British Citizenship

There are different routes to gain British citizenship including:

  • Acquisition
  • Registration
  • Naturalisation
  • Adoption
  • Descent

British Citizenship by Naturalisation

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 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
    • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
    • had Permanent Residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document
    • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

British Citizenship by Registration

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 198
  • 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.

Examples of our successful clients’ cases:

– An entire European family of four was granted British citizenship even though the father (the Sponsor) did not apply at the same time, in addition to gaps in employment and residence.

– A businessman client initially could not meet the residence requirement as he had exceeded the absence limit due to substantial work trips abroad. We argued successfully to discount his business travel and citizenship was granted promptly.

– A client separated from her British husband who had been the supporting Sponsor in her previous Indefinite Leave to Remain application and previous Spouse Visa applications. We had successfully demonstrated that she relied upon her own right to reside in the UK and citizenship was granted.

Link to the Home Office website

https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen

Whilst the Home Office published processing time can take up to 6 months, we find that a well-presented case enables the Home Office to make a decision much quicker.  We look forward to securing your rights to stay in the UK amidst the Brexit uncertainties. Speak to us about our ‘Friends and Family Package’ for a special discount when applying as a couple or group.

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