British Citizenship

Naturalisation or adults, including spouses of UK citizens and European citizens. Child matters: registration, British by birth, British by descent.

Nationality applications

With over 15 years of successful experience, we offer advice with all types of applications for adults and children. We charge fixed fees and “hold your hand” throughout the whole process, so you have someone to turn to with your queries. 

Can I travel while waiting?

Unlike with UK visa applications, you can travel abroad while waiting for the decision on your Citizenship. Giving the processing time could be up to 6 months, this is a handy advantage! 

Fast-track service

Not on Citizenship. All applications go through extensive checks, which means it could take up to 6 months. In practice, we often see 3-4 months, especially if you had ILR recently.

Can I have a dual nationality?

The UK allows multiple nationalities, so dual or triple (or more) nationality is not a problem here. It is a good idea to check with your other country (or countries) whether they allow or recognise it. Some countries allow it but do not recognise dual nationality, meaning you can have 2 or more passports, but have to enter that country on its passport and would be treated as its citizen. 

Will I lose my Indefinite Leave after becoming British?

Yes, your ILR status will be “taken over” by your British status. While we still have BRPs until the end of 2024, you would have to return it to the Home Office and travel using your UK passport. From 2025 all visas will be electronic, so your status will be updated in the system. If you do not wish to have a UK passport, you could apply for a Right of Abode certificate.

Applications

Naturalisation

Applications by adults 18+ years of age after living in the UK for 5 years. Need to have ILR or settled status for 12 months. Free of criminal convictions, absences from UK within limits.

Spouses of Brits

Don't have to wait for 12 months after ILR. Still have to have ILR, though, which makes it 5 years in the UK, and not 3 years. Free of criminal convictions, absences within the limits.

Registration

Registration can also be for adults who could have claimed British nationality through their parents, but which was not possible in the past. Such as those born before 1983 to British mother can register now due to the change in the law.

Children born in the UK

Anyone born in the UK before 1983 was automatically a British citizen. Not anymore! From 1983 a child born in the UK is only British if one their parents is British or has Indefinite Leave to Remain (at the time of birth). Being born British means you just apply for a UK passport (passport book). If a parent secures ILR after the child’s birth, the child can be registered as British, before he/she is 18 years old. Registration is an application to the Home Office, then application for a passport.

A child born in the UK, who doesn’t have a British or settled parent, can be also registered as British after spending the first 10 years of his or her life in the UK; including living without a legal status. A child born in the UK can also apply for Indefinite Leave after living here for 7 years on any status, including without a legal status. 

Children born outside the UK

A typical scenario is a couple who come to the UK on a work visa and dependant visa, and bring their child with them. Child was born outside the UK. When the whole family secures ILR, after 5 years in most cases, the whole family can apply for Citizenship 12 months later. if a child turned 18 by then, he/she will be applying for Naturalisation, same as parents in this scenario. However, if another child is born in the UK, the child can be registration as British as soon as one parent has ILR, the child does not have even need ILR in his scenario. 

Children born outside the UK to parents who are "British by descent"

A very interesting concept of the British Nationality law. The Nationality can “descend” only once to a person born outside the UK. For example, A person was born in the UK and is British, we call it “British otherwise than by descent”. He has a child who was born outside the UK, so the child is British but “British by descent”. That child’s child (A person’s grandchild) will only be British if born in the UK. Won’t be British if born outside the UK. In this case, there are 2 options to register them as British: either a British parent must have lived in the UK for 3 years before the child’s birth; or a British parent has to come and live in the UK for 3 years, then register the child as British, assuming the child is still under 18 years of age. 

#1 for Citizenship advice

We advise on the Rules, we train other lawyers and we do it well! From our London office, we serve customers of all nationalities who are in the UK or overseas. You can book a consultation with an Immigration Lawyer here.

What tests do I need?

Life in the UK test and English B1 level for those 18 – 64 years of age. The English part can also be met with a degree taught in English. If you already met those requirements during your application for Indefinite Leave, you don’t need to do it again. If you didn’t have to do it for settlement, then need to meet these requirements now, such as if you applied under the EU Settlement Scheme, which did not require any tests.