BRITISH CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALISATION

If you are at least 18 years old and have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)/permanent residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Naturalisation to become a British citizen. For an overview of the fees associated with naturalisation application see our page.

Naturalisation checklist
What to check before applying for naturalisation.
Absences (last 5 yrs, or 3yrs if married to British)
ILR held for 1 year before applying (unless married to British)
Present in the UK 5 years or 3 years back (as applicable)
Have intention for your main home to be in the UK
Good character (last 10 yrs)
Immigration history and legal residence
Are you managing your finances responsibly (Financial soundness)
CCJ (County Court Judgements)
Bankruptcy
Benefits fraud
Criminality and traffic offences and their impact on application
Council tax debt and non-payment
Two suitable Referees
Application form completed with attention to detail and honesty
English language requirement
Life in the UK test which can be booked here

All relevant information, in particular past criminal convictions, bancruptcies, CCJ’s, traffic offences etc. have to be declared in the naturalisation or ILR applications. Failure to do so may not only result in refused application but also in criminal prosecution for false statements.

What are the requirements for Naturalisation as British citizen

In order to be naturalised, you will need to meet certain statutory criteria with regard to your immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, and good character. If you are married to a British national you can rely on section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. If your spouse is not British or you are divorced from your British spouse, you need to rely on section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

british naturalisation

Requirements for naturalisation under section 6(1) BNA

IF YOU ARE NOT MARRIED TO A BRITISH CITIZEN (OR DO NOT WISH TO RELY ON YOUR MARRIAGE TO A BRITISH CITIZEN FOR YOUR CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION) THE HOME OFFICE MUST BE SATISFIED THAT YOU:

  • were in the UK on the day five years before the date of your application;
  • have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the intervening five year period;
  • have not been in the UK in breach of the immigration laws at any time during that five year period (in fact the Home Office checks if you were not in breach of immigration law within 10 years of your application as this is the time period taken into account for the good character requirement);
  • have not been absent from the UK for more than 90 days during the 12 month period immediately prior to the date of your application;
  • are not subject to any limit on the period for which you may remain in the UK and have not been subject to any such time limit at any time during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of your application;
  • are of good character;
  • have sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language;
  • have intention, if your application is successful that your home (or principal home) will be in the UK.

Requirements for naturalisation if married to British citizen

IF YOU ARE MARRIED TO A BRITISH CITIZEN, THE HOME OFFICE MUST BE SATISFIED THAT YOU:

  • were in the UK on the day three years before the date of your application;
  • have not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days during the three year period immediately prior to application;
  • have not been in the UK in breach of the immigration laws at any time during that three year period (in fact the Home Office looks into the most recent 10 years as this is the period for the good character requirement);
  • have not been absent from the UK for more than 90 days during the 12 month period immediately before the date of your application;
  • are not subject to any time limit on the period for which you may remain in the UK at the date of your application;
  • are of good character;
  • have sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language.

application for a British passport

After your naturalisation application is granted, you will be invited for a citizenship ceremony to swear the oath of allegiance to the Queen, and you will receive your naturalisation certificate. With your naturalisation certificate you can apply for a British passport, using the passport application process. The passport application can be submitted online but the supporting documents must be posted as originals to HMPO.