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British Citizenship: Requirements checklist

by Uneeb Khan

The final step of your immigration process will be to obtain British Citizenship whereby you will acquire the full-range of rights and responsibilities of a British Citizen. Significantly, you will be able to apply for your British passport. However, there are multiple eligibility requirements that must be met before you can qualify as a British Citizen.

Kamran & Co Solicitors can provide you with professional immigration advice regarding your British Citizenship matter. Our expert immigration lawyers have over a decade’s worth of experience in successfully making British Citizenship applications. We understand the importance of this part of your immigration journey, after all you have spent many years complying with immigration laws in order to secure your British status. Contact us today for an in-depth no obligation consultation regarding your UK immigration matter.

What are the routes to British Citizenship?

There are many routes by which you can become a British Citizen, these include:

  • Naturalisation – If you are an adult who was born outside of the UK, you can apply to become a British Citizen through naturalisation.
  • Registration – This is only for limited individuals who already have a different form of British nationality, or have a connection to the UK.
  • Birth in the UK – If a child’s parent is a British Citizen or settled at the time of the child’s birth in the UK, the child will qualify for British Citizenship.
  • Birth outside of the UK – If a child who has British parents is born outside of the UK, they will not automatically qualify for British Citizenship. The child’s parents must complete form MN1 in order for the child to become a British Citizen.
  • Adoption – The adoption order must be made before the child turns 18 and in a UK court.

What are the requirements for British Citizenship?

You must wait for 12 months after getting indefinite leave to remain in the UK before you can apply for British Citizenship. This is unless you obtained indefinite leave to remain as a Spouse, in which case you can usually apply for British Citizenship immediately. In order to become a British Citizen, you have to meet the following eligibility requirements:

English language requirementYou must evidence your knowledge of the English language, in speaking and listening, to the intermediate level B1 on the CEFR scale.   You can do this by passing an approved English language test with an approved provider, and obtaining a certificate.   Alternatively, you may be exempt from the English language requirement where: You have an academic qualification that was mainly taught or researched in English.You are a national of a listed country.You are aged 65 or over. You are a child. You have a mental or physical disability.
Life in the UK test requirementYou must pass the life in the UK test, which is an online test that covers British history and daily life in the UK.  There are many online and hard copy resources available to help you prepare for the life in the UK test. There are no restrictions on how many times you can sit the test until you pass.   You are exempt from this test if you have already passed it or are under 18 or over 65 years old.
Residency requirementNo matter the visa route on which you entered the UK, you must have been lawfully present in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before you make a British Citizenship application. However, those on a UK Spouse visa can apply after 3 years.   Further, you are not to have spent more than 450 days abroad in the 5 years, or 270 days if you qualify for the 3-year route. Additionally, you cannot have been absent from the UK for more than 90 days in the last 12 months of your qualifying period.   If there were compelling circumstances that meant you could not meet the residency requirement, the Home Office can assess your case individually. Nonetheless, you should always keep records and evidence relating to any of your absences from the UK.
Good character requirementAny individual who is seeking to make a British Citizenship application must satisfy the good character requirement. Essentially, this means that you must be able to evidence your ongoing respect and compliance with the laws of the UK.   The Home Office will investigate multiple aspects of your background, including your immigration, financial and criminal history. It is to be noted that individuals who hold custodial sentences of more than four years will not be deemed to have good character. There are different rules for convictions from abroad. It is recommended that you seek legal advice for such matters as they can easily lead to the refusal of British Citizenship.   You will automatically be refused British Citizenship if you fail to disclose your full criminal history or any relevant records.

Contact Kamran & Co Solicitors for assistance with your British Citizenship application today.

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