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Acquisition of British citizenship

However, individuals holding ILR may apply for British citizenship. If individuals who have ILR for twelve months or longer and are over 18 and have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for the last five years. ILR grants you the right to live and work in the UK which is free from immigration restrictions.

A child born in the United Kingdom after 1983 to persons who are not British citizens will not automatically be a British citizen. Before 1 July, 2006 only a child who is born to parents who are married to each other could automatically derive British citizenship from the father if the father was a British citizen. If the parents are not married when the child is born and if they get married after their child’s born and the marriage legitimates the child then if the father is a British citizen the child would become a British citizen. Children who are born after 1 July 2006 an unmarried father has equal rights to pass the British citizenship to a child.

Unless you have a claim to citizenship based on ancestry you can apply for British citizenship by Naturalisation. You will more likely have to apply for naturalisation in one of the following categories

  • Naturalisation after five years in the UK
  • Naturalisation after three years in the UK as a spouse of an UK citizen

Naturalisation after five years in the UK

To get Indefinite leave to remain it usually takes five years. Then you have to wait an additional year before you can apply for citizenship. If you are not married to a British citizenship you will require meeting the following requirements for applying for naturalisation:

  • You must be 18 or over
  • You should be of good character
  • You must be able to communicate in the English language
  • You must be intending to live in the UK
  • You must have been physically in the UK exactly five years before the date of the application
  • In the last five years you must not have been outside the United Kingdom for more than 450 days
  • In the last 12 months of the five year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days
  • In the last 12 months of the five year period your stay in the United Kingdom you must have held permanent residence
  • You must not have been living in the United Kingdom in breach of the UK immigration rules at any time during the five year period

Naturalisation after three years in the UK as a spouse of an UK citizen

The requirements for naturalisation as a spouse of British citizen are very similar to those mentioned earlier. The main difference is that there is shorter residency requirement of three years in the UK instead of five years. Further details are as follows:

  • You must have been living in the UK at the beginning of the three year period
  • When your application is received in the Home Office you must have permanent residence or ILR in the UK
  • During the three year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 270 days
  • In the last 12 months of the three year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days
  • You must not break any UK immigration rules at any time in this three year period of residence in the UK.

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