Apply For British Citizenship | Eligibility & Requirements

Looking to apply for British citizenship? This detailed guide on how to apply for British citizenship covers everything you need to know, from eligibility requirements to the application process. Get expert insights and step-by-step requirements for British citizenship application.

How do I apply for british citizenship?

Welcome to Deluxe Law Chambers – your trusted partner on the journey to British citizenship. As a rapidly growing immigration law firm in Manchester, we take pride in offering exceptional, efficient, and transparent immigration advice and services for British Citizenship application. Let’s explore the comprehensive British citizenship requirements to help you achieve your dream of becoming a British citizen.

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Apply for citizenship if you have indefinite leave to remain

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on applying for British citizenship if you have ILR UK. Becoming a British citizen is a significant life event, and it is essential to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for naturalisation and understand the application process. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know to apply for British citizenship, including eligibility criteria, requirements, application process, waiting times, benefits, and more.

We understand that applying for British citizenship could be complex and costly procedure. Therefore, it is better to take legal advice/representations with your citizenship application to avoid any refusal. Our citizenship lawyers can guide you through the documents and requirements to apply for British Citizenship.

If you require Immigration Advice Services or help with an immigration problem, please contact +441614644140 or email us at for fast, professional, and affordable immigration advice from our highly experienced UK immigration lawyers. You can book an appointment online for a detailed immigration consultation.

Deluxe Law Chambers solely specialises in UK visas & immigration and therefore we provide high-quality UK visa and immigration services to our clients. The quality service provided by our UK immigration lawyers is self-evident from our 5-star Google Reviews.

Who is eligible to apply for British citizenship?

Not everyone can apply for British citizenship. You must meet certain eligibility requirements to be considered for British citizenship. These requirements include:

Immigration StatusYou must have settled status, also known as indefinite leave to remain, in the UK. This means you have the right to live and work in the UK without any restrictions.
Residency RequirementsYou must have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time before you can apply for citizenship. The general requirements are as follows:
5 years if you have settled status / indefinite leave to remain
3 years if you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen

What are the requirements for British citizenship?

Obtaining British citizenship requires fulfilling several requirements, including:

Immigration statusYou must have settled or pre-settled status in the UK. If you are an EEA national, you must have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme before you can apply for British citizenship.
ResidencyYou must have lived in the UK for at least five years, or three years if you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen. Additionally, you must not have spent more than 450 days outside the UK in the past five years, and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months.
Language proficiencyYou must be able to speak, read, and write English at a B1 level or higher, or hold an approved English language qualification.
Good characterYou must be of good character, meaning you have no unspent criminal convictions and have not engaged in any behavior that is not in line with British values.
Knowledge of life in the UKYou must pass the Life in the UK test, which covers topics such as British history, government, and culture.
Meeting financial requirementsYou must not have any outstanding debts to the Home Office, and meet the financial requirements set for the application.

If you are unsure whether you meet these requirements, you can seek guidance from our British citizenship lawyers to assess your eligibility.

How can I apply for British citizenship?

If you are confident that you are eligible for British citizenship and have met all the necessary requirements, you can now begin the application process. The application must be completed online and you will need to provide all required documents as evidence of your eligibility and identity. Before submitting your application, ensure that you have answered all the questions truthfully and provided all necessary information.

Form AN Application for naturalisation as a British citizen

Once you have submitted your application, you will need to attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph.

After your biometric appointment, you will need to wait for the Home Office to process your British citizenship application. The processing time will vary depending on the circumstances of your application.

Documents Required to apply for british citizenship

When submitting your British citizenship application, you will need to provide the following documents:

Current passport or other travel documentsTo prove your identity and nationality
Evidence of your knowledge of EnglishPassed the English language test from an approved provider or have a degree taught in English
Evidence of your good characterPolice certificate, evidence of employment or education history, and more
Proof of residencyUtility bills, tenancy agreement, and other documents that show you have lived in the UK for the required amount of time
Fee paymentThe current fee for a British citizenship application is £1,580

Applying for British citizenship can be a complicated process, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a smooth and successful experience.

How long does it take to get British citizenship?

Processing times for British citizenship applications can vary depending on a variety of factors. Typically, the waiting period is around six months from the time of submission of the application.

It’s important to note that certain situations may result in longer processing times, such as if additional documentation or information is required. In some cases, the waiting period can be up to 12 months or longer.

If you have any concerns about the processing time of your application, you can ask a question from our immigration lawyers.

What are the benefits of becoming a British citizen?

