Travelling abroad while awaiting decision on naturalisation British Citizenship application

Naturalisation British Citizenship application in the UK usually take quite a long time to process by Home Office. The standard processing time is up to 6 months but it may take longer. Individuals who applied for British Citizenship may have travel plans for family reasons, business or vacations. Those plans often involve international travel outside the UK.

There is some confusion regarding travel abroad while awaiting decision on British Citizenship application. It is likely to be due to the fact that UK visa applicants cannot travel abroad after the application submission from the UK. People tend to assume that the same restriction applies to British Citizenship applications. This is not correct.

The travel question answered

Can you leave the UK while your naturalisation application is in process? The answer in general is yes, you can travel overseas & outside the UK after submission of your British Citizenship application .

British citizenship travelling abroad

You can travel abroad while waiting for UK naturalisation

People are free to travel whilst they are waiting for a decision using their valid passport and evidence of a valid ILR, or other valid status. You do not need to tell the Home Office about your travel plans.

However, applicants must remember that Home Office normally requires them to provide biometrics within 45 days of submitting naturalisation British Citizenship application.

The biometrics in most cases involve the need to attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) Centre (operated by Sopra Steria) in person and failure to do so would invalidate your application. Applicants will receive instructions on how to provide their biometric details once you have submitted your application.

In addition, please note that should Home Office grant your application, there is a 90-day period when you will need to attend your citizenship ceremony.

British Citizenship application does not extend your current immigration permit

It is crucial that you remember that British Citizenship application does NOT extend your current immigration permission. So, you should ensure that you keep this in mind when your current permit is due to expire soon.

Please bear in mind that a naturalisation application does not provide you with immigration permission and you will need to demonstrate your entitlement to re-enter the UK at the UK border. Also, a lengthy absence from the UK could cast doubt on your future intentions. Future intentions of living permanently in the UK are crucial factor in gaining naturalisation. Too long an absence from the UK may result in a refused naturalisation application.

For more detailed information about the process please refer to the Home Office guidance.