Oracle Solicitors dedicated immigration team deal with applications for British Citizenship on a regular basis and therefore we have the expertise necessary to assist you.
Should you have any questions about your eligibility or require help with your application, call us today for swift and effective support.
How to Apply for British Citizenship
A British citizen has the right to permanently live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions, otherwise known as a right of abode. Depending on your current citizenship status or nationality, e.g., if you are married to a British citizen or have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you may be able to apply for British citizenship through either the process of naturalisation or registration.
There are various requirements you must meet to be eligible to apply for naturalisation. You must:
- Be aged 18 or over
- Be of sound mind & good character
- Intend to continue living in the UK
- Have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK
- Be able to acceptably communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic
- Meet the residential qualifying period of 5 years (3 for spouses/civil partners of a British citizen)
If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, or you are the family member of such a person, and you have exercised EEA free-movement rights in the UK for a continuous 5 year period you will automatically have permanent residence status. However, you must hold this status for 12 months before applying for naturalisation.
You may instead be able to register as a British citizen although there are various complicated categories here including if you are a British Overseas or Overseas Territory citizen, you have previously given up your citizenship, you are a person who is stateless or a child under 18. Each category has different requirements that must be met.
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
Any 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. The UK Border Agency will carry out criminal and financial checks.
Sound Mind Requirement
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.
To become a British citizen you do not need to renounce your existing citizenship as many countries will let you have 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. If you are currently a British citizen you will not normally lose this status if you become the citizen of another country unless the new country requires you to give up your British nationality.
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.
British nationality law and applications for British citizenship can be complex, it’s important that you seek the correct advice as mistakes can damage your chances of a successful outcome.
In most cases we can provide a fixed fee quote however we appreciate that some clients will prefer an hourly rate basis. We will provide you with a fee quote at the initial consultation.
What services are included
- Considering documents
- Attending on the client
- Taking their instructions and providing advice
- Preparing and submitting the application
- Advising the client on timelines and the outcome of their application
- Discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you;
- Giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria.
- If you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how;
- Considering the supporting evidence you have provided, where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;
- Preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf;
- Attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time;
- Giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take.
How long will my application take?
We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Read the current processing times. We will normally be able to submit your application within 4 weeks of you instructing us, but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this.