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Applying for British Citizenship

British nationality remains as the final application for someone when considering to make the United Kingdom their main home. At ICS Legal we've managed to process 100's of applications since 2006. 

Where you are settled (have Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR or, in the case of European (EU) nationals, Permanent Residence) in the UK you are entiled to live and work in the without any time limit, whatever your nationality. You do not have to become a British Citizen. However, many people who have made the UK their permanent home wish to apply for British Citizenship.

Whether or not you were born a British citizen depends on a combination of where and when you were born and the nationality of your parents. British nationality law is one of the most complicated in the world, in part because of Britain’s history and historical relationship with other countries in the world. In some cases it will be necessary to go back several generations to identify whether you are a British citizen or are entitled to apply for British citizenship.

The general criteria to make an application requires to cover, 

  1. Be 18 years or over. 

  2. Have been resident in the United Kingdom for a period of 5 years. 

  3. Hold a Settled Status. 

  4. Meet the Knowledge of Life requirements for the application. 

  5. Ensure you meet the Good Character Requirement and Be of Sound Mind. 

Getting help from ICS Legal

British nationality law and applications for British citizenship can be extremely complex and using the services of an immigration expert is highly recommended.

Speak to one of our advisors, call us today on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us details of your query on info@icslegal.com.

Immigration Time Restrictions

When applying for British citizenship you must be free from immigration time restrictions on the day you make your application which often means having gained settled status before you apply.

Good Character Requirement

An applicant aged 10 or over must be of good character to apply for British citizenship. Essentially this means that you must show respect for the rights and freedom of the UK, have observed its laws and fulfilled your duties and obligations as a resident. Do note the Home Office British Nationality Case Working Unit will carry out criminal and financial checks.

Sound Mind Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the full capacity requirement when applying for British citizenship (although in some cases this may be overlooked). This means that you are able to make your own decisions and understand the step you are taking.

Dual  Nationality

The United Kingdom allows individuals to hold dual nationality. If you are a national of a country who does not allow this, your country of origin may regard you as having lost your existing nationality or refuse to recognise your new nationality, it is advised you speak to the country Embassy for clarification. 

Proving British Citizenship

Once you have obtained British citizenship you will be free from UK immigration control and you will be able to apply for a British passport. This is the most acceptable evidence of British citizenship although, alternatively, you may be able to apply for a nationality status document if you do not have the right documentation to apply for a passport.

Different British Nationalities

To complicate matters further, there are many forms of British nationality in addition to British citizenship, mostly as a legacy from the Empire. These include,

  • British overseas territories citizens,

  • British subjects,

  • British nationals (overseas),

  • British overseas citizens

  • and British protected persons.  

Unlike British citizenship, these other forms of British nationality will not normally provide a right to live in the UK, although they may be a step on the road to becoming a British citizen and also broaden the opportunities to make immigration applications, for example applications based on UK Ancestry.

For further information on other ways to become a British national or what happens if your application is refused, please find the following useful links:

 

UK Visas & Immigration Services | ICS Legal

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