British Citizenship is one of the 6 different forms of British nationality. British Citizens have an automatic right to live and work in the UK and to apply for a British passport.
British citizenship can be acquired in one of the following 5 ways:
You are automatically a British citizen if you are:
- born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and
- born when one of your parents was a British citizen or ‘settled’ in the UK
If your child is adopted by order of a court in the UK, or in any British overseas territory (except the British Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus) and at least one of the adoptive parents was a British citizen at the time the adoption order was made, then the child will automatically become a British citizen. This means that they can pass on British citizenship to any children they have.
Where a person is born outside the UK and acquires British citizenship only because one or both of his or her parents is a British citizen, he is classified as a British citizen by descent. This means that he cannot automatically pass on British citizenship to any child who is also born abroad.
You may be eligible to apply to ‘register’ as a British citizen if you were born in the UK. It depends on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances:
- You were born on or after 1 January 1983 and may be eligible if either:
- you are under 18 and since your birth one of your parents became a British citizen, or got permission to stay in the UK permanently you lived in the UK until you were 10 or older
You are automatically a British citizen if you were born in the UK before 1 January 1983, unless:
- your father was a diplomat working for a non-UK country
- your father was ‘an enemy alien in occupation’ and you were born in the Channel Islands during World War 2
Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Home Secretary. You may be able to apply for citizenship by ‘naturalisation’, depending on your situation. If you are eligible in more than one way you can choose which way to apply.
To apply as the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen you must have lived in the UK for the last 3 years.
You will also need to have one of the following:
- indefinite leave to remain
- settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- a permanent residence document to confirm you have permanent residence status if you do, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship immediately
- You have indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
You can usually apply for ILR after you have lived in the UK for 5 years.
To apply for citizenship with ILR you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting it.
You have ‘permanent residence’ status
If you or a family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you usually get permanent residence status automatically after living in the UK for 5 years.
To apply for citizenship with permanent residence status you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting permanent residence status. You also need a permanent residence document that proves you have lived in the UK for 5 years – this can be any 5 year period.
This means that if the 5 year period was more than 12 months ago, you will be able to apply for citizenship as soon as you get your permanent residence document.
You have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme
If you and your family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can apply for ‘settled status’ after you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years.
To apply for citizenship with settled status you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting it.
Settled status is also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’.
Our expert team of immigration solicitors can assist with your applications for naturalisation or registration as a British Citizen and carry out all the work on your application until decision on your application is received from the Home Office. We will assess your eligibility by considering all the relevant information including your past immigration history. We will also advise you on the list of documents to be submitted in support of your application and assess all documents to ensure that they satisfy the requirements.
In support of your application, we will draft a detailed legal representation. After submitting your application and your payment of the relevant fees, we will assist with any further liaison with the Home Office until a decision is received on your application.
At Chris Alexander Solicitors our standard fee for Applications for Registration as a British citizen is £600 (+ 20% VAT) for our professional services.
Our professional fee for Naturalisation as a British citizen is £700 (+ 20% VAT).
The standard fee will cover all our work done until a decision is reached by the Home Office on your application. The standard fee will not cover any disbursements which are incurred e.g. translation of documents, application fees, or subsequent reviews / judicial reviews. If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your application, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and the balance can be paid by monthly instalments.