British Citizenship

There are different routes to gain British citizenship including:

  • Acquisition
  • Registration
  • Naturalisation
  • Adoption
  • Descent

British Citizenship by Naturalisation

The most common route is called ‘naturalisation’.  You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’re of good character, for example, you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
  • you’ll continue to live in the UK
  • you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • you meet the residency requirement
  • And you must usually have:
    • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
    • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
    • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
    • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
    • had Permanent Residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document
    • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

British Citizenship by Registration

You may be eligible for British citizenship by registration if you:

  • have another form of British nationality
  • were born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother
  • were born to a British father, even if he was not married to your mother
  • were born in the UK on or after 1 January 198
  • are under 18 and don’t fit into the other categories
  • have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong
  • are stateless

British nationality laws are very complicated as they involve historical changes.  We always recommend that clients discuss their circumstances with one of our immigration lawyers before moving forward with their application. We deal with British Citizenship applications every day. The Home Office views British citizenship as a privilege rather than an entitlement.

Examples of our successful clients’ cases:

– An entire European family of four was granted British citizenship even though the father (the Sponsor) did not apply at the same time, in addition to gaps in employment and residence.

– A businessman client initially could not meet the residence requirement as he had exceeded the absence limit due to substantial work trips abroad. We argued successfully to discount his business travel and citizenship was granted promptly.

– A client separated from her British husband who had been the supporting Sponsor in her previous Indefinite Leave to Remain application and previous Spouse Visa applications. We had successfully demonstrated that she relied upon her own right to reside in the UK and citizenship was granted.

Link to the Home Office website

Whilst the Home Office published processing time can take up to 6 months, we find that a well-presented case enables the Home Office to make a decision much quicker.  We look forward to securing your rights to stay in the UK amidst the Brexit uncertainties. Speak to us about our ‘Friends and Family Package’ for a special discount when applying as a couple or group.


What do our users say

Thank you very much for your contribution and good job you have done for me and my family. Today, I feel that thanking you is not enough. You will remain in our hearts and we will always have this deepest and sincere regard for you, as you have always shown your kindness and your work have been appreciated by the whole family.

Long Residence Settlement (10 years) client – Mauritian

Qiyin is an extremely diligent and thorough immigration lawyer. She took the time to fully understand my case and application for the highly skilled migrant program. She was very careful to consider both the short and longer term issues related to my application and provided very balanced and frank advice. My highly skilled migrant visa was successfully renewed thanks to her advice and help. I highly recommend her.

Tier 1 (General) visa client – Singaporean

I would like to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done for us in the past few years! I am now finished with the whole process and had my UK Citizenship ceremony. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you!

Entry Clearance Settlement (Spouse) visa client – Canadian

Thank you for all your help. I got the visa this morning and look forward to going on holiday. See you again in 30 months for the next visa.

PEO same-day service (Spouse leave to remain) client – Thai

We are so glad that our friend recommended you to help with our ILR application and we have no doubt it may have been a different story if we were applying without your support! We appreciate your professional approach and knowledge on immigration matters and wish your business well in the future (we are sure you will be very successful). Have no doubt we will be using your services for our application for Citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Spouse) client – Russian

The QC Immigration team has proved an absolute star on the immigration front and my son’s fiancée is now happily settled, thank you again.

Partner (Fiancée) Settlement Visa – Brazilian

Many thanks for all your work on our application, especially since I contacted you on short notice! I contacted you on Sept 22nd and we signed up with you on/around Sept 27th! So we pulled this all together a little over 3 weeks.

Premium Service (Fiancée) Partner visa client – American

You have exceeded our expectations by saving us so much time and money when organising this! Thank you for also co-operating with our investment manager and accountant to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Tier 1 Investor (Super Premium Service) client – Chinese

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client - Dutch

EEA Permanent Residence client – Belgian

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

Need more information?

Learn more about how we work and support you through the UK Immigration Application Process.

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