How to Apply for UK Citizenship Through the UK Citizenship Program
Are you interested in becoming a citizen of the United Kingdom? If so, you may be eligible to apply through the UK Citizenship Program! The program is currently available to all Commonwealth citizens who have lived in the United Kingdom for at least five years, are of good character, and who can speak English. When applying through this program, applicants will need to provide evidence that they are of good character, have lived in the UK for at least five years, and have proficiency in English.
In the United Kingdom, UK citizens are eligible to apply for British Citizenship after living in the country for at least five years and meeting certain requirements. If you want to become an official UK citizen, learn more about the UK Citizenship Program and how to apply for UK citizenship through it here.
If you’re interested in applying for United Kingdom citizenship, you’ve come to the right place! The UK citizenship program allows eligible citizens and permanent residents to become naturalized citizens of the United Kingdom through four steps—known as the Life in the UK Test, knowledge of life in the UK, language requirements, and the Life in the UK test. To learn more about how to apply for United Kingdom citizenship through this process, keep reading!
About UK Citizenship Program
If you want to become a British citizen, but don’t have British parents or ancestors, you’ll need to apply for the UK citizenship program. This application process is called naturalization. Naturalization can be difficult and time-consuming—but your hard work could pay off in the end if you get approved. You will have to prove that you are committed to becoming a British citizen and upholding the laws of the United Kingdom.
If your application is accepted, you will gain access to many important rights, including the right to vote, right of abode, freedom of movement in any country of the European Union (EU), and exemption from deportation from the country.
Who is Qualifies for British Citizenship?
There are 5 basic requirements to apply for British citizenship through naturalization that most candidates must meet.
- Be over 18 years old.
- Be of “good character”.
- Be currently living in the UK.
- Meet the English language requirements.
- Pass the “Life in the UK” test.
Becoming a citizen by investment
Becoming a citizen of the UK by investment is not as simple as it might seem. To begin with, unless you have very substantial investments at your disposal and a willingness to take them out of the country in order to invest them in the UK, there is no way that you can become a citizen of the UK through investment. Instead, if you are interested in becoming a citizen by investment and want to get started right away.
You need to apply through an immigration agency that specializes in citizenship-by-investment applications. This process can be quite lengthy, taking anywhere from six months up to several years depending on how much money you are investing in the country.
Is Naturalization Right For You?
If you have been a permanent resident of the United Kingdom (UK) for over five years, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship through the Naturalization program. The first step is deciding if naturalization is right for you—and can make all the difference in your future. In order to apply through the Naturalization program, you must meet certain criteria, including You must be 18 or older when you submit your application form; You must have had continuous residence in the UK for at least 5 years before applying; You cannot be married to a British citizen and not entitled to live in another country; and If you are married, your spouse does not need permission from immigration authorities unless he or she also needs permission from immigration authorities. then yes—naturalization could be right for you!
British naturalization requirements
However, if you meet the following criteria you will be eligible for the program:
- You are 18 years old or over.
UK residence & valid status
- You have held settled status in the UK for at least 12 months at the time of making your application, either under Indefinite Leave to Remain, or as an EEA national who has permanent residence in the UK or settled status.
- You do not have excessive absences from the UK during the qualifying period, ie more than 450 days in the last 5 years, and absences have not exceeded 90 days 12 months immediately prior to submitting your application. When calculating the number of days absent, the Home Office does not take into account days that were spent traveling.
- You satisfy the English language requirements and have passed the Life in the UK test.
- You are of ‘good character’ and do not have a serious or recent criminal record and have not broken any immigration laws or conditions while in the UK.
Going to the UK Naturalization Interview
The interview will last approximately 30 minutes for an application from the UK and 60 minutes for an application from overseas. The customer service officer (CSO) who interviews the customer must: compare the customer with the facial image shown on the passport issuing system (if the application is for an adult).
customers applying in the UK Naturalization Interview
Adult customers applying for their first British passport must attend an interview in person if they are resident in the UK, and:
- they are 16 to 69 years of age
- they were previously issued a restricted validity passport because they could not attend an interview
- they are applying to renew or replace a machine-readable passport or an Old Blue (hardback style) passport and we cannot find a record of the passport in our archives
- they have never held their own passport, but their details were shown on a relative’s passport (for example, if
- their details were included on a spouse’s Old Blue passport or a parent’s passport)
- any other adult applicant where we have not been able to confirm their identity through other checks or have fraud concerns. Continue Reading
Understanding the ILR
The first step of the process, and the most crucial, is to meet the requirements of the ILR by becoming a permanent resident. Permanent residents enjoy all of the same rights as citizens—the only difference is that they do not have voting rights and are ineligible for public office. The requirements vary slightly depending on where you were born. To apply through the General route, you must be able to provide proof that your parents or grandparents were born in Britain. Those who are eligible through either a parent or grandparent may apply for ILR after completing five years as a permanent resident. Those who qualify through residence in another country should be able to apply after six years.
Tips on Renewing your ILR While Applying for Naturalization
The ILR has three renewal periods, depending on when you originally entered the country and how long you have lived in the UK. The Home Office can refuse your ILR renewal application if your previous visa is invalid, or if they are not satisfied that you were unable to renew it while working.
If you cannot prove that you were in the process of renewing your visa before applying for citizenship through naturalization, it may be more difficult to renew it later. While applying for naturalization is a lengthy process (it could take several years), there are steps you can take while applying that will help make the process smoother and allow time to get things straightened out with your ILR. Click Here to see what you should do.
