Quick Overview of British Citizenship
If you were born in the UK after 31 December 1982 you will only be British if either or both of your parents:
- were British at the time of your birth; or
- were settled in the UK at the time of your birth (I.e. they have been granted indefinite leave to remain or enter)
If you were born overseas on or before 31 December 1982 you can only claim British nationality if your father was British at the time of your birth. If he was also born overseas, it is possible that his nationality cannot be passed on to you. You cannot claim British nationality through your mother.
If you were born overseas after 31 December 1982, you can claim British nationality through either parent. If your parents were also born overseas it is possible that their nationality cannot be passed onto you. If born before 1 July 2006, British nationality can only be claimed through the father if the parents were married at the time of the birth, or have married since.
Applying for British Citizenship
There are some very important conditions that you need to fulfil before applying for British Citizenship. If you do not meet these requirements, your application for becoming a British citizen will be rejected.
You must be 18 or over – There are separate procedures for children.
You must have lived in the UK for the qualifying period – The qualifying period is at least 5 years or 3 years if you are married to a British citizen, providing you have a spouse visa, otherwise it is 3 years from the date you got married. You must have been in the UK 5 years (3 years for dependants) from the date you make your application. You will normally prove this from the date stamp on your passport when you entered the UK.
So if your date stamp is less than 5 years before the date of your application (or 3 years if you are married to a British citizen) then you must delay applying for UK citizenship.
You must not have spent a lot of time outside the UK – If you have for any reason been out of the UK for a long time it will not be good for your application. It will be viewed unfavorably. In the last year you must not have been out of the UK for more than 90 days and in the last 5 years you must not have been out of the UK for more than 450 days.
You must intend to settle in the UK – The government requires that all new UK Citizens intend to continue being active citizens. It is not acceptable to leave the country for extended periods of time.
You must be of good character – Various checks will be carried out by the Home Office regarding your character and background. These could include police checks about any criminal convictions that you may have. Your financial affairs may also be looked in to and it is unlikely that your application is successful if you are an undischarged bankrupt. You must able to speak English – This is considered essential to a successful and productive life in the UK and is a requirement for passing the Life in the UK Test.
You must pass the UK Citizenship Test – Also known as the Life in the UK test. This is a test that you must take and it is designed to test your understanding of British culture and your level of English. For more information, please visit this site...