What does it mean to be a British Citizen?
Becoming a British citizenship is a legal status defined by the British Nationality Act 1981 and a “British citizen” is a person on whom that status has been conferred, either automatically by law or by administrative action as exercised under the Act.
There are various benefits of becoming a British citizen, firstly you gain the right to live in the UK indefinitely where your status will be permanently settled. Secondly you will get a British passport and gain full rights to vote in elections and the right to stand for public office. In addition to the above as a British citizen you will have access to free NHS medical care and no restrictions on your right to work.
How can you become a British Citizen?
There are different ways to apply for British citizenship (or ‘naturalisation’) based on your individual circumstances.
I. If you were born in the UK
Unfortunately, being born in the UK does not automatically give you the right to get British citizenship. It depends on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances. However, if you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and born when one parent was a British citizen or settled in the UK, then you can apply for a UK passport or instead request a letter confirming your citizenship.
II. If you’re married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen
If you are married to a British citizen, then you are eligible to apply for British citizenship if you fulfil certain requirements. Firstly, you must have lived in the UK for at least 3 years and have either indefinite leave to remain or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
III. If you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
You can usually apply for indefinite leave to remain if you have lived in the UK for 5 years. Once you gain indefinite leave to remain status and have fulfilled the 12-month period then you are eligible to apply for citizenship.
IV. If you have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme
In order to apply for citizenship with settled status you must have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting it. However, if you have not applied under the EU Settlement Scheme (deadline was 30 June 2021), you may still be eligible to apply if you have reasonable grounds for not being able to apply by the deadline.
V. Other ways
a. You have a British parent
b. You have another type of British nationality
c. You have a parent with British Overseas Territories citizenship
d. You are stateless
e. You previously gave up your citizenship
f. Other special circumstance
What are the costs of becoming a British citizen?
It costs £1330 to apply for British Citizenship and if during the process of the application you turn 18 there is an additional fee of £80 towards the cost of the citizenship ceremony. However, there are fee waivers if you are 18 years and under and cannot afford the application fee then you may be exempt.
How do you apply to British Citizenship?
You must fill in the form online and book an appointment at the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services. The documentation required can be uploaded online or they can be scanned at the UK Visa and Citizenship Service appointment. You can read our other Immigration Law information Alternatively, you can contact our offices we are more than happy to provide legal advice and assistance in the application process.