British citizenship by naturalisation

Introduction

Naturalisation is a process which allows a foreign national adult who has a settled status, often known as Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, to acquire British citizenship. In this news article, we will explore how a person can acquire British citizenship through naturalisation.

Read Time: 5 minutes

___________________________________________________________________________

 What is on this page?

  • Introduction
  • Discretionary
  • Naturalisation requirements for a married person
  • Life in the UK test
  • Criminal convictions
  • Naturalisation requirements for a non-married person
  • Withdrawal of Citizenship
  • Serious crime
  • Misleading information
  • Apply for naturalization
  • Fee
  • What would you do next?

Discretion

The grant of citizenship is discretionary which means that the Home Office is under no obligation to grant someone citizenship. However, if the applicant fulfils the general requirement and is of a good character, he is likely to be granted with Citizenship. The important points to note are following

  • The Home Secretary has the discretion to grant citizenship to a person who is not a British National.
  • The grant of British Citizenship is not fundamental Human right; however, every applicant has a right to have his application considered fairly. The Home Office generally provide reasons for refusal as a good practice and in order to avoid unnecessary litigation including Appeals and Judicial Reviews
  • The requirements to obtain a British Citizenship are slightly different for a foreign national who is married to a British citizen or person with settled status (ILR)

Naturalisation requirements for a married person

Where the applicant is married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen then he has to fulfil the following criteria

  1. The applicant must be settled at the time of application
  2. Must have been living in the UK for 3 years continuously before applying for naturalisation
  3. Must also be physically present in the UK on the date three years before the application is made
  4. Must not be absent for more than 270 days in total during these qualifying three years and the applicant should not have spent more than 90 days outside from the UK in the year immediately before the application
  5. The Home Office may disregard 30 extra days when counting 270 days and 10 extra days when counting for 90 days in the preceding year
  6. The applicant must also have sufficient knowledge of the English language and must have passed Life in the UK test
  7. The applicant must also be of a good character. The applicant must disclose all criminal convictions both inside and outside the United Kingdom including Motoring or Road Traffic Offences

English Language Requirement

An applicant can demonstrate the English language requirements by

  • Possessing a Home Office approved qualification or by passing a specific language test from a Home Office approved test centre/college
  • Possessing a degree which is in line with the guidance of Home office 

                    or

  •  by satisfying that the applicant belonged to a majority English speaking country

                     or

  • the applicant has already met the requirement when he/she has made an earlier, successful application for indefinite leave to remain

Life in the UK test

An applicant can prove knowledge about life in the UK by passing the test commonly referred and known as Life in the UK Test.

Criminality

Following criteria plays an important role. The applicant must check against this table whether their application will be successful. Applying for Naturalisation is a costly endeavour. One should only apply where he is sure that he meets all requirements.

Sentence Impact on Application
4 or more years’ imprisonment The application will be refused irrespective of when the conviction occurred
Imprisonment of more than 12 months and less than 4 YearsThe application will be refused unless 15 years have been passed since the end of the sentence
Up to 12 months’ Imprisonment The application will be refused unless 7 years have been passed since the end of the sentence
Non- Custodial SentenceThe application will be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 3 years. An applicant has to wait for at least three years from the date of conviction

Naturalisation requirements for a non-married person

Where the applicant is neither married to nor in a civil partnership with a British citizen or person with an ILR, for such applicant the requirements are following

  • The applicant must have settled in the UK for at least one year before applying for naturalisation
  • Must have been living in the UK legally for 5 continuous years before applying for naturalisation.
  • Must also be physically present in the UK on the date 5 years before the application is received by the Home Office
  • Must not be absent for more than 450 days in total during these qualifying 5 years and applicant should also not have spent more than 90 days in the year immediately before the application
  • The applicant must also have sufficient knowledge of the English language and knowledge of life in the UK 
  • The applicant must also be of a good character. The applicant must disclose all criminal convictions both inside and outside the United Kingdom including Motoring or Road Traffic Offences
  • Must also have an intention to live in the United Kingdom

Withdrawal of Citizenship

Home Secretary has the power to cancel or withdraw the citizenship of a person who has acquired British Citizenship through naturalisation or by registration, provided such a person is involved in the prohibited activities.

 Serious crime

Where a person has committed a serious crime,including cases which involve national security, terrorism, serious organised crime, war crimes, etc. it is likely that Home Office will withdraw the citizenship.

Misleading Information

Where a person has been naturalized due to misleading information or withheld necessary information at the time of application, it is likely that upon the discovery of such information the person will be deprived of British Citizenship and he will subject to deportation unless some extenuating circumstances exist.

Apply for Naturalisation

Online

You can apply on line, please click the link given here.

https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/nationality-an

Paper Application

You can download the paper application by using the following link, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/766542/form-an-12-18.pdf

Fee

Adults applying for British citizenship

Application form Type of application Total fee payable
AN Naturalisation £1330
B(OS), B(OTA), RS1, S1, S2, S3 T, EM Registration £1206
UKM, UKF Section 4C, 4G, 4H, 4I registration (ceremony fee only) £80

 Source: Home Office

Naturalization is a complex area of immigration law. For further information and advice, you can ask the legalally’s experienced Immigration lawyer instantly through your mobile, tablet and laptop from anywhere in the world.

What would you do next?

Legalally

Your Partner in the legal world!

 
 
 
 
Scroll to Top