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British Citizenship

British Citizenship/Nationality


Can I apply for British Citizenship?


If you have been living and working in the UK for at least 5 years and consider yourself to be settled here, you may wish to make an application for naturalisation. If your application is successful, you will be granted British citizenship and you will permitted to hold a British passport.




You are eligible to start the application process if you satisfy the following criteria:


  • You are 18 years of age or over;
  • You satisfy the residency requirements;
  • You have had Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK for at least 12 months, or have permanent residence in the UK as an EEA national;
  • You have not broken immigration laws or have been convicted of a serious crime; and
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the English language and “Life in the UK” Test.


“Life in the UK” Test


To prove your knowledge of life in the UK, you may be required to sit a multiple choice test. Not everyone is required to take this test as part of the naturalisation process and we will be able to advise if you are exempt.


How long must I have lived in the UK to Naturalisation as a British citizen?


To naturalise for British Citizenship, you must have lived in the UK for a minimum 5 years and cannot have been outside the UK for more than 450 days in the last 5 years and 90 days in the last 12 months.


If you were granted leave to remain as a spouse prior to July 2012, you may be eligible to naturalise after 3 years residency in the UK.


What do I have to do to apply for naturalisation?


If you are eligible to apply, you must submit an application via post, including all relevant information and documentation.


UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will then review your application, as well conduct a background check on your visa status and any criminal history.


If your application is approved, you will be invited to a local authority to undertake a citizenship ceremony where you will be issued with your Certificate of Naturalisation. You may then apply for a British Passport, for which the UKVI can interview you.


My citizenship application has been refused – do I have the right to appeal?


Applications for citizenship can be refused for various reasons. There is no right to appeal this decision; however, it is possible to request a review of the decision. Duncan Lewis Solicitors can assist with submitting a review on your behalf. If the reconsideration request is unsuccessful, then we can advise you further about the possibility to challenge the decision via Judicial Review. Our team of UK immigration solicitors are highly experienced with making Judicial Review claims against the UK Home Office.


How Duncan Lewis Solicitors Can Help?


We can advise you on every stage of this process, making sure your application process runs smoothly and efficiently, especially if there are issues in your immigration history of which you are unsure. Furthermore, where matters go wrong and your application is, or may be, refused, we can be on-hand to advise you on the best further course of action.


As a regulated law firm, with a leading immigration team recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers, all work is undertaken by experience professionals. We will ensure that your application is thoroughly prepared in accordance with the latest rules, with the correct supporting documents and vetted carefully before final submission to the Home Office.


For an initial consultation over the telephone with one of our expert UK immigration lawyers, call us today on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com.


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