British Citizenship & Naturalisation
What is British Citizen Naturalisation?
Gaining full British Citizenship is considered as the last stage of the UK Immigration process. Becoming a British citizen allows you to work and live anywhere in the UK without immigration control constraints. Once you have full British Citizenship you are free to apply for a full British passport.
UK Naturalisation is a process that individuals must complete if they wish to become a British citizen. Naturalisation is open to individuals who meet specific criteria set by the Home Office.
Applications for UK Naturalisation can be completed in different ways. Clifford Johnston’s UK Immigration Solicitors can best advise you on the requirements that must be met in order to start the application and help you through the application process for naturalisation as a British citizen with the best chances of getting the positive outcome desired.
The Home Office will carefully consider the time you have spent in the UK, your character and conduct, your knowledge of English and life in the UK and whether you are free from immigration restrictions.
It is worth noting that some countries do not allow their citizens to hold dual-nationality status, so it pays to understand your exact situation first before starting the process. We can help with this.
If you are not already a British citizen or have settled status in the UK, your children who may have been born in the UK are not automatically considered as British citizens. In some circumstances, the law allows children to register as British before they turn 18. Other children can make an application to register as British outside of the legal requirements, for example, if the Home Office considers that their future is in the UK.
We are also able to advise on challenges or refusals of naturalisation and registration applications. A refusal of a naturalisation or registration application does not bring a right of appeal. The Home Office must provide reasons for their decision if they chose to refuse. If you do not agree with the reasons or if you believe that the home office have not properly assessed your application, our immigration solicitors can advise you on a reconsideration or a judicial review.
Am I eligible for UK citizenship / Naturalisation?
If you already have received and held 'Settled Status' (Permanent residence or ‘ILR’ Indefinite Leave to Remain) for a minimum of 12-months and have lived in the UK for over 5 years. You can apply for naturalisation as a citizen of the UK.
If married to a British citizen and again hold ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ and have resided in the UK for 3 years minimum, then you meet the criteria needed to start the application process for naturalisation.
In recent years the naturalisation process has been further developed by the Home Office as they attempt to foster better social inclusion and an appreciation of ‘British values and culture’. English language testing is now part of the process as is the ‘Life in the UK test’
Naturalisation applications - to apply for Naturalisation you must:
- At the time of starting the naturalisation application be over 18 years old,
- Have resided in the UK for at least 5 years (unless you are seeking naturalisation following marriage to a British citizen),
- Have held ‘Indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK for a minimum of 12 months or hold Permanent UK residence status if you are originally from an ‘EEA’ country,
- Not have left the UK for a period of over 90 days in the last 12-month period,
- Be currently living in the UK at the time of application,
- Be seen to be of ‘good character’ - This generally constitutes having no criminal record or having committed a breach of immigration laws,
- Meet the English language requirements test,
- Have studied and passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test,
What is the British Naturalisation process?
As well as completing the application process itself an individual must have held a Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residence for at least a full year.
Applications are required to be sent by postal mail only along with accompanying documentation. These documents can be sent either by you or your legal representative if using an immigration lawyer.
The UKVI will then verify your current visa status for the UK as well as conducting checks that surround your eligibility, such as whether you have any spent or unspent criminal convictions in the UK or your country of origin.
If your application process is successful you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony and it will be at tis point where you will receive your naturalisation certificate. On occasion the UKVI may also request an interview with you as part of the application process.
What is a Naturalisation certificate?
A Naturalisation certificate is issued and will be required at the point you want to apply for a British / UK passport.
The British Nationality Act 1983 which provides the mechanism of British Nationality being conferred through registration or naturalisation via certification. The Naturalisation certificate evidences the fact that British naturalisation has been acquired by an individual.
How we can help?
At Clifford Johnston & Co we have experienced UK Immigration Solicitors in Manchester who are available to help with any aspect of your naturalisation as a British Citizen of any other personal immigration matter.
Our Immigration lawyers have a great deal of expertise to help and take the stress out of the application process. Our aim will of course be to guide you smoothly and successfully through the naturalisation application process. Importantly, Clifford Johnston & Co have the in-depth legal expertise to fight your corner should issues or challenges arise.
Talk to our team today. Our reputation as leading Immigration solicitors in Manchester is justified and we aim to provide you with a fantastic service and the highest standards of legal representation.