The subject of British Nationality can be complicated in certain circumstances, with a number of different ways in which a person may be, or may become a British Citizen. In this section we aim to provide an overview of the main basic routes for applying for British Citizenship, and on contacting our offices with your individual circumstances we can offer clients more detailed advice, as to the route by which they may make an application for British Citizenship, or whether they are already a British Citizen.
Information About British Citizenship
A person can become a British Citizen either by naturalisation, or by registration. The naturalisation provisions are less complex than those for registration and the most common ways of naturalising as a British Citizen are set out below.
Naturalisation through three years residency
Applications under the three year residency rule can be made by persons who are married to a British Citizen and hold indefinite leave to remain in the UK. To satisfy the three year residency rule they should have been in the UK on the date three years prior to the date the application is received in the Home Office; and not have been absent during the three year period for more than 270 days; and not have been absent in the past 12 months of that period for more than 90 days; and not have been in breach of the immigration laws at any time in the three year period.
Naturalisation through five years residency
After holding indefinite leave to remain for 12 months a person can apply for British Citizenship providing that they can satisfy the five year residency requirements, namely that they were in the UK on the date 5 years prior to the date the application is received by the UK Border Agency; and has not been absent for more than 450 days in that period; and has not been absent for more than 90 days during the 12 months of that period; and has not been in breach of the immigration laws in the last 5 years.
Children under 18 are not naturalised as British Citizens, but depending on circumstances they can often become registered as such. For example, where a child was born in the UK to parents who held limited leave to remain at the time of the birth and subsequently obtained indefinite leave to remain, an application can then be made for the child to be registered as a British Citizen. Additionally, children who are born in the UK to parents who hold indefinite leave to remain are British Citizens by birth and can apply for British passports immediately.