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5 Tips to Apply for British Citizenship

British Citizenship

Making yourself able to Apply for British citizenship is a significant milestone for anyone seeking to call the UK their home permanently or for the rest of their life. However, this citizenship process involves many stages of paperwork, and applicants must meet certain criteria and provide the exact mandatory documentation to prove their eligibility. You must know the requirements and processes, whether you’re an individual applicant, applying for a child, or looking to acquire a British passport after the citizenship ceremony. For free consultation regarding your British citizenship please email us at info@kqsolicitors.com

What documents do I need to apply for British citizenship? 

To ensure a smooth application process, preparing all necessary documents beforehand is crucial. Here are the common documents required:

1. Application Form: The primary form for British citizenship must be drafted for initial submission, and you must attend a biometric appointment afterward. The start for other categories of citizenship, such as registration, different forms are applicable.

3. Proof of Settlement:  Applicant must provide his settlement resident permit for this Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) residency card.

4. Life in the UK Test Certificate: All applicants between 18 and 65 must pass the mandatory Life in the UK Test or provide their reference number if a copy of the test certificate is unavailable, covering topics on British traditions, history, and everyday life.

5. Proof of English Language Proficiency: Depending on the category, you might need to prove you can communicate in English. Accepted proofs include certificates from English language tests or a degree taught in English.

6. Proof of Residency: you need documents that prove you’ve lived in the UK for the qualifying period, usually five years, and you need to provide all travel documents, DBS Check, and Employment records for this requirement.

7. Two Referee declarations: These people can confirm by a written document attested by A Solicitor, or anyone authorized to do so your good character and has known you for at least three years if you apply for British Citizenship.

8. Biometric Information: You must book an appointment; this includes fingerprints and a photo which will be collected after the application submission.

9. Evidence of Financial Independence: This is optional, but in some cases, you may need to show you’re not reliant on public funds.

10. Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate:  If you are applying based on marriage to a British citizen after obtaining your ILR and attending your official British Citizenship Ceremony.

Applying for British Citizenship Child and Requirements

Children can acquire British citizenship in several ways, but the most common route is registration. Here’s how to apply:

1. Application Form: The application form is the standard form for registering a child under 18 as a British citizen. The child born in the UK and one of their parents is British can apply immediately after getting their birth certificate.

2. Proof of Parents’ Immigration Status:  A copy of the parent’s British passport or naturalization certificate is needed if you are applying for British citizenship for a child.

3. Child’s Birth Certificate: This confirms the child’s details and parents’ identity, like date of birth, first names, last names, and parent’s names. These are the standard mandatory details that have been written down on the birth certificate of a child.

4. Proof of Residence: For proof of residence for a child, we can provide their school records, medical records, or other official documents showing the child is living in the United Kingdom.

5. Two Passport-sized Photographs: A professional must certify one of these, confirming the child’s likeness. On the other hand, all details must be genuine and error-free. Like their not must be spelling mistakes or date of birth mistakes.

6. Good Character Requirement: Children aged ten or over must show good character. School reports or character references can evidence this.

5 Simple Tips to Apply for a British Passport After Citizenship Ceremony

After receiving approval for your citizenship and attending the citizenship ceremony, you can apply for a British passport. Here’s how:

1. Application Form: So, you can obtain the passport application form from the Post Office or apply online through the official government website.

2. Original Citizenship Certificate:  However, you must submit your original British Citizenship Certificate, which is given to you after the citizenship ceremony.

3. Passport-sized Photographs: As per the name, two passport-sized photographs with a white background are required to ensure they meet passport photo standards.

4. Any Non-British Passports:  These must detail your travel in and out of the UK for the last five years. For example, you have to mention your exit and entrance dates.

5. Payment for Passport Fee: As of my last update, the adult passport fee is £75.50 for online applications and £85 for paper applications.

Applying for British Citizenship After ILR

You are one step closer to British citizenship after obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Here’s the general process:

1. Duration Requirement: You generally need to wait 12 months after obtaining ILR before applying for British citizenship, and if you’re married to a British citizen, you can use it 48 hours after receiving your ILR.

