British Citizenship after indefinite leave to remain.
Applying for UK Citizenship?
If you are 18 years old and have been granted ILR or obtained permanent residence in the UK, you can naturalise as a United Kingdom subject as long as you have held ILR for 12 months.
In order to be naturalised as a British subject, you will need to meet statutory criteria in regards to your immigration status, the amount of time you have held Permanent resident card in the UK for, your future intentions in the UK, pass both SELT test and life in the UK, including demonstrating residency requirements have been fulfilled.
The criteria to become United Kingdom subject do vary if you are married to a UK citizen.
Applying for UK Citizenship
British Citizenship Criteria you need to meet when you are not married to British Citizen
UKVI criteria is:
You were in the United Kingdom on the same day five years earlier prior to your submission date;
You have not been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 450 days during the last five years;
You have not been in breach of the UK immigration rules during those five-years;
You have not been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 90 days during last 12-month period immediately before the date of submission;
You are no longer subject to Immigration control limiting the amount of time you are entitled to stay in the UK and you’ve had no immigration restrictions during the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of your submission;
You are of good character;
You have sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language and passed Language Test;
You intend if successful to make your UK your permanent home.
British Citizenship By Marriage Eligibility Criteria
If you are married to a UK National, the Home Office must be satisfied that:
You were in the UK on the same day three years prior to your submission;
You have not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days during the last three years;
You have not been in the UK in breach of the immigration rules during those three years;
You have not been absent from the UK for more than 90 days during the 12-month period immediately before the date of submission;
You are no longer subject to Immigration control limiting the amount of time you are entitled to stay in the UK at the date of submission;
You are of good character;
You will need to pass the B1 test for UK Citizenship, or have sufficient knowledge Welsh or Scottish Gaelic.
The exact requirements you need to meet can vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our immigration adviser too discuss your requirements for British Citizenship to do so complete our enquiry form below.
British Citizenship by Marriage to UK National & Applying Straight After ILR?
If you are married to a UK National, you can apply as soon as you have been granted ILR. You will need to satisfy all of the other requirements as outlined above. If you are not married to a UK national, you will need to have been free of immigration control restrictions for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date of your submission. This means that you will be eligible 12 months after being granted ILR to apply.
How many days can I stay outside the UK before being refused?
To qualify for UK Citizenship, you will need to have spent no more than 90 days outside the UK during the last 12-month period immediately before your application submission date for British Citizenship. If you are not married to a British citizen, you can not been outside the UK for more than 450 days during your 5-year qualifying period. If you are married to a British citizen, you will need to have not spent more than 270 days outside the UK in the previous 3 years from your submission date.
Meeting the good character requirements?
The British Nationality Act 1981 requires any person who wishes to naturalise as a British Citizen to be of ‘good character’. ‘Good character’ is not defined in the Act, but Home Office nationality policy guidance explains how ‘good character’ requirement is assessed. This contains a non-exhaustive list of conduct that will mean that an applicant is not of ‘good character’ including criminality, terrorism, financial soundness, notoriety, deception and dishonesty and immigration rule breaches.
It is important the requirements are given careful consideration as any application for Citizenship where there is any possible or apparent doubt (harmless or not) can lead to refusal. Advice from an immigration adviser is recommended to ensure any potential issues are identified and properly addressed as part of your submission requirements.
SELT English Test for British Citizenship
If English is not your native tongue you will need to sit an English test for UK Citizenship there are 3 different levels you need to pass to become eligible and you will need to pass the B1 test for UK Citizenship.
SELT level A1 applies for Entry clearance (UK Spouse visa)
SELT level A2 applies for FLR (UK Spouse visa)
SELT level B1 applies for Indefinite Leave to Remain
For an in-depth look at obtaining an appropriate SELT Test certificate check out: Which Test do I need to sit:
Life in the UK Test
Before you can submit your application you will have to completed the "Life in the UK Test" and achieve a pass. For more information about "Life in the UK Test" check out our post.
Other eligible nationals:
EU Nationals and their family members applying for Naturalisation?
EEA nationals and their family members can also apply to naturalise. EU citizens need to hold Settled Status or have previously been given permanent residence, and held either for 12 months prior to the date of application. They will not need a document to show they held the right of permanent residence but will need to provide relevant evidence.
EEA nationals and their family members can also apply if they have been granted indefinite leave to remain under the UKVI Immigration Rules on another basis for 12 months prior to the date of application, are entitled by virtue of diplomatic status to exemption from UK immigration control or benefit as an Irish national.
Choosing referees for your application?
You will need to provide two referees when you submit. One referee can be a person of any nationality who has professional standing, such as a minister of religion, civil servant, or a member of a professional body such as an accountant, solicitor or barrister (as long as they are not representing on your application). The other referee must be a UK National and either be a professional person or over the age of 25.
The Home Office application fee for an application to become a British National is £1,330. You will need to spend a further £80 to attend your citizenship ceremony.
How long does it take?
Applications for Naturalisation as a British Citizen normally take up to 6 months to process by the Home Office. But the application process can be streamlined submitting through an immigration adviser who understands the nuances that can delay an application decision.
Leaving the UK while your application is under consideration?
You can apply for British Citizenship and travel outside the UK while your application is being considered. When you apply for British Citizenship, you can submit a full certified copy of your passport and keep your original passport with you. You can then use your original valid passport to travel overseas, however you should only do so if you have evidence of your ILR, or other valid immigration status to re-enter the UK again. But bare in mind you will need to enrol your biometric information within 45 days of submitting your British citizenship application. Failure to provide biometric information when required will invalidate your application.
Attending your ceremony?
If your application is successful, you will have to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will give your oath of allegiance to the king. At the end of the ceremony you will receive your certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen. You can then use it to apply for your 1st British passport.
BOTC’s, BNO’s, BOC’s & BPC's?
If you are a British Overseas Territories Citizen, a British National (Overseas), a British Overseas citizen, a British subject, or a British protected person you are not a British citizen yet; you will likely have to apply for British citizenship through registration instead.
We recommend using a British citizenship lawyer to process your application our Immigration adviser Marc specialises in assisting foreign nationals settle and become British Citizens. Marc has supported hundreds of UK and other settled nationals sponsor their foreign partners to prepare and become UK subjects. Whether you require a consultation to understand the UK Nationality Rules or have your application professional checked by a UK Citizenship lawyer before you submit or use Marc's representation service to prepare and submit your own application for you, he can help.
Nationality requirements can be particularly complex and include mandatory requirements in terms of the documentary evidence needed to demonstrate you have meet the requirements to Naturalise. Our UK citizenship lawyer specialises in Citizenship applications and can support in acquiring your own status here in the UK for you. Marc prides himself on being friendly, approachable and professional in meeting his clients’ needs, he is dedicated to providing clear and reliable advice to his clients when representing on applications.