Becoming British

Applying for British Citizenship via naturalisation is the most common way for adults to become British citizens. Some may be eligible to become British citizens by registration, although there are various complicated categories. Each category has different requirements that must be met.

There are various requirements you must meet to be eligible to apply for naturalisation.

In most circumstances, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have been living in the UK for the last five years
  • You must have held permanent residence/ indefinite leave to
    remain (ILR) for the last 12 months
  • You must not have been in breach of the UK immigration rules at any time in the last 10 years (with some exceptions)
  • You must have a sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language
  • You must pass the “Life in the UK” test
  • You must still be of sound mind (you are fully aware of the decisions that you are making)
  • You must be of good character; (the Home Office will carry out criminal and financial checks, as well as other checks)
  • You must intend to continue living in the UK
  • You must not have been outside of the UK for more than 450 days in the last 5 years, and more than 90 days in the last 12 months

There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen. Naturalisation as a spouse or civil partner of a UK 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 five years. The three years of the residency requirement is counted from the date your naturalization application is received by the Home Office.

You can read the full guidance notes and handbook on the Home Office website.

If you wish to apply to become British via naturalisation, careful preparation and a good understanding of the criteria are essential as the Home Office fee is expensive and refusal will not give a right of appeal or a refund.

What we can do for you –

  • General advice and guidance – We will check all the criteria are fully met.
  • Document checking – We can provide a cost-effective service to check all your documents are in place and recognised by the Home Office.
  • Submission of applications – We can prepare and submit the application to the Home Office on your behalf. This can address any possible issues with the application to mitigate any negative impact. We will also deal with any matters that arise while the application is under Home Office consideration.

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