Applying for Naturalisation as a British CitizenAn EEA National who has have been exercising Treaty Rights in the UK for 5 years may be eligible to apply for Naturalisation. If you are working or studying or working as self-employed, it will count as exercising Treaty Rights.
EU nationals have certain rights under Treaties which set up the European Union. One of these is the right to live and work in any of the other Member States of the union, therefore, EU nationals are not given individual leave to enter the United Kingdom. This is because they have a right of entry and residence under European Union law as long as they are coming here in the exercise of a Treaty right.
The law covering naturalisation is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981 and the regulations made under it.
It is important to seek advice from a specialized Immigration Solicitor when applying for Naturlization. Becoming a British citizen is an important event in your life, it will allow you to apply for a British citizen passport and British citizenship gives you the opportunity to participate more fully in the life of your local community.
You should also be aware that if you are currently regarded as a refugee in the United Kingdom, you will lose that status if you naturalise as a British citizen.
Under the nationality laws of some countries a person will automatically lose their nationality if they become a citizen of another country. One of our experienced Immigration Solicitors will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have regarding this.
You will be expected to attend a ceremony to become a British citizen even if you have been exempted from the knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement. Successful applicants are rarely exempted from ceremonies and then only if they are physically unable to attend or if their mental condition would make it inappropriate to attend.
Residence RequirementsThere are certain residence requirements if applying for naturalization and you will need to be able to prove these.
You should also check that you were physically present in the UK 5 years (3 years if you are married to or in civil partnership with a British citizen) before the date that the application will be received by the Home Office.
You will need to not have not been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months. And the number of days in total, for the whole 5 year period, should not exceed 450. If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen the total number of days absence for the whole 3 year period should not exceed 270.
It is important that your financial affairs are in order and that your tax is up to date.
All criminal convictions should be declared, including motor offences. You must give details of all civil judgments which have resulted in a court order being made against you as well as any civil penalties under the UK Immigration Acts. If you have been declared bankrupt at any time you should give details of the bankruptcy proceedings. Family court proceedings such as divorce decrees do not need to be given.
You will need to declare if your details have been recorded by the police because of certain sexual offences. If your details are recorded on the “sex offenders” register, even if any conviction is spent, it is unlikely that the Home Secretary will be satisfied that you meet the good character requirement and so an application for citizenship is unlikely to be successful. You also need to declare any pending investigations.
No matter how long ago, you will need to declare anything that may indicate you are not of good character. You should also declare if you have any children who have been convicted of an offence or who have received a court order. The more information you are able to provide your immigration specialist solicitor the easier it will be for them to assist you.
Evidence of knowledge of Language and of Life in the UK
Letter confirming success in the Life in the UK Test, stamped and signed by the Test Supervisor; and either a certificate showing that you have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or an equivalent level qualification; OR your original degree certificate and one of the following:
- A print out from the points-based calculator, with the equivalent level of your degree and the level of English
- An English language Assessment (ELA) from UK NARIC (this will also show us that UK NARIC are content that your qualification is equivalent to a UK degree.
- A Statement of Comparability (SoC) from UK NARIC confirming your qualification is comparable to a UK degree, plus an official letter from your university with your name, the title of the degree, and that the qualification was taught in English.
- An original and official certificate from your university confirming the degree was taught or researched in a majority English-speaking country (except Canada), plus and original letter or certificate from UK NARIC confirming that the equivalent level of your degree, OR your passport showing that you are a national of a majority English speaking country.