British Nationality

Unless you can acquire British Nationality via your birth or descent, you will most likely need to qualify under the British Naturalisation process. The granting of a Certificate of Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Home Office and there are criteria that need to be met.

All candidates must:

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be over the age of 18

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be of good character

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currently living in the UK

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meet the English language requirements

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pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test

Residency requirements

You can meet the residency requirements for nationality in one of two ways – the ‘five-year rule’, and the ‘three-year rule’. To qualify for the three-year rule, you need to be the spouse of a British citizen.

Five-year rule

The residency requirements to qualify for under the five-year rule are:

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You must have been present in the UK at the beginning of the five-year period. The five-year period ends the day the Home Office receives the complete application

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During that five-year period your absences have not exceeded 450 days, of which no more than 90 days can be in the last year immediately preceding the application submission date

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You must have had indefinite leave to remain (permanent residency / no time limit) in the UK for a period of at least 12 months prior to the application submission date

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During the five-year period, you have not been living in the UK in breach of any UK immigration rules

Three-year rule

 The residency requirements to qualify for nationality under the three-year rule are as follows:

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You must have been present in the UK at the beginning of the three-year period. The three-year period ends the day the Home Office receives the complete application

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During that three-year period your absences have not exceeded 270 days, of which no more than 90 days can be in the last year immediately preceding the application submission date

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On the day your application is received by the Home Office you must have indefinite leave to remain (permanent residency / no time limit on your stay)

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During the three-year period, you have not been living in the UK in breach of any UK immigration rules

Please note that for either type of application process, you do not need to ensure that the application reaches the Home Office on the exact day you complete three or five years respectively. The application can reach the Home Office at any time after your qualifying period as long as you still meet the criteria listed. If you do not meet the residency requirements, or wish to have our assistance in submitting a nationality application for you, please contact us.

British Registration

A child born in the UK does not automatically get British citizenship. It depends on when they were born, and what the parents’ circumstances are.

Registration under section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981 gives British citizenship otherwise than by descent.

Requirements for registration

Children are entitled to registration under section 1(3) of the British Nationality Act 1981 if:

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They were born in the UK

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They were not British citizens at birth because at the time neither parent was a British citizen nor settled

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While they are minors either of the parents has since become a British citizen or settled in the UK

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They are under the age of 18 on the date the application is received

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They are of good character if over the age of 10

Evidence required

Applications must be supported by:

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The child’s full birth certificate showing birth in the UK, parents’ details and registration in the 12-month period following birth

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Evidence of parent’s British citizenship since the applicant’s birth, such as:

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A British passport

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A naturalisation certificate

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A registration certificate

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Evidence of parent’s settled status since the applicant’s birth, such as:

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An indefinite leave to remain (ILR) stamp in the passport

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A Home Office letter

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A no time limit stamp

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A biometric residence permit confirming ILR

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A marriage certificate, if:

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The parent on whom the claim is based became a British citizen or settled in the UK after the child was born

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The child was born prior to 1 July 2006 to a father who is a British citizen.

Children born outside the UK are entitled to registration as a British citizen under section 3(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 if:

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They were born outside the UK

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At the time of the birth they had a parent who was a British citizen by descent

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They are under the age of 18 when the application is made

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The child and both of their parents were in the UK at the beginning of the 3-year period ending with the date of the application

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The child and both of their parents have not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days in that 3-year period

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The consent of both parents is given to the application

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Children aged 10 or over on the date of application are of good character

The residence requirements need to be met only by the child and either one of their parents if on or before the date of the application either:

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The child’s mother or father died

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The parent’s:

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Marriage or civil partnership had ended in divorce or dissolution

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Were legally separated on the date of the application

If either one of the parents has died, only the consent of the surviving parent is required.

Evidence required

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Child’s full birth certificate showing parent’s details

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Evidence of the parent’s British citizenship by descent at the time of the child’s birth

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If the claim is through the father and the child was born before 1 July 2006 the parent’s marriage certificate

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Passports or alternative evidence of residence for the children and the parents to confirm:

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Residence in the UK for 3 years immediately before the date of application

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They had not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days in that 3-year period

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If one of the parents has died, the death certificate for the deceased parent

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If the parents’ marriage or civil partnership has ended in divorce either:

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The parents’ divorce certificate

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A decree of nullity

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Evidence of dissolution of civil partnership

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A decree of judicial separation

Our fee for full representation starts from £650 plus VAT (if applicable).

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