British Citizenship by naturalisation is the most common application route to British Citizenship.
Introduction to British Citizenship by naturalisation
British Citizenship by naturalisation is the most common route to British Citizenship for non-British nationals who can meet certain eligibility requirements. If you do not qualify for British Citizenship by naturalisation, you may be eligible for British Citizenship by registration.
The benefits of becoming a British citizen can include the right to live and work in the UK without restrictions, the ability to travel using a British passport, receive consular assistance while abroad, and access to certain benefits and services.
However, citizenship isn’t the only way to live and work in the UK permanently, so decide if citizenship is right for you before you apply. The rules regarding British citizenship can be complex and may depend on individual circumstances. If you have any questions or concerns about your own citizenship status, you should book our online consultation service.
How to get British citizenship by naturalisation
To be eligible for naturalisation, you must have lived in the UK for at least five years (or three years if you are married to a British citizen or settled person), have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (‘settled’) for at least 12 months if you are not married to a British citizen, and meet the English language and knowledge of life in the UK requirements.
You can apply for British citizenship by completing the application and paying a fee on the gov.uk website. Afterwards, you will need to confirm your biometric details in person at a UKVCAS centre. Once these steps are complete, the Home Office will process your application and if approved, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony.
Requirements to naturalise as a British citizen
To naturalise as a British citizen, you must meet the following British citizenship requirements:
Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
Residence: You must have lived in the UK for at least five years (or three years if you are married to a British citizen).
Absences: You should not have spent 450 days (or 270 days if you are married to a British citizen) outside the UK.
Settled in the UK: You must have Indefinite Leave to Remain, Permanent Residence or Settled Status) for at least 12 months if you are not married to a British citizen.
Good character: You must be of good character, which means you must not have a criminal record or any other relevant convictions or breaches of immigration law. The Home Office will review your character, including positive contributions that you have made in the UK, to decide if you have the necessary character to become British.
English language: Typically, you will need to pass an English language test (B1 CEFR) from an approved provider, or demonstrate that you are exempt from the requirement.
Knowledge of life in the UK: You must pass the Life in the UK test, which assesses your knowledge of British history, culture, and values.
Referees for British Citizenship
Your British citizenship application will also require two referees.They need to confirm the information you have provided on your form is correct and that they know you well.
You can decide who they are so long as they meet the meet the requirements. Broadly these requirements are that both referees must have known you for at least three years; they cannot be related to you or each other; they must not have had any criminal convictions within the last ten years; one referee must be a professional person, such as a minister of religion or a dentist and the other referee must be British and be 25 years old.
Your application might still be successful if you are unable to provide two referees (for example, for young children) but you will need to explain why you are unable to do so.
What documents do I need to apply for British citizenship?
The documents needed can vary depending on your circumstances, but in general, you will need to provide the following:
Your current valid passport or travel document.
Evidence of your current immigration status and that you are free from immigration control/time restrictions such as your Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence, EU Settled Status and/or a Biometric Residence Permit.
Evidence of your residence in the UK for the required period of time, such as utility bills, bank statements, or tenancy agreements. Travel details of any period of absence that you have spent outside the UK.
English language test results unless you are otherwise exempt from the requirement.
Life in the UK test pass certificate.
Other supporting British citizenship documents relevant to your circumstances, such as marriage or civil partnership certificates, divorce decrees, or evidence of a change of name.
We’re here to help you
When it comes to obtaining compassionate legal advice, Seraphus is your dedicated source of expert guidance.
We specialise in providing personalised support to help you navigate the complexities of the application process, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience.
Contact us today using the details below or book a consultation with us.