Types of ILR
Some of the common ILR applications that we see on a daily basis include;
- ILR for Tier 1 (General)
- ILR for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
- ILR for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – Accelerated route
- ILR for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) or Global Talent Visa
- ILR for Tier 1 (Investor)
- ILR for Tier 1 (Investor) – Accelerated route
- Tier 2 ILR
- Spouse Visa ILR
- ILR for PBS Dependant route
- ILR – employment not requiring a work permit e.g. representatives of an overseas business
- ILR – highly skilled migrant under the terms of the HSMP indefinite leave to remain (ILR) judicial review policy document
- ILR via bereaved partner route
- ILR via UK ancestry route
- ILR on a 10 Years long residence basis
Prepare your Life in the UK Test
However, the British citizenship test and the Life in the UK test are the same; they both refer to the mandatory assessment of the applicant’s knowledge of British culture, geography, history, and politics required for to make an application to naturalize as a British citizen. The test is sometimes also referred to as the Britishness test or the UK nationality test.
UK Civics Test Requirements
To apply for citizenship through the UK citizenship program, you must pass a civics test. The test consists of 20 questions that cover topics such as the main rights and freedoms in the UK and how the local government operates. You will have 45 minutes to complete it, with each question worth one mark. When you submit your application, you'll be asked whether you've passed. If you fail the test, you'll be sent a list of possible answers along with further information about each topic so that you can study at home or in preparation for retaking the test.
How do I book my British citizenship test?
Book the test online at least three days in advance of the date you want to take it. In order to book, you will need to provide a valid email address, debit or credit card, and an acceptable form of ID:
- passport; or
- UK photocard driving license – full or provisional; or
- Convention travel document (CTD), certificate of identity document (CID) or stateless person document (SPD); or
- EU identity card; or
- Immigration status document endorsed with a UK residence permit that has a photo; or
- Biometric residence permit. Get Your Life in the UK Test Now
Frequently Asked Questions About Naturalization
How long naturalization application takes the UK?
Most British naturalization applications take between 3-4 months to be processed. Straight-forward applications can be decided within 2 months, and more complex can take up to 6 months. Processing times will also vary depending on the Home Office's caseload.
How do I apply for naturalization Online UK?
Fill in the form online. You'll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services ( UKVCAS ) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo). You do not need to send your documents anywhere.
What is the process for naturalization in the UK?
- Eligibility requirements for British citizenship by naturalization
- Have lived legally in the UK for at least five years.
- Have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for at least 12 months.
- Meet the residency requirements.
- Have proof of language proficiency
- Pass the 'Life in the UK' test.
- Have a good character.
What documents do I need to send with my naturalization application UK?
- Proof of identity: This could be your passport, driving license, birth certificate, Home Office travel document, or even a credit card statement issued to you within the last six months
- Your biometric residence permit (if you have one)
- Evidence of your pass in the Life in the UK test
- Proof of at least a level of B1 in the English language in speaking, writing, listening, and reading (unless exempt)
- Information that demonstrates that you were lawfully resident in the UK for the required time period
- Information relating to your periods of absence from the UK during your qualifying period
- Proof that you currently hold Indefinite Leave to Remain status
When can I apply for a British passport after Naturalisation?
"Applying for UK Passport following the citizenship ceremony" This is because your new status as a British citizen means your previous BRP is no longer relevant to your circumstances, so you'll need to post it within five days of attending the ceremony or receiving your certificate – whichever comes last.
Can you travel while waiting for naturalization UK?
Yes, once you have applied for British Citizenship, you can travel outside the UK while your application is pending.
Frequently Asked Questions About UK Citizenship
How long does it take to apply for UK citizenship?
You'll usually get a decision within 6 months - some applications can take longer. It may take longer than the usual 6 months to get a decision because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
What is the fastest way to get British citizenship?
"3-Year Route To Naturalisation"
Although there are many visa applications in this route it is the fastest way of becoming naturalized as a British Citizen within the UK visa system.
How much does citizenship cost the UK?
How much is the UK citizenship fee in 2022? The fee is £1,330 per adult applicant. This includes the cost of the citizenship ceremony.
Is it hard to get British citizenship?
Therefore, there's a requirement that you have to have been lawfully resident in the UK for either three or five years, depending on your route to British Citizenship. In addition to the residence requirement, you also need to be of 'good character' and that is why it's got harder for EU nationals to become British.
Does the UK allow dual citizenship?
Meanwhile, if you are a foreign national who is considering applying for dual citizenship in the UK, you might be pleased to know that this is allowed under UK immigration law. As such, the UK does not place restrictions on the number of concurrent citizenships you hold.
What is the benefit of UK citizenship?
"Benefits of citizenship"
the right to live in the UK forever – your status will be permanently settled. the right to hold a British passport. full civic rights – this includes the right to vote in elections and the right to stand for public office. free NHS medical care.
Can a foreigner be a UK citizen?
Adult migrants who apply for citizenship must usually have lived in the UK for at least five or six years and must already have the permanent right to live in the UK (i.e. ILR for non-EU citizens and permanent residence or settled status for EU citizens).
However, the decision of how long a citizen should live in the country before applying for citizenship depends on each individual, however, there are many benefits when becoming a citizen of the UK including more job opportunities, travel visa-free, and being able to vote. If you are planning on moving there permanently or staying there long term, you can apply through the UK citizenship program. Check out The UK Citizenship Program: How to Apply for United Kingdom Citizenship. GOOD LUCK!!!