Naturalisation as a British citizen

Naturalisation as a British citizen

You can apply for naturalisation as a British citizen if you meet certain residency and other requirements. There are different residency requirements if you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.

If you are not married to a British citizen

If you are not married to a British citizen, you can apply for naturalisation if:

  • You are over 18;
  • You are of sound mind;
  • You are of good character;
  • You have passed the required English language test and the Life in the UK test;
  • You plan to stay in the UK;
  • You meet these residency requirements:
    • You have lived in the UK lawfully for at least the last 5 years before your application;
    • You have had indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence for the last 12 months;
    • In the whole 5 years before your application you have been outside the UK for less than 450 days;
    • In the whole 12 months before your application you have been outside the UK for less than 90 days;
    • You were in the UK on the day exactly 5 years before the Home Office receives your application;
    • You were not in breach of immigration laws during the 5 years before your application

If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen

If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you can apply for naturalisation if:

  • You are over 18;
  • You are of sound mind;
  • You are of good character;
  • You have passed the required English language test and the Life in the UK test;
  • You plan to stay in the UK;
  • You meet these residency requirements:
    • You must have indefinite leave to remain (you can apply as soon as you get your indefinite leave to remain);
    • You were in the UK on the day exactly 3 years before the Home Office receives your application;
    • In the whole 3 years before your application you have been outside the UK for less than 270 days;
    • In the whole 12 months before your application you have been outside the UK for less than 90 days;
    • You were not in breach of immigration laws during the 3 years before your application.

The Home Office strictly applies the good character requirement when they assess applications for naturalisation and in recent years certain immigration issues have been added to the guidance. It is very important that you seek specialist immigration advice before making an application for naturalisation because a simple mistake could be viewed by the Home Office as deception and could lead to this, and future applications, being refused.

Contact us

If you would like to contact us about your case and to discuss how we can help you, please call us on 0121 698 2187. Alternatively, you can email us at info@hsic.co.uk.

You can also use our free immigration advice service (this is suitable for general enquiries about immigration requirements).