British Citizenship

British Citizenship provides an individual with the right to live and work in the UK permanently without any restrictions.

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British Citizenship provides an individual with the right to live and work in the UK permanently without any restrictions. British citizenship can be obtained automatically by birth, by registering as a British citizen by entitlement/discretion or by naturalisation after obtaining indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

British Citizenship by Naturalisation

In order to be eligible to naturalise as a British Citizen, the applicant must normally satisfy a range of criteria including immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK as well as good character. The applicants would need to satisfy the following general criteria.

  • Spent at least 5 years of continuous residence in the UK with no longer than 450 days of absence from the UK during that period
  • Not been absent for more than 90 days during the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application
  • Present in the UK on the day exactly 5 years before the date of application
  • Held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or free of Immigration restrictions in the UK for at least 12 months before the date of application
  • Meet the B1 CEFR level English language requirements (unless exempt).
  • Pass the Life in the UK Test or be exempt
  • Not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules
  • Be of good character and intend to continue living in the UK

If the applicant is the spouse of a British citizen at the time of application, then they can apply immediately after obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain and slightly different rules apply as summarised below.

  • Spent at least 3 years of continuous residence in the UK with no longer than 270 days of absence from the UK during that period
  • Present in the UK on the day exactly 3 years before the date of application.

British Citizenship by Registration

This route is for those qualified either by way of entitlement or on a discretionary basis to apply for British Citizenship by registration. In order to be eligible to register as a British Citizen, the applicant may qualify in a number of permitted categories, the most common route being children under the age of 18 applying for registration. Children cannot apply to ‘naturalise’, but instead must apply to ‘register’ as British citizens.

In order to be eligible to register as a British Citizen by the way of entitlement, the child must satisfy one of the following requirements.

  • Born in the UK whose parent or parents become British or settled (must be applied for before the child turns 18)
  • Born in the UK who has lived in the UK continuously until the age of ten (including adults)

The Home Office may also register a child under the discretion and grant British citizenship. The applications are decided on individual merits and normally consider the child’s future intentions, the citizenship and immigration status of the child’s parents, the length of the child’s residence in the UK, whether or not the child is settled, parental consent and what is in the child’s best interests. The good character requirement applies to both types of registration and a high threshold applies to the discretionary registrations.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on obtaining British Citizenship. . As an SRA regulated firm, we act with the utmost integrity and carefully assess each of our client’s circumstances to ensure that the eligibility requirements are met and to identify any potential issues with the application. We are a multi-award-winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to providing clear, transparent, and reliable advice to our clients. 

Contact us today and find out how our friendly team can make the journey hassle free for you. 

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