If you are living in the UK on a visa, indefinite leave to remain, settled or pre-settled status you might be awaiting your chance to apply for British citizenship to ensure you can stay living and working in the UK regardless of what happens next.
Applying for citizenship can be particularly attractive for European citizens currently in the UK, who are worried about their status moving forward due to Brexit. There are many concerns that the rules and freedoms that come with settled and pre-settled status may change over time, and that even when a person has received settled status their long term stay in the UK remains unclear.
Those who have set up lives and grown their families in the UK will unlikely feel comfortable with such uncertainty and can only find the stability they need in citizenship.
A British citizenship application is complex, and you must meet a large number of requirements before you can successfully apply. Due to the complexities and the need to provide detailed evidence applicants can significantly benefit from the help of an immigration processional.
Immigration solicitors Manchester AWH offers such support, helping individuals and families to successfully apply for their British citizenship without any delay.
Requirements of British Citizenship
Firstly, you must have been living in the UK for a period over 5 years and subsequently have held permanent residence status for at least another year before you apply for citizenship.
You must be aged 18 or over to apply for British citizenship. Anyone under the age of 18 must apply to ‘register’ instead. This will lead to the child becoming a British citizen.
To be successful you need to be of good character. This means that you cannot have any recent or serious criminal convictions against your name. If you have in any way deceived the Home Office or committed immigration offences in the last ten years you will also not be considered to be of good character and your application will likely be denied on these grounds.
You can only become a citizen if you are planning to continue to live in the UK following the reception of your citizenship.
Lastly, you must have met the English Language and Life in the UK test requirements. You will be tested on your knowledge about English culture and your ability to speak the English language, as you are expected to integrate into society as a British citizen.
If your English language skills are below the required level you must hold of on applying for British citizenship until you have mastered the language, and you won’t be granted citizenship until you have done this.
British citizenship fees are high. You must pay for the application and generally you will also pay for an immigration solicitor to support you. Not insuring you have met all requirements will be an expensive mistake, as most of the fees are non-refundable and you will likely have to go through another application at a later date. You will at that stage need to pay the fees again.