by an individual who has held foreign citizenship. Through the process, non-British citizens are allowed to become citizens of Britain, given the right to come and go with ease and settle permanently in the country as long as they meet the UK citizenship application timeline. In a nutshell, British naturalisation is the process of obtaining British citizenship status.
When you eventually acquire British citizenship, it will come with several rights and entitlements like the right to apply for a UK passport, the right to vote as well as the right to live and work within the shores of Britain, absolutely free from immigration control.
The only people who don’t need to apply for British citizenship are the ones who are British by descent, otherwise, you are required to make an application, proving that you are eligible for UK citizenship or naturalization. People who can submit applications are those who are spouses of British nationals or those who have met the required criteria for naturalization.
With all the process requirements it becomes imperative for the applicants to approach the citizenship acquisition process with a good knowledge of what the Home Office wants to see in a successful application package. It is where our British Citizenship lawyers in London can really help streamline the process of applying for British Naturalisation and Citizenship.
What is the difference between ILR and British citizenship?
Our London based British Citizenship lawyers are often being asked about British citizenship vs ILR differences. Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and British citizenship are two very different types of immigration status in the UK. It is important to understand the differences so that you obtain the correct migration status for your circumstances at the right time.
While being granted an ILR permits an individual to live, study as well as hold jobs in the United Kingdom, it is not the same as British citizenship. Holding an Indefinite Leave to Remain in Britain does not make one a UK citizen, thus such individuals are denied the right to vote and be voted for. Immigrants who wish to adjust their current status and become nationals of the United Kingdom still need to fulfill certain requirements to qualify – most importantly, they need to wait a year from the date they were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.
People who are legally married to the citizens of the United Kingdom do not need to observe the additional time for waiting. In explanation, getting an ILR is a compulsory precondition for obtaining your UK passport. More important is the fact that ILR holders are at risk of losing their status if they spend above two years outside the shores of the UK. Conversely, British nationals are at liberty to embark on travels and spend as much time as possible overseas.
If you a non-EU national, who has been granted an indefinite leave to remain, you can lose that status if you spend more than two years outside the UK. If you have settled status, you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status.
With British citizenship, you can enter and exit the UK without any restrictions.
What are the British Residency eligibility requirements?
This is often referred to as the ‘residency requirements’ and is related to your physical presence in the UK. The residency requirements differ slightly for those who are spouse or civil partner of a British national and those who are not. Our British citizenship lawyers in London explain:
If you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen
You must have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3 years before making the application, have acquired Indefinite Leave to Remain and have not had more than 270 days outside the UK. Additionally, in the 12-month period before making the application you have not spent more than 90 days outside the UK.
If you are not married to a British citizen
The Home Office guidance states that you must have lived in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before applying for naturalisation. In practice, you would have had to be in the UK for 6 years before making an application because you need 5 years residence in the UK to acquire settlement/ ILR and should have held this status for 12 months before you can apply to be naturalised.
The residency requirement regarding absences from the UK if you are not married to or the civil partner of a British national or settled person are:
you must not have had more than 450 days outside the United Kingdom in the five-year period, and
in the 12-month period before making the application, you have not spent more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom.
What is the 5-year route for Naturalisation?
The person applying must have been a UK resident for at least 5 years – this period is called the residential qualifying period.
Before your application date, you must have been around for 5 years.
During the five-year period, the applicant must not be in breach of the Immigration Rules at any level.
In the case of the EEA nationals their own qualification period is 6 years.
What is the 3-year route for British Naturalisation?
On the other hand, being the civil partner or spouse of a British citizen gives an individual eligibility to apply after three years in the United Kingdom.
When can I apply for British citizenship as an EEA national?
The residential qualifying period starts from the day UKBA receives application from the individual. A person’s application may be unsuccessful if it is found out that he or she is not present in the UK at the commencement of the residential qualifying period. As an applicant for British Citizenship, you must make sure you meet the entire requirements before applying.
Any time spent in the UK while exempted from immigration control cannot be included in the residential qualifying period. The exemption from immigration control can happen when a person has spent time in detention, as a diplomat in the United Kingdom, part of the armed forces. These periods will be seen as absence from the UK when the UKBA assesses a person’s application.
