British Citizenship Application & Requirements
How Do I Obtain British Citizenship And Nationality?
If you or a loved one would like to make the United Kingdom their permanent home, you will need to determine the most appropriate path to British Citizenship and Nationality. There are many factors and qualification criteria which determine which path to apply for British citizenship are most suitable. The differences may seem slight, but they are detrimental and specific British citizenship requirements —which is why you need to work with a tenured team of immigration solicitors in London. Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is that team. Here is the basic overview of the most common paths to citizenship.
Naturalisation And Registration As A British Citizen
Naturalisation is currently the most common way to apply for British citizenship, but it is far from your only option. However, you must meet the naturalisation requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You may not have any immigration offences in the past 10 years.
- You must not have any serious criminal charges.
- You must have lived in the UK for 5 years.
- Your travel outside of the UK in the last 12 months must have been minimal; such as for holidays.
- You must meet the minimum knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements.
- You may qualify for naturalisation if you are currently stateless.
This is the general criteria to apply for British Citizenship, but it varies greatly if your spouse is a British citizen, or if you are a citizen of an EEA country. Naturalisation for EEA citizens varies by country. If you are currently married or engaged to a British citizen, you can gain entry to the UK with a spouse or fiancé visa which allows you to work and attend university. We can then discuss a long-term plan for obtaining British citizenship. Our immigration solicitors will assist you with the most complicated immigration cases.
General registration British citizenship requirements are as follows:
- You have another form of British nationality; overseas citizen, protected person, are a British subject, or overseas national.
- You father is a British citizen.
- Your mother is a British citizen and you were born before 1 January 1983.
- You were born in the UK on or after 1983.
- You are currently stateless.
- You are connected with Gibraltar or Hong Kong.
- You are under the age of 18 and do not meet naturalisation qualifications.
Right Of Abode And Certificate Of Entitlement
If you have the right of abode, you can live and work in the UK without meeting the British citizenship requirements above. You will not require a visa, and there is no limit to how long you can stay in the UK. You may also come and go as you please. Once you prove your right of abode you will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement, and again each time your passport expires. You automatically have right of abode if you are a British citizen or have a UK passport that describes you as a British citizen or subject.
Here are some of the criteria you will need to meet to gain a right of abode:
- One or both of your parents was born in the UK and were a citizen of the UK when you were born or adopted—even if you are not a citizen.
- You were a Commonwealth citizen as of 31 December 1982.
- You are a woman who was married to someone with the right of abode before 1 August 1988.
- You are a woman who entered the UK before 1 August 1988 with their married partner.
Depending on the date of your marriage, women may lose their right of abode if they are divorced and their partner has remarried or remarried and widowed, or their new spouse has a certificate of entitlement.
British Passport Application
If you have not been a British citizen since birth, but qualify for a British passport—filling out your application can be a bit tricky. Even if you have naturalised, have right of abode, or permanent residence—you will need to fill out your application properly and submit the accompanying paperwork. As tenured immigration solicitors serving London, we can help you to fulfil the British citizenship requirements and obtain your passport on the first try. We can even help to expedite the process.
You may also need assistance applying for a new passport if you are an overseas citizen, overseas national, or if your passport is expiring and you need to reapply for your Certificate of Entitlement—requiring you to reestablish your right of abode.
The British citizenship requirements above are just a general outline of requirements and paths to naturalisation. To explore your full range of options, reach out to the team at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors. We are the top immigration solicitors in London and will find the most effective path to achieving you or your loved one’s immigration goals.
For more information and Frequently Asked Questions surrounding British Passports click here.