British Citizenship

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What is British Citizenship How is British Citizenship different from Indefinite Leave to Remain? How do I apply for British citizenship after getting ILR? What is the UK Dual Citizenship? What are the different ways to acquire British Citizenship? What are the requirements for British Citizenship? What is the 'Good Character' requirement? What are the English Language requirements for British Citizenship? What are the documents required while registering for British Citizenship? What is the cost of applying for British Citizenship? How can you apply for British Citizenship? What is the British citizenship application form? How long do you have to stay in the UK to get British Citizenship? How long does it take to process a British citizenship application?

What is British Citizenship

An individual with British Citizenship can live and work in the UK free of any immigration controls. Having British Citizenship also means you can participate in the country’s political life, such as voting in the elections. You are also eligible to get a UK passport if you have British Citizenship. You might be a British Citizendays depending on where and when you were born, and your parent's circumstances when you were born.

How is British Citizenship different from Indefinite Leave to Remain?

British Citizenship is not the same as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as only the former will grant you full permanent rights. Although, there are many rights given to those with UK Indefinite Leave to Remain and UK Citizens. Some of them are:

There are several added benefits to full UK citizenship. If you become a UK citizen, you will be able to leave the UK for extensive periods. But, an individual with ILR or permanent residency can lose their status if they stay out of the UK for more than two years. While someone with permanent residency can live, work, pay complete tax and move like any other citizen, they will not be able to take part in elections and they cannot hold a British passport. However, you will need to give up the citizenship of your home country to acquire British Citizenship, unless you can apply for dual citizenship.

How do I apply for British citizenship after getting ILR?

An individual who has held Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK for 12 months or more, is eligible to become a British National. The same rule applies for those who hold Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK and for the EU and EEA citizens who have had the EU settled status for a specific amount of time.

The applicants who are married to a British citizen, are allowed to apply for naturalisation immediately after getting their Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. You are not allowed to spend more than 90 days away from the UK during the 12 month qualifying period. You will be asked to provide details regarding any absence that you had made before you submitted your request.

You will lose your status of Indefinite Leave to Remain if you are away from the UK for more than two years and you will not be able to qualify for British Nationality until you have spent further eligible time in the UK. If the applicant is an EU citizen holding settled status, they will lose their right to settle in the UK if they spend more than five years overseas. If they wish to reobtain their status, they must submit a new application.

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What is the UK Dual Citizenship?

The United Kingdom allows Dual Citizenship as there is no need to renounce your previous nationalities. Holding a dual nationality means you can be a British national along with being a citizen of any other country of your choice. The UK law also allows multiple citizenships which means you can apply for UK naturalisation even if you hold more than one nationality. There is no requirement for registration for dual citizenship. You can apply for foreign citizenship in any country that allows dual citizenship if you are already a British National.

However, each country has its own set of rules regarding dual nationality. Hence, it is important to check with your respective country’s embassy or consulate whether you can maintain your status in the UK.

If you are a British citizen who wants to attain citizenship in a country that does not permit dual nationality, you will have to give up your status. In other cases, becoming a British citizen will automatically result in a loss of any previous nationality. Hence, it is advisable to check if you have to notify your country of original citizenship of your intention to obtain British Nationality before submitting your application.

What are the different ways to acquire British Citizenship?

There are different ways and routes to acquire British Citizenship, some of them are mentioned below:

What are the requirements for British Citizenship?

According to the British Nationality Act, applicants who wish to apply for British Citizenship must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. They must be over the age of 18 years.
  2. They must have spent at least 5 years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom
  3. In five years, they are not permitted to spend more than 450 days outside the United Kingdom
  4. Applicants must have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for at least 12 months.
  5. They must meet the English Language Requirements at the B1 CEFR level unless they are exempted from doing so.
  6. You will have to pass the Life in the UK test which shows that the applicant is aware of the British culture, traditions and customs
  7. Applicants must not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules
  8. Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the Good Character requirement.
  9. Applicants must show that they intend to continue living in the UK

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What is the ‘Good Character’ requirement?

To become eligible for British Citizenship, you must demonstrate your “good character”. Good character means you must not hold any severe nor recent criminal record. The Home Office will also be reviewing whether you have committed any criminal offence overseas and if you have any UK immigration-related issue. Apart from that, the UKVI will also consider any contributions made by you towards society.

What are the English Language requirements for British Citizenship?

If you are applying for British Citizenship, you need to prove your knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic by passing a listening and speaking test at B1 level. The English test qualifications will only be recognised and accepted if they're from the UKVI approved test centres. You can also prove your English language requirements by presenting evidence of a degree taught or researched in English. However, nationals of certain countries are exempt from fulfilling the English Language requirement.

What are the documents required while registering for British Citizenship?

A perfect application requires submitting an adequate portfolio of documents. While applying for British Citizenship, it is essential to provide documents that demonstrate that you meet all the requirements. Following are the documents you must submit to the Home Office to acquire British Citizenship:

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What is the cost of applying for British Citizenship?

The cost of applying for British Citizenship is £1,206 for adult registration as a British Citizen. The fee for child registration as a British Citizen is £1,012. The fees for Naturalisation is £1,330.

These fees do not include the additional cost of £80 for your citizenship ceremony, which will be refunded if your application request is refused or withdrawn. If you have submitted your form online, you will be asked to pay by credit or debit card, and if you have used the paper form, you will have to use the payment slip to pay by either cash or cheque.

Your fees for British Citizenship must be paid in full to make your application valid. You will not get a refund if your request is refused or withdrawn, however, if you have failed to provide your biometric data, your form will be rejected as invalid and your fee will be refunded after deducting an administrative charge of £25.

How can you apply for British Citizenship?

There are three ways to prepare an application for naturalisation. They are:

If you are applying for citizenship on your own, you must fill the Form AN. As a part of the application process, you are required to provide your biometric information which includes fingerprints and photos, which will cost you £19.20. You will be contacted by The Home Office to let you know if you can provide your information at a local post office. You can submit your forms and documents from within the UK or abroad. Once you have completed your Form AN, Application for Naturalisation, you will need to send it along with the application fee and supporting documents to the UKVI office.

What is the British citizenship application form?

To submit your request for citizenship, you must complete and file a Form AN, which is an application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen. Every section of this form will require you to provide all the necessary information about your case to prove your eligibility. This includes information regarding your biographical data, proof of residency, details regarding your employment status and any dependant who is applying with you. If you are applying as a spouse of a British National, you will also have to provide evidence of your relationship. You will also have to include details of your two referees who will have to sign your form to confirm that all the information you have provided on your form is correct.

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How long do you have to stay in the UK to get British Citizenship?

An applicant can apply for UK citizenship with permanent residence status after having lived in the UK for at least 12 months after getting a permanent residence status. you will also need a permanent residence document that proves you've lived in the United Kingdom for five years, this can be any five year period.

How long does it take to process a British citizenship application?

The Home Office will only start processing your application after you have paid the appropriate application fee. Applications for British nationality are usually decided by the UKVI within six months. Although it is not possible to apply for the premium priority service to speed up this type of application, you can receive your decision from the Home Office before the expected waiting time. While some complex cases may take more than the average six month period, if you provide comprehensive and necessary documentation about your situation, the Home Office will be able to review your application faster. However, if you fail to submit all the necessary documents and evidence, your request might get delayed. After your application is accepted, you will have to wait until you are called for your Citizenship Ceremony to receive your Naturalisation certificate and to apply for a British Passport.

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British Citizenship FAQ

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