How to Get British Citizenship
If you’re an American how is looking to apply to become a British citizen, there will be a number of steps that you’ll need to complete in order to gain citizenship, which are all dependent on your situation. To give you some idea of what is involved, we’re put this brief guide, which outlines how to get British Citizenship.
Check If You’re Eligible
Simply put, there are several ways to achieve citizenship, with the most common being classed as ‘naturalisation’. You get apply by ways of naturalisation if you meet the follow:
- You’re aged 18 or over
- You don’t have a serious or recent criminal record
- You haven’t committed immigration offences in the last 10 years
- You’ve not tried to deceive the Home Office
- You’ll continue to live in Britain
- You’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
- You’ve met the residency requirement
In addition, you typically must have:
- Have been settled in the country for at least 5 years before your application date
- Spent no longer than 450 days out of Britain within those 5 years
- Spent no more than 90 days out of the UK in the last year
- Had settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain for the last year if you’re from outside EEA in places such as America.
- Haven’t broken immigration laws whilst settled.
Please note* – you can’t count any time spent in the country when you’re exempt from immigration control as a part of your 5 years. This could refer to diplomatic or armed forces visits.
How to Apply
There are 3 ways to file for citizenship by naturalisation:
- Make your individual application
- Use NCS
- Use an agent or immigration service
If you’re filling in the form yourself you’ll need to make sure you read the guidance notes and the government requirement booklet. You can find these on the UK government website, and they tell you how to complete the form and what else you’ll need to file.
An NCS or nationality checking service is run through local councils and they can assist you in your application.
Arguably the safest way to file for citizenship is to go through an agent or immigration service. Like ourselves, with a wealth of experience in the field, these services can help give you the advice you need as well as show you how to file your application. If you’re unsure on any elements of the application, which is often the case due to its legal nature, agents can help make the whole process a lot easier for you.
You also need to consider the fees involved with the application as well as biometric information (photo and fingerprints) charges. You can find the costing information for these by contacting one of our representatives, who will be able to break down each cost for you.
What to Do Once You’ve Applied
Depending on your chosen route, you will get a confirmation letter regarding your application. It can take up to a month to get this unless you’ve taken a fast-track measure. The final decision about your application will typically be finalised within 6 months, however, depending on your case this could take longer.
You will also be informed if more is needed within your application to help your case.
As specialists within the field, we are here to help you at any point of your application. You will also need to contact us or UK visas and immigration if your situation changes during your application. This could refer to a situation such as getting married, being arrested or even moving home.