At Knightsbridge Solicitors we are experts in Immigration Law and we’re experienced in advising individuals from many different countries on their British Citizenship applications. We aim to make the process as simple as possible, and also offer advice in many different languages should you need it. Read on for some of our commonly asked questions regarding becoming a British Citizen, and How You Apply for British Citizenship.
What is British Citizenship? What is Naturalisation?
First off you need to be aware of one key term: Naturalisation. The most likely route for obtaining British Citizenship is through the process of Naturalisation. There are other, less common, means of obtaining British Citizenship, but as Naturalisation is the predominant process, this article applies to this method.
What Conditions Do I Need to Meet?
You will need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for British Citizenship through Naturalisation.
You will need to:
- Be over 18 at the time of the application
- Be ‘of good character’ – meaning that you haven’t committed any serious crimes, or have a recent criminal record. Additionally you must have a record of being honest with the Home Office and not committed any Immigration Offences in the previous decade.
- Be sure you plan to continue living in the UK
- Have a good knowledge of the language, such as eligible qualifications, or have studied at degree level in English
- Have passed the Life in the UK Test1
- Meet the relevant residency requirements
Is Anything Else Taken in to Account When Applying for British Citizenship?
Yes. In addition to the above criteria you also need to be able to satisfy various other conditions. You will need to:
- Have lived in the UK for at least the last 5 years
- Have been present in the UK for the majority of that time, without having spent more than 450 days outside the UK during that time, and no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months alone.
- Not broken any laws pertaining to Immigration
Does it Matter if I’m From Within or Outside the EEA?
Some small differences apply to those applying for British Citizenship from within the EEA (European Economic Area) or outside of it.
For those applying who have come from within the EEA you will need to have had permanent residency status for at least the last year. For those applying from outside the EEA then you will need to have had what is called ‘indefinite leave to remain’ status in the UK for at least the last year.
Does it Matter if I am Married to, or in Civil Partnership with, a British Citizen?
Yes, the process is different if you are married to, or in a civil partnership with, a British Citizen. Call us on 0115 824 1700 for further advice.
What Else Will I Need to Provide?
If you meet all of the above criteria then you will also need to pay the fees for becoming a British Citizen and also provide biometric data in due course.
How Do I Apply For British Citizenship?
You can choose to apply yourself but this can be a complicated and tricky process. We are able to assist those looking to apply for British Citizenship and are always happy to help. Our team of multi-cultural immigration experts will be able to help and make the process as smooth as possible.
Call today on 0115 824 1700 to get your British Citizenship application started.