British Naturalisation

British naturalisation is another term for British citizenship. If you apply for British naturalisation and your application is successful, you’ll be able to live and work in the UK free of any immigration controls.

If your citizenship application is successful so you become naturalised, and then you have a child, your child will usually be classed as a British citizen.

What Does British Naturalisation Mean?

As well as being free to live and work in the UK under no immigration controls, there are other rights that British citizenship will bring you.

As a British citizen you’ll have access to the National Health Service, or the NHS. This means you have access to free healthcare and treatment. You usually will have to pay for prescriptions and dentistry, though.

You can apply for a British passport once your citizenship application is accepted. You will have to attend an interview with the Identity and Passport Service to confirm your identity, but don’t worry about this – your citizenship is secure, so you are eligible to apply!

As a British citizen you’ll also be given the right to vote in the UK. This means you can vote in a national or local election. You’ll have to register yourself onto the electoral register in order to be able to vote.

Who Can Apply for British Naturalisation?

To be able to apply for British naturalisation, you usually had to have been living in the UK for at least six years. This accounts for five years in order to be granted indefinite leave to remain, and then a further twelve-month period after that before you can apply for your citizenship.

You also need to be considered as ‘of good character’ and take an oath of allegiance at a Citizenship ceremony. Being ‘of good character’ means that you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office, and you haven’t been involved in immigration crimes in the past ten years.

Are There Any Restrictions I Should Know About?

There are certain additional things that you will have to prove to the Home Office in order to become a British citizen. These are:

  • You have lived in the UK for at least five consecutive years before the date of your application
  • You haven’t spent more than 450 days outside of the UK during those years
  • You haven’t spent more than 90 days outside of the UK in the past year

If You’re in the UK on a Spouse Visa…

There are slightly different naturalisation requirements for those whose visas fall into the spouse visa category. If your spouse, civil partner or long-term partner is a British citizen and your entry into the UK was granted on the basis of your relationship, then you are eligible to apply for your own citizenship on these grounds.

As long as you’re over 18 of good character and sound mind, have passed the Life in the UK test and English-speaking test, and have been granted indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence, you will be able to apply for British naturalisation.

Usually, you will also need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have lived in the UK for at least three consecutive years before the date of your application
  • Have spent no more than 270 days outside of the UK in those years
  • Have spent no more than 90 days outside of the UK in the past year

UK Immigration System

The UK’s immigration system can be very complicated to navigate. It’s advisable get help from immigration experts when making your naturalisation application.

Simple mistakes can set you back months, and the application fee is very expensive – you probably won’t want to pay it twice!

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