Applying for UK citizenship can be confusing and time-consuming. However, it is not as difficult if you pay attention to the details.
Citizenship, UK

UK Citizenship Requirements – All you need to know

Last Updated on March 30, 2022 by Visa Journal

Do you wish to apply for citizenship of UK but are not sure of the requirement? Don’t worry in this article we will guide you about all the basic requirements for UK citizenship.

Who Qualifies For The UK Citizenship 

If at least one parent is a British citizen or has established status in the UK, individuals born within the British Islands (the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies) gain British citizenship at birth. If any parent is a citizen of Britain by descent, their children are British citizens. At the time of adoption, adopted children are treated as naturally born to their adoptive parents. Children born overseas to British Armed Forces members or British citizens on Crown duty are treated as born in the United Kingdom.

Foreigners staying in the United Kingdom for more than five years and have had indefinite leave to remain (ILR) for at least one year can naturalize as British citizens. If an individual is married to a British citizen, the residency requirement is decreased to three years, and they are instantly eligible for naturalization after attaining ILR or equivalent. Applicants must demonstrate English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic language fluency and pass the test.

UK Citizenship Requirements

Those who intend to apply for UK citizenship through naturalization must meet the following eligibility requirements, according to the British Nationality Act:

  • One must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.
  • Living in UK at the time of application.
  • Have spent at least 5 years in the UK, with no more than 450 days outside the country.
  • Meet the CEFR level B1 English language requirements.
  • Pass the UK citizenship test to show that you understand the essentials of British culture, customs, and traditions.
  • There is no evidence that you have violated any immigration laws in the United Kingdom.
  • Show that you do not have criminal cases against you and have the necessary Good Character.

Options For Registering As British Citizen

Depending on your circumstances, there are other options for registering as a British citizen.

  • Citizenship of the United Kingdom can be acquired through birth or descent. If you were born in the United Kingdom after January 1, 1983, you could immediately recognized as a British citizen. Eligibility is also there if you were born outside of the United Kingdom to at least one British citizen or established person.
  • Citizenship in the United Kingdom is also obtained by marriage. Since the spouse of a British citizen, you must have lived in the UK for at least three years as a settled person before applying for Nationality: British (either holding Indefinite Leave to Remain or EU Settled Status).
  • The 5-year route journey. It is possible apply for Indefinite Leave to stay in the country even after 5 – years of residency in the UK. After another 12-month term as a settled individual, you are eligible to apply for British citizenship. The same is true for EU and EEA nationals under the EU Settled Scheme.
  • Citizenship for those who are “stateless.” You may become a British citizen if you are “stateless,” meaning you are not recognized as a citizen of any country. Your eligibility, as well as the application process you must follow, are determined by the nation in which you were born.
  • Those who gave up their nationality: If you give up your British citizenship, you may be able to reclaim it in the future.

For many migrants, UK citizenship application is the final step in the immigration process. As a British citizen, you have full rights to live, work, and travel in the United Kingdom. You have complete freedom to visit and exit the country and the status that comes with being a citizen of such a distinguished country. Citizenship is extremely rare to be revoked; thus, obtaining British citizenship will give you and your family security.

British Citizenship Application Process

Make sure you meet the qualifying requirements before filling out the form. Most candidates must meet five fundamental requirements to seek British citizenship through naturalization. The step by step process is as follows

  • Check if you are meeting all the basic requirements of UK citizenship.
  • If you qualify, then prepare your UK citizenship application.
  • Have you biometrics done.
  • Submit the Application for Naturalization (AN) along with required documents and requisite fees.
  • Attend Citizenship ceremony and take the oath.

There are three options for preparing your UK citizenship  application:

  • Apply on your own
  • Use a National Checking Service to apply (NCS)
  • Apply through a representative or agent

If you want to apply independently, you’ll need to fill out Form AN on your own.

You must return your completed Form AN, Application for naturalization, along with the fee and supporting documentation to your respective UK Visas and Immigration department.

The UK citizenship fee as of 2022 is £1,330 to make an application to naturalize as a British citizen. This also includes the fee for the ceremony.

If you apply for British citizenship application as an adult, you must also pay the following UK citizenship fees:

  • £50 for UK citizenship test
  • £19.20 for the Home Office to receive your fingerprints and photo (Biometrics)
  • £150 if you need to take an English test

If your application is denied – for example, because you are ineligible or supplied with incorrect documents – you will not receive a refund for most of your money.

Before applying for citizenship, you must pass the Life in the UK Citizenship Test. The test includes questions regarding UK laws, legal system and work, and other aspects of Life in the United Kingdom. Before you apply, you can take the test at any time. This exam, also known as the British Citizenship Test, consists of 24 questions regarding British culture, history, and customs required of all British citizens.

Applying for UK citizenship can be frustrating and time-consuming. Still, it is not as difficult as it appears if you pay attention to the details and take the process seriously.


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