If you are a foreigner who is living in the UK and would like to apply for British Citizenship, following these simple steps will make the process quicker and easier.
Print the application form to Naturalize as a British Citizen (Form-AN)which you can access here.You can also find the form at local government offices like the city council.
Get indefinite leave (also known as settlement) to stay in the UKso that you have no restriction on how long you can stay in the country.
What you need to know:
- You have to plan to stay in the UK for a minimum of 12 months before you apply for citizenship.
- If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Swiss citizen, you will require a document that proves your permanent residency.
- Check with the interactive web page gov.uk to check your eligibility.
Live in the UK for a minimum of five years
The requirement is that you arrive in the UK over five years ago and that you have not left the UK in the last five years. There are some special cases where this can be extended to up to 900 days. While there may be some exceptions, you should not have left the country for over 90 days in the past year.
Fulfil the good character and age requirements
To apply for naturalized citizenship you have to be at least 18 and be able to answer questions to demonstrate “good character”. This includes events in any country not just the UK (this includes criminal/civil penalties as well as minor traffic offences).
Unresolved bankruptcy and serious crimes will usually result in rejection of application.
Take and pass the Life in the UK test
This is a multiple choice test that covers the UK values, history, law and traditions You can schedule the test online for a £50 fee and you must get 18 of the 24 questions right in 45 minutes to pass the test. There is a £50 pound fee to schedule your test. Remember to get your graded copy before leaving so you can attach it to your application. You can use the official study guide Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship. Make sure that your test has the same name as on your ID, and that you use the same ID photo. Also, don’t forget your proof of address.
You will be exempt from taking this test if you are over 65 or have a mental or physical condition that hinders you from passing the test.
Prove your proficiency in English, Scottish Gaelic or Welsh
This can be done by passing an English test through the Home Office (at least B1 CEFR), or by getting the details you need if have passed English through an English course. If you are from a (majority) English speaking country, you may not have to go through this step and if you are Welsh or Gaelic, add a cover letter to your application indicating your level of proficiency in either language.
Have two people fill the referee section and fill out the remainder of the form
Make sure that at least one of them are British citizens, and the other can have any nationality but should have a professional background (check the requirements on the form carefully). Fill out the remaining personal and employment information, contact details and remember to attach any required documentation. Attach your biometric residence permit) or a waiver for the BRP.
Send in your application
For people in the UK, the application can be sent with applicable fees and supporting documents to: “Department 1 / UKVI / The Capital / New Hall Place / Liverpool / L3 9PP”. If you are applying from other locations you can conform where to send your application by clicking here.
Attend the citizenship ceremony
You will likely receive a response within six months at which point you can schedule your attendance at a citizenship ceremony (within 90 days) where you will pledge your loyalty to the UK and take an oath of allegiance to the sovereign.
Other ways to acquire British Citizenship
If you would like to apply for citizenship through marriage or partnership, the requirements are different if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen. For citizenship for children under 18 you can get more information in the Guide MN1. In certain circumstances, you might also be eligible to apply to become a British citizen by ‘registration’.
With this information you have everything you need to have you on your way to enjoying life in the UK as a British citizen.