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Index >> British Citizenship >> Other British Nationality >&g back button

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british-nationality

Other forms of British Nationality

There are 6 different types of British nationality. These are:

Unless you have a claim to Citizenship based on ancestry you will probably have to apply for naturalisation in one of the following two categories:

  • Naturalisation after six years in the UK

  • Naturalisation after three years in the UK as a spouse of a UK Citizen

Naturalisation after six years in the UK

If you are not married to a British Citizen you will need to meet the following requirements to apply for naturalisation:

  • You must be aged 18 or over and are not of unsound mind.

  • You must be of good character.

  • You should be able to communicate in the English language (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic). There are exemptions to this requirement, for example, if you are elderly or mentally handicapped.

  • You should intend to live in the UK or in Crown Service abroad (working directly for a UK Government organisation), or be employed by an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or be employed by a company or association established in the United Kingdom.

If you are not married to a UK Citizen you will need to meet the following residence requirements over the last six years.

  • You must have been living in the UK exactly six years before the date the application reaches the Home Office; and

  • During the six-year period you must not have been outside the United Kingdom for more than 450 days (about 15 months); and

  • During the last 12 months of the six-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days; and

  • During the last 12 months of the six-year period your stay in the United Kingdom you must have held permanent residence/ indefinite leave to remain (ILR); and

  • You must not have been living in the United Kingdom in breach of the UK immigration rules at any time during the six-year period ending with the date that the application is received by the Home Office.

The processing times for naturalisation applications is currently about six to seven months. If you would like assistance with a naturalisation application made on the basis of having permanent residency, please contact our office. Call ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us on info@icslegal.com.

Naturalisation after three years in the UK as a spouse of a UK Citizen

The requirements for naturalisation as a spouse of a British citizen are very similar to those mentioned above. The main difference is that there is a shorter residency requirement of three years in the UK as opposed to six years. The three years of the residency requirement are counted from the date your naturalisation application is received by the Home Office.

Further details on residency requirements are as follows:

  • You must have been living in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the three- year period; and

  • On the date that your application is received in the Home Office, you must have permanent residence/ ILR in the UK; and

  • During the three-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 270 days (approximately 9 months); and

  • During the last 12 months of the three-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days; and

  • You must not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules at any time during this three-year period of residence in the UK.

BRITISH NATIONALITY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I pass on my British nationality to my existing or future spouse, partner, child or adopted child?

If your family member is not automatically a British national he or she may be entitled to register under one of many categories. The rules involved can be extremely complicated. ICS systematic analysis should ensure that all these possibilities are explored. For a free initial evaluation complete the Initial Evaluation Form once for yourself and once for the child or spouse in question.

Many categories for registering a child require that the application should be submitted before the child is 18 years old. If the application is made after the child is 9 years old the child must be shown to be of good character for almost all categories. It is best to evaluate the position and if necessary apply for registration early on and preferably well before the child reaches the age of 16 years.
Since 2003 British citizenship can be acquired by registration through the mother. This potentially applies to a person born before 1983, whether or not their parents are alive. The rules involved are very complex. Registration is sometimes also possible where a parent had once been resident in the UK or a British overseas territory or had been in government service of, and a grandparent was born in, the UK or British overseas territory.


If the child is not entitled to registration another possibility is registration on a discretionary basis or on the basis that the child is stateless. A discretionary application needs strong, well written supporting arguments demonstrating continuing links to the UK, plans for the child and/or human rights considerations.

The husband or wife of a British citizen or British overseas territories citizen may acquire British citizenship or British overseas territories citizenship through a shorter than normal period of residence in the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory, or sometimes government service.

The child of a British national (British Overseas citizen, a British subject, British National (Overseas), British protected person) may be granted that nationality by registration in exceptional circumstances, such as statelessness of the child.

How do I prove that I still have the British nationality of an expired British passport? Can I get a new passport?

It depends on when the passport was last issued and what has happened since. ICS can evaluate the situation, provide a report and where appropriate apply for official confirmation of your current status. You could potentially obtain a new British passport. For a free initial evaluation complete the Initial Evaluation Form.

My application for registration or naturalisation as a British citizen was refused. What can I do?

It is possible to have an application reconsidered at any time (even an application for a minor child can be re-considered after the child is 18 years old). New supporting evidence or new well-written arguments are normally needed to increase the chance of success.

I may wish to get or use another nationality or passport: what are the risks to my existing British nationality?

The UK generally permits dual nationality. British citizens can be dual citizens. However, there are some exceptions.

A British subject or British protected person who acquires another nationality will lose the British nationality. Any British national who has or acquires a second nationality or passport is susceptible to losing his or her British nationality by deprivation by the UK government. This is a complex area of evolving law.

I lost British nationality. Can I re-acquire it easily?

You may be able to get British nationality back by registration. Depending on the circumstances under which your British nationality was lost there can be a number of possible routes to re-acquire this nationality. This is a complex area.

The main causes of loss of British nationality are renunciation, effects of a country have become independent of the UK or for certain British nationals in certain circumstances, acquisition of another nationality.

New legislation in 2003 created new possibilities for people to become a British citizen by registration, whether or not a British national before. ICS Legal can explore all the possibilities for re-acquiring British nationality.

How do I make sure I no longer have a British nationality that I used to have?

ICS Legal can evaluate the situation, provide an opinion and where appropriate obtain official confirmation of your current status. For a free initial evaluation complete the Initial Evaluation Form.

How do I renounce British nationality? Are there long term implications to renouncing?

To renounce British nationality you complete a form and make a declaration. No other process has effect in UK law. Renunciation of British citizenship may affect where you can live and where you can travel. There are long-term implications for you and your family which you must consider carefully.

In general, renouncing your British nationality will end access to a British passport and consular protection from the UK government. Renunciation of British citizenship will in most cases end your right of abode in the UK. However, there are some exceptions for those born before 1983.

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