Iraq Ghana English French Kurdish Turkish

British Citizenship

There are different ways to become a British citizen. The most common is by ‘naturalisation’ or ‘registration’.

Naturalisation

You can apply for British citizen by Naturalisation by meeting the following:

  • Age requirements: You must be 18 or over
  • Good character requirements: This not defined but “bad character” may include a serious or recent criminal record or having committed any immigration offences within the last 10 years
  • An intention to continue to live in the UK
  • English Language requirements: This includes knowledge of English and completion of the Live in the UK test.
  • Residency requirements: You must have lived in the UK exactly 5 years before the Home Office receives your application (excluding any time spent in the UK when exempt from immigration control (for example, as a diplomat) and;
    1. spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
    2. spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
    3. held settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) or a Permanent residence document in the UK for the last 12 months

Spouses/Civil Partners of British nationals

In addition to the other requirements, separate residency requirements apply for spouses/civil partners of British nationals as follows:

  • Residency requirements: You must have lived in the UK exactly 3 years before the Home Office receives your application (excluding any time spent in the UK when exempt from immigration control (for example, as a diplomat)
  • Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:
    1. spent no more than 270 days outside the UK during those 3 years
    2. spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
    3. held settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) or a Permanent residence document in the UK for the last 12 months

Registration

Providing eligibility requirements are met, Registration as a British citizen is usually a simpler process than naturalisation.

You may be eligible to apply for British citizen by Registration  you belong to one of the following groups and can meet the individual requirements within each group:

  • another form of British nationality such as British overseas citizen; British protected person;  British subject and British national (overseas) is held.
  • you were born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother and are of good character.
  • you were born to a British father, even if he was not married to your mother and are of good character
  • you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983
  • you are under 18 and do not fit into the other categories
  • you have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong
  • you are stateless

Contact Us

DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. For advice and assistance from our specialist Nationality team please contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/08445569901 or e-mail info@descartessolicitors.co.uk.