People from all around the world have chosen to base their lives and careers in the UK. After living in the UK for a sufficient time frame, you may wish to apply for British citizenship. After applying for Naturalisation and once granted, you will have the same rights and benefits as British citizens. The sufficient length of stay to become applicable for Naturalisation is 5 years with an extra 12 months (or more) with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE). There is a difference in criteria for Naturalisation for applicants who are married to British citizens.
Before the date of application begins, you must have lived in the UK for five years (or more). This is not inclusive of any time you have spent in the UK as a diplomat, member of a diplomat’s staff or household or a member of visiting armed forces.
What you cannot do/must not have done:
You may have lost your ILR or ILE status if you’ve been away from the UK for:
Dependents – If your application is successful:
Separate application must be made for dependents. Your child may be registered as a British citizen if they were either born outside of the UK or they were born inside the UK after you obtained ILR.
You must finance your child’s citizenship ceremony if they age to 18 years during process of application.
If your application is successful How do you apply for Naturalisation:
After being granted your certificate of British citizenship, you will be applicable for a British passport so you may travel freely to and from the country. If you wish not to have a British passport, you can apply for a certificate of entitlement (though you cannot enter the country using it).
After being granted your Certificate of Naturalisation, you must cut your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) into four pieces and put it a windowless envelope that you must send to the Home Office along with a note explaining your return of the permit due to becoming a British citizen. This needs to be done within five days of receiving your certificate.
It is best to seek legal advice when applying for Naturalisation in order to achieve the best outcome. However, you can apply directly to the Home Office yourself. You can apply both by post or online.
Once application has been submitted, it can take 2-3 months for the Home Office to finalise a decision. Back log of cases can increase this time frame. The time frame can also be longer if The Home Office views your application as a complex case.