Becoming a British citizen comes with a number of benefits that can significantly improve your life in the UK. Here are some of the main advantages:

Right to vote and stand for public officeAs a British citizen, you have the right to vote in all UK elections and referendums. You can also stand for public office, including becoming a Member of Parliament.
Access to more job opportunitiesSome jobs in the UK are only available to British citizens, particularly those in the public sector. By becoming a citizen, you open up more job opportunities that may be otherwise unavailable to you.
Unrestricted travelBritish citizens have the right to travel and live throughout the UK without any restrictions. You also have the right to enter and exit the UK freely without needing a visa.
Access to public funds and benefitsAs a British citizen, you are entitled to receive certain public funds and benefits, including social security, housing, and healthcare. This can provide an important safety net in times of need.
Greater securityBritish citizenship provides greater security and stability. You will have the right to remain in the UK indefinitely and will no longer be subject to immigration restrictions or the risk of deportation.

By becoming a British citizen, you will also be able to obtain a British passport, which can make international travel easier and more convenient.

Evidence of residence for British Citizenship applications

If your application for British Citizenship is based on the length of your lawful residence in the UK then you will need to supply evidence about how long you have lived in the UK. Supporting British Citizenship documents showing evidence of residence include:

  • Your passport
  • Letter from your employer or employers saying when you started work including your P60
  • Letter from educational establishment setting out your periods of study
  • Letter from a government departments indicating your presence in the UK for a specified period.

Various applications for british citizenship

  1. Naturalisation
  2. Registering A Child As A British Citizen – MN1 Application
  3. Registering A Child As A British Citizen After 10 Years – Form T

Good character requirement for citizenship application

The guidance applies to applications for registration and naturalisation from those who are aged 10 or over at the time the application is made. You usually need to prove you’re of good character before you can apply for citizenship. The Home Office look at a range of things to decide this. For example, the Home Office might decide you’re not eligible if you have:

  • unpaid taxes in the UK
  • an NHS debt 
  • been declared bankrupt
  • a serious or recent criminal record
  • broken a condition of your leave in the last 10 years – for example working or claiming public funds without permission

It’s important to be honest and include anything that’s relevant to your application – for example, a criminal conviction. If the Home Office finds you’ve left something out, they might refuse to accept your application.

Referees for British citizenship application

You’ll need to give the names of 2 referees on your application. These are people who know you and can help prove your identity. 

Both of your referees should have known you personally for more than 3 years. They must not be: 

  • your relative
  • your solicitor or agent 
  • employed by the Home Office 

They can’t be a referee if they’ve had a criminal conviction in the last 10 years, unless a certain period of time has passed. This is called the ‘rehabilitation period’. For example, the rehabilitation period for a fine is 1 year. You can find the rehabilitation periods on GOV.UK.  

Your referees should include: 

  • a person who has ‘professional standing’ – for example, a civil servant of any nationality
  • a person who is a British passport holder and either has professional standing or is over the age of 25

The Home Office has a list of people they accept as referees – they’re called ‘acceptable professional persons’. 

Before you apply, check the list and the rest of the rules for referees in the nationality guidance on GOV.UK. The list of who can be a referee is under ‘Commonly used terms’.

English language test for british Citizenship

You will need to prove that your English language ability is to at least the level of B1 in order to be eligible for British citizenship.

Pass The Life In The UK Test for citizenship application

You need to pass the Life in the UK Test before you apply for citizenship. The test asks questions about UK laws and the legal system, working and other details of life in the UK. You can do the test any time before you apply.

Travelling Outside The UK Before You Get British Citizenship

You can travel outside the UK if you’ve applied for British citizenship. You should make sure you can get emails and letters about your application while you’re away. 

Organise A Citizenship Ceremony

If your application is successful, you must arrange a citizenship ceremony. These are usually held at your local council. Find out more about booking your citizenship ceremony on GOV.UK.

Replace Or Correct A UK Citizenship Certificate

You’ll have to pay a fee to replace or correct a UK citizenship certificate. Find out more about replacing or correcting your citizenship certificate on GOV.UK.

Routes to apply for British Citizenship

There are a number of routes to becoming a British citizen including:

  • By naturalisation, for adult applicants who were not born in the UK
  • By registration, a route available only for specific applicants who hold different forms of British nationality, or have connections to the UK
  • By birth in the UK, when at least one parent is a British national or a settled person at the time of the applicant’s birth
  • By birth abroad, if a child was born outside the UK to British parents, they will not be automatically classed as a British citizen. The child’s parents must complete the MN1 application form before the child is 18 in order for the child to become a British citizen
  • By adoption, if the adoption order is made before the child is 18 and by a court in the UK

How Many Days Can I Stay Outside The UK For British Citizenship Application?

To qualify to make a British citizenship application, you must ensure that you meet the criteria for continuous residence in the UK and have not lived overseas for a significant period in the time prior to making your application.

You must ensure you have not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the five years before your citizenship application. In addition, you must not have spent more than 90 days away in the last 12 months.

