Apply for British Citizenship

If you are looking to acquire British Citizenship, QC Immigration can help you during the application process and make sure that documentation clearly showcases why you are eligible, and that you are meeting all the requirements. No matter which route to citizenship you are looking to apply for, please get in touch to discuss with one of our qualified immigration lawyers.

There are different routes to gain British Citizenship. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship through one or more routes.

These routes include:

  • Naturalisation
  • Birth
  • Marriage

Eligibility and requirements

Although there are several routes to obtain British Citizenship, general requirements to fulfil will include

  • Proof of living in the UK for at least 3 years prior to your application
  • Proof that you have passed the Life in the UK test
  • Good knowledge of the English language through an approved test
  • Good character (i.e. no criminal record, respect of immigration laws)

The most common route is called Naturalisation.

You can apply for British Citizenship by Naturalisation 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'll continue to live in the UK
  • You've met the knowledge of English and Life in the UK Test 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
  • Spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • Settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK for the last 12 months
  • Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

Not everyone automatically gets British Citizenship when they are born in the UK, this also depends on parent's circumstances, where and when they were born.

You may be eligible for British Citizenship by registration if you:

  • Have another form of British nationality
  • Were born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother
  • Were born to a British father, even if he was not married to your mother
  • Were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983
  • Are under 18 and don't fit into the other categories
  • Have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong
  • Are stateless

British nationality laws are very complicated as they involve historical changes. We always recommend that clients discuss their circumstances with one of our immigration lawyers before moving forward with their application. We deal with British Citizenship applications every day. The Home Office views British Citizenship as a privilege rather than an entitlement.

British Citizenship by Marriage

If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen and have lived in the UK for the last 3 years prior to your application, you may apply for British Citizenship through the marriage route.

To apply, you will also need to have one of the following

  • Indefinite Leave to Remain  
  • No Time Limit document
  • Settled Status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (Since 1 January 2021, you no longer can apply for a permanent residence document and will need to use your settled status to apply for citizenship.)

Applying for British Citizenship

It is possible to apply for British Citizenship by yourself or through a representative registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

QC Immigration is registered with the OISC at the highest level 3 and can help you choose the best route available to you. We shall help you present a solid case which may enable the Home Office to come to a decision quicker.

You must check that you have all documents required and that you are meeting the eligibility criteria before starting your application.

British Citizenship application costs

It costs £1,500 for adults to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation and £80 for the Citizenship ceremony fee. For registration, the fee is £1,214.

Additional costs should be taken into consideration, such as translation of documents that are not in English to support your application, taking an English language test or Life in the UK Test, or paying for your citizenship ceremony.

You will also need to provide your biometric information, for your application to be decided.

FAQ

How long does the process take?

It can take up to 6 months for the Home Office to make a decision, sometimes more depending on the nature of the application and the volume of applications that the Home Office has to handle. We find that enables the Home Office to make a decision much quicker.

How QC Immigration can help

Our team has extensive experience in dealing with British Citizenship applications. If you would like to discuss which route would be best for you and get help for your application, don't hesitate to get in touch.

How can I prove a good knowledge of the English language?

You will need to pass a secure English language test (SELT) from an approved provider in order to apply for British Citizenship. The test needs to be on the list of approved tests and cannot include qualifications such as NVQs or GSCEs. The test will be valid for 2 years so make sure you are applying while your test is still valid.

What is the Life in the UK Test?

The Life in the UK Test, also called British Citizenship test, costs £50 and is required before you can submit your application. The test is aimed at showcasing your knowledge of British culture, history and customs. If you have already passed this test as part of a previous application to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will not need to pass the test again  

Do I need to renounce my nationality to apply for British Citizenship?

Dual citizenship is allowed in the UK, so when you are applying for citizenship you will not be asked to renounce your nationality. However, your country may have other rules about dual citizenship so we would recommend getting in touch with your country's consulate or embassy to check whether your country will allow dual citizenship.

What happens when my application has been accepted?

If your application is successful, you will be notified by email and/or post. You will also need to take part in a citizenship ceremony where you will pledge to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK. Once a UK citizen you will be able to apply for a British passport.

My British Citizenship application was refused. What can I do?

If your application has been unsuccessful, you can ask the Home Office to reconsider their decision through a form NR, at an additional cost. If this happens, it is important to act swiftly and ensure that you have a solid case when requesting a reconsideration. Due to the complexities of laws and requirements, it is highly recommended to enrol the help of specialist immigration lawyers such as QC Immigration.

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