You can become a British citizen either by birth, registration, or applying for naturalisation if you are aged 18 or over. To be eligible to become a British national by way of naturalisation, you need to prove that you are settled in the UK and have resided in the country for at least three or five years, depending on your circumstances. You must also demonstrate that you have not broken any UK laws, including immigration breaches.
NATURALISATION AS A BRITISH CITIZEN
To succeed with naturalisation, you must:
1. Be over the age of 18.
2. Be of sound mind. This means you understand the steps you are taking to become a British citizen.
3. Intend to continue to live in the UK.
4. Have spent at least five years of continuous residence in the UK, with no longer than 450 days outside the UK.
5. Have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK for at least 12 months.
6. Meet the B1 CEFR level English language requirements (unless exempt).
7. Pass the Life in the UK Test to show that you understand the basics of British customs, traditions and culture.
8. Not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules.
9. Demonstrate that you meet the Good Character requirement.
Good Character Requirements
To be of good character, you must have shown respect for the rights and freedoms of the United Kingdom, observed its laws and fulfilled your duties and obligations as a resident of the United Kingdom. Checks will be carried out to ensure during this process.
If you are naturalised based upon incorrect or fraudulent information, you may have your British citizenship removed (deprivation) and be prosecuted as a result. It is a criminal offence to make a declaration knowing it is untrue.
The application form requires you to disclose, among other things, all criminal convictions that have not yet been spent and civil proceedings made against you in the UK or any other country. This includes any criminal convictions for which you have not yet been tried in court. It includes any convictions in a court, such as TV licence offences and motoring offences, etc. Fixed penalty motoring offences need not be disclosed in certain circumstances.
The existence of criminal convictions, adverse immigration history, deception, false representations in your previous immigration applications and civil proceedings made against you may cause you to fall foul of the good character requirement and could lead to your application being refused. Please see more information provided below.
The Home Office will make checks with the police, HMRC, Security Service and other Government departments and agencies to verify the information you have provided on your naturalisation application form.
Oath and Pledge ceremony
Once your application is approved, you will be required to attend an oath and pledge ceremony arranged by your local authority. You will be asked to swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors at the ceremony. You will also be asked to give a pledge to be loyal to the United Kingdom, respect its rights and freedoms, uphold its democratic values, observe its laws and fulfil your duties as a British citizen. At this ceremony, you are given your Certificate of Naturalisation. It is at this point that you will become a British citizen. You can then make a separate application to the Identity & Passport Service for a British passport if you wish to do so.
Some countries do not permit dual citizenship; however, the UK does. You are not required to surrender your existing nationality if you are naturalised as a British citizen. Still, it would be best to make all necessary checks with the consulate or embassy of your current citizenship to ensure that naturalisation will not prejudice your status as a British citizen.
REGISTRATION AS A BRITISH CITIZEN
According to your circumstances, there are several routes you can follow to register as a British citizen.
- British Citizenship by Birth or by Descent. You may automatically be recognised as a British national if you were born in the UK after 1 January 1983. However, you may also be eligible if you were born abroad from at least one parent who is a British citizen or settled person. You may also register as British if you were born in the UK to parents who were not settled at the time of your birth but subsequently became settled before you turned 18 years old.
- Citizenship for "stateless" individuals. If you are "stateless" and are thus not recognised as a citizen of any country, you may be eligible to be a British citizen. Your eligibility and the application process you need to follow depends on the country where you were born.
- Nationality for those who renounced it. If you gave up your British Citizenship, you might eventually be allowed to resume your status.
Most immigration applications have strict factual and evidential requirements that are not necessarily straightforward to comprehend or satisfy. LS Legal Solicitors are well versed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous. However, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.
For the quickest response, please WhatsApp or call us on +44 (0) 75 3595 9450. You can also contact us via email at info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact form to discuss your requirements further or arrange an appointment with one of our experts.