As a British citizen, you can live and work in the UK free from immigration controls. Unless you are British by descent, you must apply to be granted British citizenship. Applications can be made by individuals who are married to a British citizen, or by individuals who meet certain criteria for ‘Naturalisation’ or in most cases for children Registration.
What you need to know about Naturalising as a British Citizen
As part of your visa application you will need to demonstrate:
- That you are 18 years old or over.
- You must not have a serious or recent criminal record and are of a good character.
- You have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, or as an EEA national have permanent residence in the UK.
- You have not broken any immigration laws or conditions while in the UK.
- You must satisfy the English language requirements and pass the Life in the UK test.
- That you satisfy residential requirements regarding the total number of absences from the UK over the qualifying period.
What is the Naturalisation process?
When you are free from Immigration restrictions on your stay in the UK (ILR or have permanent residence) for at least 12 months, you maybe eligible to for naturalisation.
The application can only be submitted via post and must include relevant documentation including the application form completed by yourself and referees. Thereafter, the application will be reviewed and considered.
Once approved, you will receive an invitation to attend at a Citizenship ceremony which is usually local to where you live and at the ceremony you will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation.
Registration as a British Citizen
Dependant on when and where your child was born, it shall determine whether they are required to apply to be Registered as a British. If your child was born after either of its parents were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, the shall not be required to apply for nationality and can apply directly for a British Passport. Naturally the Passport Office shall need proof of the status of the child’s parents. In the event that the child was born in the UK but before either parent had ILR, then the child shall need to be registered as British. In practical terms there is no difference between Naturalisation and Registration.
Thereafter you are free to apply for a British passport which is usually processed within approximately six weeks and the UKVI can ask to interview you before processing the application.
Citizens of EU and EEA countries and their family members were until 12 November 2015 able to qualify once they have achieved the required five or three years of residence, possessed permanent residence for the last 12 months of that period and met all the other requirements. Permanent residence is something that one acquires automatically by operation of law if the criteria are met; there is no need to formally apply for it and it is not conferred or granted by the British authorities but by automatic operation of EU law.
For further information on obtaining a EEA Permanent Residence Card please click here
How GB Immigration can help
As specialists in UK immigration law, at GB Immigration we can offer a full service to clients that require advice and assistance for immigration needs. Our immigration team have strong experience in dealing with British Nationality advice and applications.
If you would like to know more about applying for the Naturalisation, Registration or any other form of British Nationality or you wish to discuss your Immigration matter contact us today.