If you are living in the UK and wish to settle permanently you can apply for UK permanent residency which is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain. Once you are holding ILR you have the chance to apply for full UK citizenship.
Applicants can apply for ILR after five years of legal residence in the UK. However in some cases it will be sooner. You can apply for UK citizenship after five years of residence.
There are different ways to become UK citizenship.
- By birth
- By Registration
- By naturalisation
- By adoption
UK citizenship by Birth
You do not get British citizenship if you were born in the UK. It depends on where you were born and your parent’s circumstances. You are usually automatically a British citizen if you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983. You will be automatically British citizen when one of your parents was British citizen or settled in the UK.
British citizenship by registration
If you are not qualified for British citizenship automatically you are more likely eligible for registration as a British citizen. In order to be entitled to register as a British citizen you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you meet one of the following requirements:
- You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 or you are not automatically a British citizen by birth, Your mother and father became British citizens or settled in the UK before your 18th birthday and you applied for registration before your 18th birthday or
- You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, you are not automatically a British citizen by birth, you were absent from the UK for no more than 90 days in each of the first ten years of your life.
- You were born outside the UK or after 1 January 1983, at the time of your birth one of your parents was a British citizen by descent, that parent’s father or mother was a British citizen otherwise than by descent, at any time before your birth that parent had been in the UK for a period of at least three years and during that 10 year period parent had not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days and you applied for registration before your 18th birthday
- You were born outside the UK and colonies before 1 January 1983 at the time of your birth your mother was a citizen of the UK and colonies, you would have automatically been a citizen of the UK and colonies by descent through your mother if specific provisions of British nationality law had provided for this time of your birth in the same way as it provided for citizenship by descent through a father and if in those situation you would have had the right of abode in the UK immediately before 1 January 1983
UK citizenship by naturalisation
You may be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalisation depending on your situation. If you are at least 18 years old and have been granted indefinite leave to remain or have acquired a right of permanent residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship by Naturalisation. In order to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation you will require meeting certain criteria with regard to your immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions, knowledge of English language and good character. The requirements for British citizenship vary depending on the marital status.
Applicants who are married to a British citizen must
- Have been in the UK for three years and hold ILR on the date of application
- You have not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days in those three years.
- You have not committed any crime and
- You are of good character
- Pass life in the UK test
Applicants who are not married to a British citizen must
- Have been in the UK for five years and held residence with ILR
- Not have been absent for more than 450 days in that period.
- You are of good character
- You should pass life in the UK test
- Have sufficient knowledge of English
British citizen by adoption
If your child is adopted by order of a court in the UK, or in any British overseas territory and at least one of the adoptive parents was a British citizen at the time the adoption order was made, then the child will automatically become a British citizen.
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