Naturalisation as a British Citizen

British Citizenship – Naturalisation

A Home Office spokesperson (Feb 2018) said: "When setting fees, we also consider the benefits that a successful applicant is likely to gain and believe that it is right that those who use and benefit directly from the system make an appropriate contribution towards meeting associated costs.
"British nationality applications are not mandatory, and many individuals decide not to apply."
The Nationality Application fees rose by 5% in 2018 and are set to rise again in the new year.
To be naturalised in the UK means that you can live and work in the country as a British Citizen, you are granted the right to apply for a British Passport, this would be another application to the British Passport Office.
To understand whether you meet the naturalisation requirements, consider what your current UK Immigration status is?
If you are an EEA National with Permanent Residence Status you may qualify for Naturalisation.
If you hold a non-European Passport and were granted Indefinite leave to Remain over 1 year ago you may qualify for Naturalisation.
If you have children born in the UK where both parents are settled in the UK but not holding British passports may also qualify for Naturalisation.
Expat British Nationals relocating back to the UK with adopted children under the aged of 18 may qualify for British Citizenship Child Registration prior to re-entry under British Nationality Act 1981 legal requirements.
If you have held Ancestral Leave or are British Subject with all restrictions on your immigration status removed; may also lead to Naturalisation.
If you are married to a UK citizen, then the qualifying period is 2 years (this changed to 5 years for spouse applicants after July 2012), may also qualify for Naturalisation.
If you obtained indefinite leave to remain through 5 years residence, then you are required to live in the UK for a further 1 year before being eligible to qualify for Naturalisation.
The Nationality Directorate responsible for assessing your application will expect evidence for;
  1. No limits on your current stay [British Nationality Act 1981];
  2. You’re continues stay in the UK in the last 5 years leading up to the application under the 90 days in the last 12 months, further exceptions apply [The Immigration Act 1971];
  3. Good Character [Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974];
  4. Life in the UK Test
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:
  1. A print out from the points-based calculator, with the equivalent level of your degree and the level of English
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Good Character

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 can provide your immigration specialist solicitor the easier it will be for them to assist you.

It is important to seek advice from a specialised Immigration Solicitor when applying for Naturalisation. The above information and guidance does not ensure that you have met all the legal requirements, but in simple terms form the starting basis of a possible assessment leading towards a possible application for Naturalisation.


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