British Citizenship

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 an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Exception is spouses of UK citizens (see a separate paragraph below). Also, below are comments for European citizens who do not have UK visa stamps.

In practice for most people this means 6 years, not 5 as many think. To achieve an ILR most people need 5 years of working in the UK, so with 1 year after an ILR it prolongs a wait for Citizenship to 6 years.  Some have to wait longer because they would not qualify for an ILR after 5 years in the UK, such as those on Student visas cannot count it towards an ILR (unless applying on the basis of Long Residence of 10 lawfully years).

So, once you have got an 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 an ILR. There is no need to wait for 1 year after an ILR. There are still rules on absences and criminal offences/civil penalties 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 an 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 an ILR where rules are the same for unmarried partners as for (married) spouses.  

European Citizens: same rules apply as for others (5 years of residency and 1 year after achieving that, absences etc). It is normally more complicated because most EU citizens do not have UK visa stamps in their passports (normally, because they don’t need them).

While it makes their life easier here it makes a Citizenship application more complex. So, EU citizens need to show they had ‘exercised European Treaty rights’ in the UK for 5 years, at which point they would be considered as a permanent resident in the UK. Like achieving an ILR but without a confirmation of it on paper. After that you need to wait for 1 year to qualify for Citizenship. All the info, such as working or studying etc, would be checked and verified.

There are options for EU citizens to apply for a formal confirmation of an immigration status but this is not compulsory. 

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.