2. Meet Residency Requirements:  This includes not being out of the UK for more than 450 days in the last five years and no more than 90 days in the previous 12 months.

3. Life in the UK Test Requirement: Like the standard application process, you need to prove your knowledge about life in the UK and your proficiency in English.

4. Good Character Requirement: However, this involves assessing any criminal history, financial soundness, and adherence to UK law. All history of the applicant will be checked for these points mentioned above.

British Citizenship Processing Time:

The processing time for British citizenship applications can vary based on several factors, including the type of application, the volume of applications received by the Home Office at the time, and the complexity of individual cases. 

1. Adult naturalization applications (Form AN): The standard processing time is usually “3 to 6 months “from the submission date. However, complex cases requiring additional verification or requesting more information can take longer.

2. Registration as a British citizen (for children and certain eligible adults): The processing time can also range from **3 to 6 months**, but this can vary depending on the case’s specifics.

3. Citizenship ceremonies: After your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony. You typically need to book and follow the ceremony within three months of receiving the invitation. Due to the high volume of approved applications or other logistical issues, the timing of the ceremony can sometimes be delayed.

4. Receiving the British passport: Once you’ve attended the citizenship ceremony and taken the oath of allegiance, you can apply for a British passport. The standard processing time for a first-time adult passport application is about “4 to 6 weeks” if everything is in order. However, you can pay for faster service if you need the passport urgently.

It’s important to note a few things:

  1. Delays might occur if there needs to be documentation, the Home Office needs more information, or during peak application periods.
  2. You might be asked to provide additional information or attend an interview during processing. It’s crucial to respond promptly to any requests from the Home Office to ensure timely responses.
  3. External factors, such as global events or pandemics, can impact processing times. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, significant delays were in processing applications and hosting citizenship ceremonies.

If your application takes considerably longer than the standard time, you should check its status or consult a legal advisor like KQ Solicitors free of cost. Write an email at info@kqsolicitors.com to ensure there aren’t any issues.

British Citizenship Refusal Reasons

British citizenship applications can be refused for several reasons. While the UK Home Office considers each application individually, some common reasons for refusal include:

Failure to Meet Residency 180 Days Requirement:

 One of the primary criteria for British citizenship is the residency requirement. So, If an applicant has not lived in the UK for a qualifying period or has spent too much time outside the UK, their application can be refused.

Criminal Convictions: 

Any recent criminal convictions, including non-custodial offenses, cautions, or other indicators of bad character, can lead to a refusal. The severity and recency of convictions play a significant role.

Deception or Fraud: 

 Submitting false documents, lying on the application, or using deception in any part of the citizenship application process will not only result in refusal but may also lead to a ban on future applications.

Failure to Pass English Language Requirement: 

The Life in the UK test is mandatory for applicants between 18 and 65. However, Failing it will result in a refusal.

 Breaching the Rules of UK Immigration: 

 This might include working illegally (more than allowed hours a week) or breaching other conditions on your record attached to your visa history.

Referee Issues:

If the referees (the people vouching for your good character) are found to be unsuitable or provide incorrect information, this could cause refusal.

conclusion

 If you want to apply for British citizenship requires meticulous preparation, especially in collating the right documents. Being organized and fully informed will help streamline the process. Whether you’re securing your child’s future, eyeing that British passport, or transitioning from ILR, this journey affirms your commitment to life in the UK.

FAQs

What documents are required to apply for British Citizenship?

To apply for British citizenship, an applicant must provide a current passport, proof of settlement (like ILR), Life in the UK test certificate, English language proficiency proof, residency evidence, two referee declarations, biometric information, and relevant financial or marriage documentation, depending on the application’s basis. 

After how long a Spouse of a British Citizen Can Apply for a British Passport?

The spouse of a British citizen can apply for British citizenship through naturalization after living in the UK for three years. However, before applying for citizenship, the spouse must have obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme so, if they are from the European Economic Area (EEA). One can apply for ILR after five years of residence on a spouse visa, but some exceptions exist. Once the spouse has been granted British citizenship, they can immediately apply for a British passport.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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