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British Citizenship

At 1st 4Immigration we have been helping clients with applications for British Citizenship for over 10 years, following our own experience and now holding dual nationality. There is Naturalisation and Registration, there are rules for adults and children, there are terms like “British by descent’ and “British otherwise than by descent”  as well as there are rules for the categories of applicants below. For help to navigate them – please Book a Consultation on the link below on this page. 

Naturalisation: basic rules include 5 years of residency in the UK and also a 1 year wait after obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). There is an exception for spouses and civil partners of UK citizens.  

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 your 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).

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 UK citizens: firstly, you need to obtain settlement status in the UK – Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). For most it means spending 5 years on a Spouse visa in the UK. Time spent on a Fiancee visa does not count. Time spent on other visas, such as a student visa, does not count either. Once you have ILR, you can apply for Citizenship immediately without waiting for one more year. 

If you are in the Spouse 10-year route, you still need to secure settlement first, which would normally be after 10 years in the UK. Then you can apply for Citizenship. 

If you are Unmarried Partners you need to comply with the general rules: 5 years of residency and 1 year after ILR.

European citizens and family members: firstly, you need to register under EU Settlement Scheme. If you registered and were given a settled status for the first time, you need to wait for 1 year and then apply for British Citizenship. If you had already been granted a settled status in the past (and only had to re-register because of Brexit), you can apply for British Citizenship as long as 1 year has passed since you initial grant of permanent residence. 

If you registered under EU Settlement Scheme and were granted a pre-settled status, then you need to qualify for a settled status first (after 5 years in the UK in most cases), have it confirmed, wait for 1 year and then apply for British Citizenship. 

The only exception to “waiting for 1 year” is if you are married to a UK citizen. This includes if your husband or wife is a dual national, such as European and British. 

Children (under 18 years of age): there are various examples of cases that we can help with.

Children can apply together with their parent(s) when parents are applying for Naturalisation. For example, when the whole family settled in the UK on the basis of a Tier 2 visa. Or when a spouse of a British citizen is applying for Naturalisation and can include their child with them. 

Children born in the UK are entitled to register as British when one of their parents becomes a permanent resident in the UK. There is often no need to apply for ILR for a child in this situation, savings you £1,000s in UK Government fees!

Children, who are born in the UK after one parent (or both) have secured a permanent residency status, are British at birth and don’t need to register. 

There are also other scenarios, so for an individual advice please Book a consultation with us on the link below.

Registration: this is a process for some who could qualify on the reasons other than residency or work in the UK. The most common example of cases we do is Registration of those born before 1983 to a British mother. Also, Registration of children born abroad to parents who are “British by descent”. For more Information to confirm your eligibility, please Book a Consultation with us as below.