Applicants wishing to obtain British Citizenship may do so following the process of Naturalisation. The process of Naturalisation enables applicants to apply for British Citizenship if they were born outside of the UK.
Applicants granted British Citizenship will be entitled to all rights and responsibilities of any UK citizen. This includes the right to vote in elections, both local and parliamentary, and the right to hold a British passport.
Applicants having been granted British Citizenship will be entitled to leave the UK without limitation and without any impact upon their citizenship status.
The eligibility criteria are as follows. There may be other conditions which must be met in addition to these criteria:
- Applicants must be a minimum age of 18 years old
- Applicants must not have a criminal record, or not have been convicted of any serious criminal offenses during their stay in the UK
- Applicants must have adhered with all immigration laws during their residence in the UK
- Applicants must have resided in the UK under Settled Status (Indefinite Leave to Remain) for a minimum period of 12 months
Requirements to apply for Naturalisation are dependent on the status of the applicant. Applicants must meet different requirements if they are applying for Naturalisation based on a marriage or civil partnership with an existing British Citizen.
The typical requirement for an applicant to be eligible to apply for citizenship is a minimum period of 5 years residency within the UK. However, applicants who are a partner or spouse of an existing British Citizen may have a lower residency time period requirement.
Applicants holding ILR status may apply for British Citizenship following a period of a least 12 months UK residency. Exceptions may apply for applicants who are applying as a spouse or partner of an existing British Citizen.
Applicants should note that ILR status may be revoked prior to a British Citizenship application should they reside outside of the UK for a period of over 2 years.
EEA and Swiss Applicants:
Applicants who are nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland will receive Permanent Resident Status automatically following a residency period of 5 continuous years. This automated status is granted through the EEA Free-Movement Rights legislation.
Following UK residency of at least 5 years, the applicant may receive ILR in which case they are able to apply for British Citizenship provided all other requirements have also been met.