What is “Good Character” for British Citizenship?
You have been living in the UK for a sufficient period of time, working, developing business, studying, paying all the taxes. You are currently in Great Britain possessing one of the following: permanent residence, indefinite leave to remain, settled status. You are eligible to apply for British Naturalisation.
All these factors are definitely important, but one cannot be confident about the successful outcome of your British naturalisation application if any doubts regarding their good character arise. “Good character” section may sometimes be more important than any other group of questions.
There is no exhaustive list of good character requirements and the application could be rejected due to even minor breaches, leading to one’s failure in being admitted to British citizenship. The Home Office Guidance on Good Character Requirements dated 14 January 2019 focuses on the following new sections: good character requirement to minors, absolute and conditional discharges, detention and training orders, extremism, deportation orders, NHS debt, failing to pay litigation costs, as well as adds details regarding overseas convictions, fixed penalty notices, non-compliance with immigration requirements, notably overstaying, absconders and illegal working, humanitarian protection, genuine mistakes.
Due to The Migration Observatory investigation data, up to 40% of refusals in granting UK citizenship are related to the fact that the applicant does not meet good character requirements.
When we speak about the so-called “obvious reasons” like terrorism or other categories of international crimes, financial affairs or violating immigration rules, the situation is clear – do not wait for positive decisions! But it sometimes happens that a person’s British naturalisation application is rejected unexpectedly. The decision, whether the breach is minor or serious, depends upon the caseworker considering the application.
It is necessary to keep in mind that all criminal convictions are taken into consideration, those committed in the UK and abroad. Even if a sentence is completed, a person will have to wait the established period of time in each particular case before applying for citizenship with no guarantee of UK citizenship to be granted.
Non-payment of a fine, multiple fixed penalty notices, unpaid council tax, bankruptcy or liquidation assume bad character as well as any breaching of immigration law within 10 years prior to your British citizenship application. This includes overstaying, working illegally, sham marriage, cheating in the “Life in the UK” or English Language tests. The application will also be under threat if your behavior puts public order at risk.
Providing any false details, deception, dishonesty or an attempt to conceal the truth will ultimately lead to refusal.
As mentioned before, there is no distinctly and precisely formulated list of good character requirements. Nevertheless, these criteria remain very important while considering your British naturalisation application; almost half of the British naturalisation applications in the UK are refused as the good character requirements are not met, even if all other points seem to be due and satisfactory.
A checklist for “Good Character” Requirements
The good character requirement applies to anybody over the age of ten who applies for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen. To meet the good character requirement, you should have shown respect for the freedom and rights of the United Kingdom.
As mentioned before, there is no distinctly and precisely formulated list of good character requirements. Nevertheless, these criteria remain very important while considering the British citizenship application; almost half of the British naturalisation applications in the UK are refused as the good character requirements are not met, even if all other points seem to be due and satisfactory.
You might not be considered to be of good character if you:
Have not respected and/or are not prepared to abide by the law.
Have been involved or associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions that are considered not to be beneficial to the good.
Have not had your financial affairs in appropriate order, for example, you have failed to pay the taxes for which you were liable.
Your activities were notorious and cast distrust on your standing in the local community.
Have been deliberately dishonest or deceptive in your dealings with the UK Government.
Have been involved in evasion of immigration control.
Have been previously deprived of citizenship.
However, as our London based British Citizenship lawyers and solicitors point out, having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that your British citizenship application will be refused:
If you have been given a sentence of 4 years’ or more of imprisonment – Your application will be normally refused, regardless of when the conviction occurred.
If you have been given a sentence between 12 months’ and 4 years’ imprisonment- Your application will normally be refused unless 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
If you have been given a sentence up to 12 months of imprisonment- Your application will normally be refused unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
If you have been given a non-custodial sentence (a fine) – Your application will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last three years.
Receiving either a Fixed Penalty Notice, Penalty Charges Notice &/or Penalties Notices for Disorder do not form part of a person’s criminal record unless: You have failed to pay and there were criminal proceedings as a result; or you received numerous fixed penalties notices which suggest a pattern of behavior, thus putting into question your character.
