Applications for British Citizenship:
There are different ways to apply for British citizenship based on your circumstances.
Grounds of Current residence:
If you moved to the UK you may apply for ‘naturalisation’ as a British citizen if:
– you moved to the UK on a visa
– you are from a EEA country or Switzerland
If you have lived in the UK for the last 5 years you may be able to:
– apply if you’ve had indefinite leave to remain for the past year
– apply if you’re from the EEA and you’ve had permanent residence status for the past year
You may be able to apply as the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen instead. You need to have lived in the UK for the last 3 years and have either:
– indefinite leave to remain
– a permanent residence document (if you’re from the EEA)
You were born in the UK:
You may be eligible to apply for citizenship if you were born in the UK. The law states that anybody born in the UK before 1 January 1983 (with the exception of those born to those with diplomatic immunity or enemy forces in occupation) is a British Citizen regardless of the status of their parents.
For those born post 1 January 1983 in the UK one of their parents must have had settled status (Indefinite Leave to Remain, Permanent Residence or British Citizen) in order to be automatically eligible for British citizenship.
You may be eligible to apply for citizenship if:
– you have a British parent either by decent or otherwise than by descent
Under current legislation, British citizenship can normally be passed on through one generation to children born abroad as per s 2(1) British Nationality Act 1981. This would mean that your British citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’ father would be able to pass his citizenship to one generation. British nationality would not pass to any grandchildren born outside the UK.
– you have another type of British nationalityou are stateless
– you previously gave up (renounced) your citizenship
If you’re a Commonwealth citizen:
You may be eligible to apply for citizenship under the Windrush Scheme if both:
– you or one of your parents arrived in the UK before 1973
– you’ve lived in the UK and not been away from it for more than 2 years
If your parent arrived in the UK before 1973, you must have either:
– been born in the UK
– arrived in the UK before you were 18
English Language Test and Life in the UK Test:
The majority of applicants for British citizenship will need to pass the Life in the UK test and an English language test (up to B1 lower intermediate level). There are applicants who are exempt from doing these tests e.g. on the basis of their age (under 18 and over 65), being citizens of Commonwealth countries where the primary language spoken is English, due to medical conditions and disabilities preventing them from sitting these tests.
For further information please contact Aleksandra Broom of Oliver & Partners