You’ve been living in the UK for a while and you love it here so much you want to make it official and become one of us. You may be able to apply for British Citizenship but before you do, there are many requirements you need to fulfil. This article should give you an insight :

  1. Do you qualify?

This sounds very obvious, but many people forget that you need to qualify for a certain set of rules. You need to:

  • Be 18 years old or over;
  • Be of good character (no criminal offences)
  • Meet the residency requirements;
  • Have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before your application;
  • Spent less than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years;
  • Have had a settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA);
  • Have had permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document.
  • Plan to live in the UK for the rest of your life;
  • Have passed the English Language Test (unless exempt);
  • Have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test.

You might also want to check the updated Immigration policies before starting your application.

  1. Finances:

As with the majority of immigration applications, when applying for British citizenship there is a fee. This fee can vary depending on which category you fall into, taking into consideration all factors of your application. The fees are always changing so be sure to check this at the time of your application.

  1. Your file of Documentary Evidence:

You will need to provide evidence that you have been living in the UK for the appropriate length of time.  Documents could include tenancy agreements, bank statements, payslips, letters from employers, utility bills, etc.

  1. Stay updated:

Immigration rules are regularly changing so it is very important to make sure that you receive up to date advice before starting your application. This is especially timely given the changes relating to BREXIT (the transition of UK out of the European Union).

  1. Getting your passport:

If your  application is approved, you’ll be invited to attend a Citizenship Ceremony. At the ceremony you’ll make an ‘Oath of Allegiance to the UK’, promising to respect its rights, freedoms and laws. Then, you’ll be presented with your Certificate of British Citizenship. Thereafter you are free to apply for a British passport which is usually processed within approximately six weeks.

This article was written by Master Legal Services. For more information and assistance with any UK immigration or citizenship matters they can be contacted on email: a.s@master-legal-services.com.