What immigration time restrictions are needed to apply for naturalization as a British Citizen?
An individual need to be free from immigration time restrictions when he puts in an application for British naturalisation. This should be evident during the last one year of the residential qualifying period; the only exception is if the person is wedded or is the civil spouse of a British Citizen.
An individual that is free from immigration time restrictions will have a sticker or stamp in his or her passport which states that he or she has indefinite leave to stay, enter, or no time limit to live in the UK. A letter or Biometric Residence Permit stating that the applicant is free from immigration conditions may be received from the Home Office by the applicant. Do get in touch with our British Citizenship solicitors in London for further information and an initial free assessment.
Can I travel when my British Citizenship application is still under consideration?
You can travel after submitting your British naturalisation application.
Who can be a referee for British citizenship applications?
British citizenship referee is a vital part of the British naturalisation application. People who will stand as your referees have to be those that have known you for a period of three years at least. One among them can come from any nationality but must have a professional standing like police, accountant, chemist, etc.
Normally, the second person must be of British nationality and must have a British citizen passport. He may or may not be a professional person but his age must be above 25 years.
Can I pass over my British nationality to a spouse, partner, child or adoptive child?
We receive many questions like “Can you get British citizenship through marriage?”. Any offspring of a citizen of the UK or UK overseas territories citizen is likely to automatically acquire their parent’s citizenship at birth. If any of your family members are not automatically a UK citizen, the person can make a registration under one of several categories but the inherent rules can be very complicated.
Most of the categories for child registration stipulate that the application be received before the child attains the age of 18. If you submit the application when the child is above 9, there must be evidence that the child is of good character and this is applicable in almost all the categories. The best approach is to assess the position and if needed, apply for registration on time and it is best done when the child is still below 16.
Right from 2003, you can acquire UK citizenship by registration through the mother of a child, this is applicable to individuals that were born before 1983. Whether their parents are alive or deceased. The rules you are likely to encounter here are complex, though rest assured that our British citizenship lawyers and solicitors in London will keep the application process as hassle-free as possible. It is also possible to process your registration when one parent had once lived in the UK or a resident of an overseas territory belonging to the UK, or was in government service of, and one grandparent was born in, the United Kingdom or an overseas territory belonging to the UK.
A child who is not eligible for registration can still register on a discretional basis or the registration can be done on the basis that the child in question is stateless. When an application is the discretionary type, you will need very strong, well-constructed supporting arguments indicating continuing connections to the United Kingdom, the child’s plans or even human rights considerations. The spouse of a UK citizen or a UK overseas territories citizen may be able to get a UK citizenship or a UK overseas territories citizenship via a shorter than normal period of dwelling in the UK or a UK overseas territory, or occasionally government service. An offspring of a UK citizen which covers UK subject, UK Overseas citizen, UK National (Overseas), UK protected person may acquire citizenship by registration in an exceptional situation like a child’s state of statelessness.
Can I renounce my British citizenship? Why renounce British Citizenship?
If you have made the decision to renounce your British citizenship, there is a form that you need to fill out in order to make a declaration. There is no other process that has an effect on British law, when you have succeeded in renouncing your UK citizenship, it may have some effect on where you travel to and where you can live. It comes with some long-term implications for both the applicant and the members of his or her family who must give very careful considerations before taking action.
Generally, renouncing your British citizenship will put an end to your UK passport as well as all consular protection formally enjoyed by the British government. In most cases, renunciation of your UK nationality puts an end to your residence in Britain, However, some exceptions exist for individuals born before 1983.
What happens to EU citizens in UK after Brexit?
So what do we know about the Brexit EU citizens rights and how they are likely to change in the nearest future? What is now clear is that EU citizens after Brexit will have to leverage on the European Union settlement Scheme if they wish to stay after June 2021 and apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status. They will not need the use a visa to travel to Britain but they will have to get one if they have the intention to work. It also looks like they are not likely to be granted indefinite leave for continued stay in Britain with the present set up.
