Many people aspire to become British citizens. Every year, thousands of international students and professionals come to the United Kingdom to study, work or get married.
Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time in the United Kingdom, say for a period of 5 years or more, can apply for settlement if they match the qualification criteria and eventually, they can apply for British citizenship.
An individual can obtain British citizenship through a number of routes. However, getting Citizenship through Naturalisation is one of the ideal ways to get citizenship in the United Kingdom.
Gaining British citizenship through Naturalisation
Obtaining British citizenship is a time-consuming process but gaining it by Naturalization comes with a slew of advantages. Naturalization is a legal process that allows a non-UK resident to get citizenship or nationality in the UK with minimal effort. It could be done automatically by a statute, needing no action on the part of the individual, or it could require an application or motion, as well as legal approval.
If you are at least 18 years old, have an ILR (indefinite leave to remain) status, or have a right of permanent residence in the UK, you may be able to apply for British citizenship through naturalisation.
To be eligible for naturalisation as a British citizen, you must meet certain statutory standards regarding your immigration status, length of stay in the UK, future objectives, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, and good character.
- The person must have spent at least five years in the United Kingdom.
- The applicant must prove that they have not been in the UK in contravention of immigration laws within the previous five years.
- In the 12 months running up to the application, the applicant should not have spent more than 90 days outside of the United Kingdom.
- The applicant must ensure that they are not subject to any time constraints on how long they can stay in the UK and that they have not been subject to any such time limits in the preceding 12 months.
- The person must be of ‘good character,’ which implies they must not be involved in any criminal activity, terrorism, notoriety, deception, or dishonesty. The candidate must be financially secure and free of any immigration-related problems.
- The applicant must be able to communicate effectively in English.
- The applicant must also demonstrate that they intend to make the United Kingdom their permanent home.
British nationals’ spouses and civil partners may be subject to a less stringent set of standards.
- If the candidate is married to a British citizen, the 5-year stay requirement is waived. It will suffice to show proof of residency for the previous three years prior to the application deadline.
- They must not spend more than 270 days outside of the UK over the three-year period.
- During the previous three years, the applicant has not been in the UK in violation of immigration laws.
British Citizenship application procedure
The process of applying for British citizenship can take up to six months, but most applications are decided far sooner. You will only become a British citizen after attending your naturalisation ceremony and receiving your certificate of naturalisation. You’ll be eligible to apply for your first British passport once you’ve finished the naturalisation process.
After your application has been approved, you will receive an acceptance letter as well as a citizenship invitation letter. You should plan a citizenship ceremony at your local register as soon as possible. Ceremonies are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here are the things you should keep in mind while applying for citizenship in the UK
- Make sure you meet all of the requirements, including residency and a good reputation.
- Collect the proof you’ll need to back up your application;
- Obtain recommendations from two people who meet the criteria to serve as referrals for your application.
- Fill out a web-based form;
- Fill out the form and pay the required fee.
- Your supporting documents should be scanned and uploaded to the proper website.
- Schedule a “biometric appointment” and turn up;
- During the decision-making process, if necessary, comply with the Home Office in the event of requests for further information;
- You can’t have been abroad from the country for more than 90 days in the 12 months leading up to your naturalisation application.
Once your application has been granted, you will receive a Citizenship invitation letter; you must organise a Citizenship Ceremony as soon as possible and within three months of receiving the letter.
Although the qualifications for naturalisation are spelt out in the law, no applicant is regarded to have the right to citizenship simply by satisfying them. The requirements for naturalisation are clear, but each application will be assessed on its own merits.
To apply for British citizenship, what documents are required?
Obtaining British citizenship is a time-consuming procedure that requires a lot of paperwork. The following documents must be included with your application:
- A valid ID card, as well as your passport or travel document (if applicable)
- You must provide proof of your Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
- Demonstration of your English communication skills
- Your Life in the United Kingdom test completion certificate
- Your marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
- Paystubs dating back six years, or five years if married to a British citizen. For the previous six years, or five years if married to a British citizen, P60s are required (if P60s do not cover the whole period)
- Applicants who are self-employed must present self-assessment statements for each of the last six/five years.
We are here to help you
At A Y & J Solicitors, our immigration experts can help you put together a strong application and collate all the required documentation. Feel free to reach out to us for assistance.
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