Personal Immigration

Applications for naturalisation as a British citizen

Persons who have successfully obtained settlement in the UK may wish to consider making an application to naturalise as a British citizen. These applications are considered at the discretion of the Secretary of State; section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 provides that, having met various requirements the Secretary of State 'may, if [she] thinks fit, grant […] a certificate of naturalisation'.

The requirements of which the Secretary of State must be satisfied are set out within Schedule 1 to the British Nationality Act 1981. For persons seeking naturalisation who is married to a British citizen, the following requirements must be satisfied:

a) The applicant must be of good character;
b) The applicant has sufficient knowledge of English and of life in the United Kingdom;
c) The applicant intends to make the UK his principal home;
d) The applicant must, in the 12 months immediately before the date of application, have been free from immigration time restrictions (i.e. is settled in the UK);
e) The applicant was in the UK three years immediately before the date of application;
f) The applicant must not have been outside the UK for more than 270 days within the three years prior to the date of application;
g) The applicant has not been outside the UK for a period exceeding 90 days in the 12 months prior to the date of application; and
h) The applicant was not in breach of immigration laws within the three year period prior to the date of application.

For applications made by persons who are not married to British citizens, the following requirements must be satisfied:

a) The applicant must be of good character;
b) The applicant has sufficient knowledge of English and of life in the United Kingdom;
c) The applicant intends to make the UK his principal home;
d) The applicant must, in the 12 months immediately before the date of application, have been free from immigration time restrictions (i.e. is settled in the UK);
e) The applicant was in the UK five years immediately before the date of application;
f) The applicant must not have been outside the UK for more than 450 days within the five years prior to the date of application;
g) The applicant has not been outside the UK for a period exceeding 90 days in the 12 months prior to the date of application; and
h) The applicant was not in breach of immigration laws within the five year period prior to the date of application.

As the outcome of these applications rests upon the exercise of discretion, it is important that applications are prepared carefully and thoroughly so that they have the best possible chance of success.

Here at Richmond Chambers LLP we have 100% success rate for securing naturalisation for our clients. If you would like further advice regarding an application for British citizenship then please contact our experienced immigration barristers in Covent Garden, London, on 0203 617 9173 or email info@richmondchambers.com.

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To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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