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Naturalisation and British Citizenship

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Naturalisation and British Citizenship

There are different ways to become a British citizen. The most common is called ‘naturalisation’. You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if:

You’re 18 or over
You’re of good character, for example, you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
• you’ll continue to live in the UK
• you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
• you meet the residency requirement
And you must usually have:
• lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
• spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
• spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
• had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
• 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 not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
• You can apply on behalf of a child under 18 if they meet the eligibility criteria. They don’t have to pass the Life in the UK Test.

If your spouse is a British citizen
If you’re married to, or the civil partner of, a British citizen, you can apply for citizenship if:
• you’re 18 or over
• you’re of sound mind, you’re able to think and make decisions for yourself
• you’re of good character, for example you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record
• you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
you’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave) or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national (and you have a permanent residence card or document that shows you have permanent residence)

You meet the residency requirement
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:
• lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received
• spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years
• spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
• not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
Once you’ve got your certificate of British citizenship, send your biometric residence permit back to the Home Office
You must send your permit back within 5 working days of either:
• going to your citizenship ceremony
• getting your certificate of British citizenship
Our team can conduct the eligibility assessment on your case and offer the best advice to prepare and submit the visa application with end to end support. As we are authorized to legally represent your application, we can offer our professional and dedicated services to ensure the success of your visa application.
Children under 18
You can apply on behalf of a child under 18 if they meet the eligibility criteria. They don’t have to pass the Life in the UK Test.

Becoming a British citizen is a significant life event. Apart from allowing a child to apply for a British citizen passport, British citizenship gives them the opportunity to participate more fully in the life of their local community as they grow up. For the application to succeed, you will need to show that the child satisfies any requirements that are set out in British nationality law. Or, if the application is at the discretion of the Home Secretary, you will need to show that it satisfies the agreed criteria. Our legal experts will help you to assess the eligibility for the child.

If the child does not satisfy legal requirements and agreed policy you will need to demonstrate why it would be right for the Home Secretary to grant the child British citizenship.
Children who have automatically acquired British citizenship do not need to be registered. There are two ways a child can automatically be a British citizen without needing to register.

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