I’m a Citizen of the European Union. Can I live in the UK?
Yes, it is possible to stay in the UK even when the proposed Brexit deal comes to pass. If Brexit becomes a reality, Britain and Brussels have come to an agreement that European Union citizens are free to continue arriving, settling as well as working in Britain just like it is presently but this grace will only go as far as 31 December 2020. Our British Citizenship lawyers and solicitors in London detail the eligibility criteria below:
If you arrive in the UK before the afore mentioned date, you will be granted the right to apply for continued stay in the United Kingdom permanently.
This rule is also going to be applicable the other way round for UK citizens who are resident in the other 27 member European Union nations.
At the expiration of the cutoff date which is 31 December 2020 citizens of the European Union who wish to live and work in Britain would have to apply for a visa.
As it is at the moment, the issue of when the government of the United Kingdom will be in a position to guarantee the rights of European Union citizens in Britain is not very clear. The reason for their inability is that the agenda for Brexit negotiations is still pending and has not been agreed on. It is believed EU citizens are in for some preferential deals during the process of Brexit negotiation and the present prime minister is likely go for a work permit system for everyone. However, it is necessary to have some form of concession for European Union workers.
EU Citizens Rights in UK after Brexit – Can I apply online?
Yes, it is very much possible to submit your application online; the scheme will work with many smartphones but not all, though it will not work with iPhone. According to the Home Office, they have created an online application which will be user-friendly as well as simple.
Applicants will be required to provide some information which include: biographical information, uploading of a facial photograph or passport and declaration of whether they have any past criminal records.
British Citizenship vs. nationality
The concept of citizenship vs. nationality can vary from country to country and can be a complex issue. In the UK, nationality essentially means you are a member of the state, it is acquired through birth or adoption, marriage or descent. British Citizenship focuses on the specific legalities between the state and the individual, granting them certain rights and responsibilities.
If you are a British Citizen, you can live and work in the UK without any immigration control and you are also able to apply for a UK passport.
If you’re not sure if you are a British Citizen, you can check. It depends on where and when you were born and your parents’ circumstances at the time. You’re not necessarily granted British citizenship if you were born in the UK.
British citizenship vs. residency
A UK resident is considered someone who resides lawfully in the UK and meets the requirements of the residence test. When permanent residence (also known as indefinite leave to remain) is granted, there are no longer any immigration restrictions on the work or business you do and there is no time limit to how long you live in the UK.
You can apply for a residence card if you from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland or if a family member/extended family member is a permanent resident or ‘qualified’ person, ie someone who is working, self-sufficient or studying in the UK.
If you are a British citizen, you have an automatic right to reside in the UK.
Once you’ve had permanent residence status for 12 months, you can apply for citizenship (unless you are married to, or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.)
When can your British citizenship be revoked/when is British citizenship revoked?
There are two routes that can be taken when British citizenship is revoked – Nullity or Deprivation.
Nullity occurs when the Home Office rules that the applicant was the intended individual to be granted with British Citizenship. This could be due to various factors, including:
– Provision of false information by the applicant e.g. incorrect name, date of birth or nationality;
– The use of a false identity to gain citizenship;
– The use of someone else’s identity;
– If the applicant was already British.
The alternative method is Deprivation and this can be enforced on the grounds of:
– False information;
– Because it is deemed conducive to the public interest.
Numerous reasons will give the Home Office cause to deprive citizenship for the good of the public, including acts of terrorism, espionage, serious organised crime, war crimes or unacceptable behaviours.
An applicant can appeal before a Judge when revoked through Deprivation but not through Nullity.
Where to take Life in the UK test?
There are 30 test centers across the UK where applicants can take the test. All 30 centers are run by the official government service. The test needs to be booked at least three days in advance and costs £50. You choose the location for your test when you book it online. You will need an email address, debit/credit card, and an accepted form of ID to be able to book the test.
English language test for British Citizenship?
To become a British citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of the English language if you are 18 or over. There are some extenuating circumstances where those applying will not need to provide any certification, but for the majority, they will need to have either an English qualification at B1 level or a degree taught or researched in English.