You may not be directly able to apply for a British citizenship unless you are a British citizen by Descent.You will have to apply for British cit
You may not be directly able to apply for a British citizenship unless you are a British citizen by Descent.
You will have to apply for British citizenship through Naturalisation UK.
However, due to the ongoing Coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic there are expected delays in the application process. The Home Office is also giving additional time to submit the documents and complete Biometrics.
Understanding the process of Naturalisation
Naturalisation is a legal process in which any overseas national can apply for British citizenship. Naturalisation involves filling up the British citizenship application and then waiting for approval from the Home Office. There could also be chances of refusal or rejection of applications if the individuals fail to fulfil the requirements.
General requirements for Naturalisation
While your route to British citizenship may differ as per your circumstances but there are certain general and mandatory requirements to be fulfilled for your Naturalisation process to be completed.
You must be either 18 years of age or above during the time of your application.
Residence Requirement and ILR status
You must have lived in the UK for at least 5 years or 3 years depending on your circumstances before applying for Settlement(Indefinite Leave to remain) and once you secure the Indefinite Leave to remain, you must have lived in the UK for at least 12 months or as European citizen with permanent settled status, before you apply for British citizenship.
Absences from the UK
To fulfil the residence requirement you should not have been absent from the UK for more than 90 days in the last 12 months. This is also commonly referred to as a ‘90 days rule’.
In case you are married or in a civil partnership with a British national, the number of days you can be away from the UK in a 3-year period should not be more than 270 days.
Or else, you should not have been living outside the UK for more than 450 days in
the 5 years period for qualifying.
The other requirements include having passed the Life in the UK test, having a proficiency in speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR. Oe else, hold a degree taken in the UK or have a degree certificate that was taught and recognised in a majority English
You must also possess a ‘good character’ and be of ‘sound mind’ and have no criminal records against you.
You should not hold any history of breaching the UK laws.
Additional checklist includes
To support your British citizenship application you need to identify 2 persons who would be the referee for the application. Ideally, they should be two individuals who have a professional standing.
How to apply
You must make an online application and submit the documents as asked and pay the required fee. You also need to book and attend the Biometrics appointment at a nearest UK visa and immigration centre. You are charged with￡1330 for application and ￡ 19.20 for biometrics to be completed.
The application process usually takes about 6 months before you can hear from the Home Office.
You must comply with Home Office requirements, if additionally asked to provide certain documents. And you must do it within the stipulated time frame.
Once your application is approved, the individual will receive a ‘citizenship invitation letter’- which asks you to hold a citizenship ceremony within 3 months.
Once you successfully attend the ceremony, you will be given a certificate of Naturalisation and be declared as a British citizen. After which you can proceed to apply for a British passport.
At times the documentation process may seem fearsome since it requires strict compliances. It is best to take legal advice from the best immigration lawyers in London.
A Y & J Solicitors have helped over 4000 clients with their bespoke immigration advice and services.