It is also important that you have not broken any UK immigration rules during your qualifying period – such as living in the UK without a visa or settled status.

British Citizenship Application forms

To apply for British citizenship, you must complete the Form AN – Application for Naturalisation as a British citizen – if you are an adult applying. Children should use form MN1.

If you are applying for British citizen by marriage, then you will need to provide evidence of your relationship and show it is genuine.

British Citizenship Requirements Advice

Submitting your British Citizenship application to the Home Office can be costly and time-consuming. For this reason, you must first ensure that you meet all the requirements and that you hold adequate documentation to prove your eligibility.

Get in touch with Deluxe Law Chamber’s immigration lawyers to have an expert reviewing your case.

Need Help With Your Citizenship Application?

Our citizenship lawyers have dealt with many complex application including where applicants were unable to meet some of the requirements due to exceptional reasons. You can contact our immigration lawyers for British citizenship application.

How much it costs to apply for British citizenship?

You usually pay £1,580 to apply for adult citizenship or £1,214 for children. You will not get most of your money back if your application is refused – for example, if you’re not eligible or you sent the wrong documents

why choose deluxe law chambers for your nationality application?

Choosing the right and best immigration lawyer for your immigration needs can be stressful. While it could seem like a difficult choice, let us simplify things for you. Here are a few good reasons why you should choose Deluxe Law Chambers to assist you with your UK visas and immigration matters.

Our commitment to affordability means that you can receive expert advice without straining your finances. Our success hinges on transparency. We believe in keeping you informed about every step of the process, ensuring that you understand your options and the potential outcomes.

  • REGULATED – We are regulated and approved immigration lawyers by The Office Of The Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
  • EXPERIENCE – Our firm rests on specialist immigration lawyers and solicitors with years of experience. Our well-earned experience distinguishes us from others.
  • EXPERTISE – As your immigration lawyer, we offer unparalleled expertise. We don’t just understand and interpret the law, we keep an eye on the slightest changes.
  • AUTHORITY – Our authority isn’t just about legal powers but is gained through genuine care and successful outcomes for our clientele. So, why choose just a lawyer when you can choose a trusted authority?
  • TRUST – Our commitment to uphold your trust is unwavering. Our transparency and ethical conduct are treatments for the trust placed in us by our clients.
  • DIRECT ACCESS – At Deluxe Law Chambers as your immigration lawyers, you will have direct access to your qualified lawyer 24/7.
  • AFFORDABLE – We are a law firm with an affordable and fixed fee plan. We offer two installments to ensure you can pay easily.

A combination of our rich experience, deep-rooted expertise, trust authority, and unwavering commitment to our clients makes us your best choice.

So, why wait? Take your first step towards a successful immigration application with us.

British Citizenship frequently asked questions

What qualifies you to be a British citizen?

You can apply for citizenship if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years and have had one of the following for 12 months: indefinite leave to remain in the UK. ‘settled status’ (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’).

How long does British citizenship take?

You’ll usually get a decision within 6 months – some applications can take longer.

Does UK allow dual citizenship?

When you naturalise as a British citizen you may also be able to retain your original citizenship and become a dual British citizen.

How can I get UK citizenship in 3 years?

You can apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’ if you:

  • are 18 or over.
  • have indefinite leave to remain
  • are married to, or in a civil partnership with, someone who is a British citizen.
  • have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before the date of your application.

What is the fastest way to get British citizenship?

If you have been living in the UK for 5 years or more and had Indefinite Leave to remain for a minimum of 12 months you may be eligible to apply for Citizenship.

What is the new rule for British citizenship?

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 introduces a change in that regard. As of 28 June 2022, where an individual who holds indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK applies to naturalise as a British citizen, the Home Office will not require to examine the individual’s immigration history.

Can British citizens hold 2 passports?

Dual citizenship (also known as dual nationality) is allowed in the UK. This means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries. You do not need to apply for dual citizenship.

How much is British citizenship 2023?

You usually pay £1580 to apply for adult citizenship or £1412 for children. If you’re applying for citizenship as an adult you’ll also have to pay: £50 to do the Life in the UK Test. around £150 if you have to do an English test

Do I need to have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time to apply for British citizenship?

Yes, you typically need to have lived in the UK for at least five years before you can apply for British citizenship, or three years if you are married to a British citizen.

Can I apply for British citizenship if I have a criminal record?

It depends on the nature of the offence and how long ago it was committed. If you have a serious criminal record, you may be disqualified from applying for British citizenship. However, each case is considered on its own merits.

What should I do if my British citizenship application is refused?

If your application is refused, you may be able to appeal the decision or reapply in the future. It’s important to seek legal advice if you are considering appealing the decision.