UK Citizenship: An Overview
The advantages of Citizenship include a British passport, the right to vote in UK elections, and the ability to be absent from the UK for any amount of time whilst retaining Citizenship. It is possible to become a British citizen by Registration or Naturalisation.
Registration as a British citizen
Available to UK born children under the age of 18
Available to any child where either parent becomes a British citizen, or obtains Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)/ Settlement. (The child themself does not have to hold ILR.
Naturalisation as a British citizen
Available to those who have obtained ILR or Permanent Residency on the 5 year route: A Citizenship application is then permitted after a further 12 months residence in the UK
For those who have ILR and are married to, or are a Civil Partner of, a British Citizen, and have spent 3 years total in the UK, the application for Citizenship may usually be made immediately, without the requirement of a further 12 months residence
EEA Permanent Residents must obtain a permanent residency card to prove their status before applying for Naturalisation
May also be available to those over 18 who have been living in the UK for the last 5 years - or 3 years if married to, or a Civil Partner of, a British Citizen
There are also requirements on maximum permitted absences that must be observed when making a Naturalisation application.
Requirements for Citizenship include:
- The good character requirement (if aged 10 or over)
- The sound mind, or full capacity, requirement