If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence in the UK you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. 
 
You will need to have held your Indefinite Leave or Permanent Residence for one year before applying, unless you are married to a British Citizen. 
 
Essentially the criteria for naturalisation as a British citizen are: 
 
  • Residence and settlement in the U​K

    • You will need to have Indefinite Leave or Permanent Residence and have lived in the UK for 5 years at the point of application, or three years if married to a British Citizen. 
    • There are limits on the number of permitted absences in the 5 and 3 year periods, as well as in the 12 months prior to making the application. 
  • Language and Life in the UK

    • You must prove your knowledge of English to the requisite level and have passed the Life in the UK Test. 
  • Good character  

    • Your application will be subject to a review of your character by the Home Office. This includes but is not limited to, criminal history, immigration history, debt and deception and will be considered for up to 10 year prior to the date of the application. 
  • Intention to live in the UK

If all of the requirements are met then you are likely to be granted British Citizenship, and will need to attend a ceremony to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen.  At that ceremony you will be presented with your Certificate of Naturalisation and it is at that point you will be a British Citizen. You can then make an application for your British passport if you wish. 
 
Citizenship is a privilege not a right and therefore if an application is refused, there is no right of appeal and the majority of the fee is lost. There is a possibility to apply to the Home Office for a review of the application to see if the decision can be overturned,  but a further fee is payable. 
 
If you would like assistance with a Citizenship Application please contact our immigration specialist team on 0808 166 8831 or email a.minnaar@sydneymitchell.co.uk or m.southall@sydneymitchell.co.uk alternatively complete our online enquiry form.
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