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British Citizenship is where non British adults who have been granted ILR within the UK can qualify for the British Passport. There is no automatic right to British Citizenship as applications are always at the discretion of the Secretary of State. You have no right to appeal against a refusal, but have the right to ask for a review of an unfavourable decision.

To apply for UK Citizenship where you have only been in Britain for three or more years you must:

  1. Have held (ILR) and be married to a British citizen
  2. Have not spent more than 270 days outside the UK in the last three years and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months
  3. The applicant must be able to speak English and have successfully complete their Life in the UK test

To apply for UK Citizenship where you have only been in Britain for five or more years you must:

  1. Have had ILR and been married to a UK citizen
  2. Have had ILR in the UK for at least 12 months
  3. Have held a UK Marriage Visa or Unmarried Partner Visa (De Facto) for at least three years
  4. Have not spent more than 450 days outside the UK in the last five years and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months
  5. The applicant must have completed an English test as well as the Life in the UK Test

Naturalisation Criteria

  1. Be over 18 years of age
  2. Meet the residence requirements that is, have been resident in the UK for a minimum of 5 years, unless the application is on the basis of marriage to a UK citizen, in which case a minimum of 3 years is required
  3. No time limit on their stay in the UK
  4. Good character
  5. Sufficient knowledge of English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic and have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
  6. In addition to these requirements, which all applicants for naturalisation must meet; all applicants except those applying on the basis of their marriage to a British citizen must also show that they intend to live permanently in the UK, and to have their main home here.

When an applicant is granted naturalisation they must attend a citizenship ceremony, which is normally held by your local authority. This is whereby an oath of affirmation or allegiance to the queen with be taken, alongside a pledge of loyalty to the UK before the process of becoming a British citizen is complete.

You cannot be naturalised if under the age of 18, but can be registered as a British citizen – this can be done at the same time their parents are naturalised, or when their parents have settled in the UK.


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