Gaining citizenship in the UK is not easy when you don’t speak English as a first language. This article talks you through all the things you need to know in order to apply for UK citizenship.
If you immigrate to the UK, you may eventually wish to become a fully-fledged citizen. To do this, you must follow the legal guidelines to make it official. Below, we explore the ways you can become a British citizenship legally and wholly.
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By definition, gaining citizenship of a country means that you become a permanent resident. It is the mark of complete acceptance for immigrants and refugees. Becoming a British citizen is a coveted title in many parts of the world due to the opportunity to own your own home and find frequent, reliable work. The UK welcomes over 100,000 new citizens every year.1 With so many people applying for British citizenship, hiring one of our immigration lawyers can greatly improve your chance of success.
There are multiple ways in which you can be eligible to become a British citizen. If you are born in Britain then you are automatically a British citizen. This might mean that immigrants or people with refugee status could give birth in the UK and that baby would automatically be a British citizen by right of birth. There are lots of other ways to apply for British citizenship. You might apply because you are marrying a British person or because you settled in this country prior to the UK’s departure from the EU.
The UK government may deem you unworthy of entering the UK if you are not of ‘good character,’ are not a resident in the UK, of if they have insufficient knowledge about your life.
If you have a history of trouble with the law in your home country, then you absolutely need an immigration or citizenship lawyer to help you remain in the UK.
There are five main ways you can apply for citizenship in the UK. You can:
Become a British citizen through naturalisation
Obtain citizenship through descent
Be born a British citizen (even if you are abroad)
Become a British citizens through marriage
Upgrade your settled status to become a British citizen
Naturalisation is the process of becoming a British citizen because you have lived here for a number of years. Similar to settled status, obtaining citizenship through naturalisation means acquiring citizenship through means of an exam. You may need to prove you have a good working knowledge of the English language before the home office will accept your application. Proving naturalisation is easier when you have a lawyer to represent you.
Either your parents or your grandparents must be born in Britain/British citizens for you to achieve citizenship using this method. Again, proving you have relatives in the UK requires documentation, which requires a lawyer working on your behalf.
If you or your children were born here in the UK, you achieve citizenship status by default. You are also automatically a British citizen if one of your parents is British or settled within the UK. If neither of your parents is a British citizen and you are born on the UK while they are on holiday here, this does not automatically make you British. It only applies to those with settled status. We can help guide you through the rules of being born into the British empire.
Marrying a British citizen should give you grounds to take up residence here in Britain. In this instance, your spouse or potential spouse must have been a citizen for three years or more. There are still lots of rules for married new citizens. Seek our advice to help navigate them safely.
Settled status, also called indefinite leave to remain, became evident in the wake of the British departure from the EU. It allowed pre-existing European and other non-UK settled residents leave to remain in the country before the law changed. If you have lived in the UK since before Brexit and you applied for settled status, you should gain citizenship through indefinite leave to remain. If you missed the cut off for declaring yourself in the UK, our lawyers can help you protect your rights.
Citizenship is a slow process that can take months of your time. Besides being a lengthy process, the UK government will expect you to file all of the necessary paperwork at the correct time. Failing to supply the correct paperwork will hold back your application. We are specially trained in helping clients meet the requirements and therefore obtain citizenship as a family. When you operate alone, it is incredibly difficult to have all the family’s applications align at the same time.
Although the British Government aim to answer all applications for citizenship within 6 months, unfortunately this is not always the case as high volumes of applicants can slow down the process.
Our immigration lawyers act on your behalf to communicate with the home or foreign office which gives you a far better chance of successfully becoming a UK citizen without unnecessary delays.
1Home Office, 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021/summary-of-latest-statistics
Get in touch with us for a wide range of immigration services, including: all types of visas, citizenship and asylum applications.
In most instances, we operate on a Fixed Fee basis for working on your case. This means that we will agree our fees with you before we start the case and they will not change. Please note that our quoted prices are only for our professional services fees. Our prices do not include any payments that need to be made by you to a third party such as the Home Office, Court Service, UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKCAS), experts or interpreters if required.
In some circumstances, the fees may be lower or higher than the prices listed below depending on the nature/complexity of the matter, whether the applicant has been refused previously and the anticipated amount of time involved. Should an uplift be needed, that will be agreed before the work is undertaken and the reason/s for it explained.
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