British Citizenship

Naturalisation is the process whereby a Non-British Citizen apply to the Home Secretary to be made British. British Nationality Act 1981, Section 41 is to be amended by the 2014 Immigration Bill so as made mandatory for anyone applying for British Citizenship to provide Biometric Information. Different rules apply for both Standard Naturalisation and Naturalisation of Spouses of British Citizen.

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

There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen.

You can’t include any time spent in the UK when you’re exempt from immigration control (for example, as a diplomat or member of visiting armed forces) as part of the 5 years.

There are endless advantages of having a British passport as we have experienced ourselves! The actual application is for British Citizenship, a passport is just the last (and easiest) bureaucratic hurdle.

There are 2 ways to achieve British Citizenship for foreign people and we assist with both. Both are submitted on Standard (postal) service only as the Home Office does not consider such applications on fast Premium service. The positive thing is that you don’t need to part with your original passport, marriage certificate etc as we could certify them and return to you, so you could travel while your application is being considered by the Home Office.

NATURALISATION: basic rules include 5 years of residency in the UK and also a 1 year wait after obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Exception is spouses and civil partners of UK citizens (see a separate paragraph below). Also, below are comments for European citizens and family members.

In practice, for most people this means 6 years, not 5 years, as many think. In most  cases you’d need 5 years of working in the UK to achieve ILR, so with an extra year after that it prolongs a wait for Citizenship to 6 years. Some have to wait longer because they would not qualify for ILR after 5 years in the UK, such as those on Student visas cannot count it towards ILR (unless applying on the basis of Long Residence 10 years).

So, once you have ILR, you can wait for 12 months and then apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen.

There are also other rules such as absences from the UK and criminal convictions or traffic offences etc, so the best option would be to book our Advice Session.

Spouses of British citizens: foreign spouses need to spend 3 years in the UK (not 5 years) and to have ILR. There is no need to wait for 1 year after ILR. There are still rules on absences and criminal offences.etc. For those issued a first Spouse/Partner/Fiancee visa after 9 July 2012 waiting time will be 5 years because spouses/partners will be getting ILR only after 5 years in the UK (not after 2 years as it used to be).

The above applies only to spouses (married) and civil partners of UK citizens. Unmarried Partners need to comply with the general rules (5 years of residency and 1 year after an ILR). This is different from the Rules for ILR where rules are the same for unmarried partners as for (married) spouses/partners.

European Citizens: the general rules apply (5 years of residency and 1 year after achieving that, absences etc). EU/EEA citizen often do not have ‘visa stamps’ as those are not compulsory but from 12 November 2015 they have to make a formal application for permanent residency first (a separate application) if they wish to subsequently apply for British Citizenship.

Children: those applying at the same time as parents can be included. Those applying separately – depends on each situation as there are various rules for children depending on their parents’ status, where a child is born and so on. It would be best to contact us for our Advice Session.

REGISTRATION: this is a process for some who could qualify on the reasons other than residency or work in the UK. For example, if your parent is British and but you were born abroad or when your parents lived in the UK in the past or when you lived in the UK for 10 years as a child and so on. There are many, many potential situations, so again it would be best to contact us for our Advice Session.

Registration deals with the Applicants who have not yet reached the age of majority (age 18), intending to become British Citizens under the following categories

  • Birth in the UK to parents who are now settled in the UK or have become British Citizens
  • Birth in the UK to parents who have joined the Armed forces.
  • Child whose parents are applying for British Citizenship.
  • Birth abroad to parents who are Britishby Decent and have lived in the UK or a British Overseas Territories.
  • Children adopted abroad by British Citizen Parents.
  • Children whose parents had renounced and subsequently resumed British Citizenship.
  • Any other case not listed above where it is considered to be in the child’s best interest to be granted British Citizenship.
  • Birth abroad to parents serving in the Armed forces.

British passport eligibility

You can apply for a British passport if you have British nationality(Naturalisation/Registration). But there are some circumstances where your application can be refused or your existing passport can be retained.

When you can get or hold a British passport

You must have British nationality to apply for or hold a British passport.

Having British nationality doesn’t guarantee you a passport. For example, you may not get a new passport (or your existing passport may be taken from you) if:

  • you’re suspected of a serious crime and an arrest warrant has been issued
  • a court order stops you having a UK passport or restricts your travel
  • you’re on bail and bail conditions mean you can’t leave the UK
  • you’ve been brought back to the UK before at the government’s expense and haven’t repaid what you owe
  • you’ve received a European Union or United Nations order which restricts your travel
  • A passport can also be cancelled or not renewed if it’s for a child and there’s a court order in place stopping the child from leaving the UK.
  • Your eligibility and entitlement to a British passport will be considered when you apply.
  • Passports belong to the government and can be cancelled or withdrawn at any time.

If you need any Assistance/Advice

Please contact us

Email zamlawassociates@gmail.com

Call on: 07983429360