To be eligible to apply for British citizenship you must qualify under one of the following criteria:
Born in the UK
Being born in the UK does not give you British citizenship automatically; your citizenship will depend on your parents’ situation. However, being born in the UK does make you eligible to apply for naturalisation.
Eligible by marriage or civil partnership
If you have lived in the UK for the past three years and are now married to, or the civil partner of, a British citizen, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship. You will need to have either indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status under the EU settlement scheme.
Indefinite leave to remain
There are various routes to receiving indefinite leave to remain (ILR). If you have ILR and wish to apply for naturalisation, you will usually need to have been living in the UK for 12 months after being granted ILR before applying for citizenship.
You can apply to become a British citizen if you have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme. In most cases, you will be required to have been living in the UK for 12 months after being granted settled status before making your application.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can no longer apply for British citizenship using a permanent residence document. However, if you have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can apply once you are eligible (usually you will need to have remained living in the UK for 12 months after being granted settled status, but you may be able to apply immediately if you have documents showing the date on which you became a permanent resident).
The deadline to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021. As an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, if you do not have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline and you wish to remain in the UK, you will now need to apply for a visa.
There are a few other situations that make you eligible for British citizenship. These include:
- being the child of a British parent
- having another type of British nationality
- being stateless (i.e having no nationality, such as some refugees)
- having previously renounced (given up) your citizenship
- being a Commonwealth citizen
Understanding British nationality law
Becoming a British Citizen is an extremely important step in a person’s life, so making an application for naturalisation must be handled by experts in UK Nationality Law. Applying for naturalisation is beneficial if you wish to remain in the UK without time limits and if you want to pass British nationality to your children and spouse.
If you wish, you can apply for British citizenship and also keep your nationality status from another country, as the UK allows for dual nationality.
Apply for British Citizenship with Wellers Law Immigration Service
British nationality law can be complex and recent times have seen the tightening of British nationality rules. This means that in order to qualify to be naturalised, i.e to become a British citizen, you will need to meet residence requirements as well as have a clean immigration history.
To complete the process of naturalisation, it is vital to seek advice and assistance from a reputable firm with expertise in this field. Unfortunately, if your application is not made in line with the rules you may be refused. We can help you challenge a refusal decision, but we would rather make sure your application is correct and meets all the requirements before this situation arises.