UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers

Applications for naturalisation

Applications for naturalisation

Persons over 18 who are not British citizens can naturalise as British citizens once they have a settled status.

Naturalisation requirements are different for spouses of British citizens and other prospective applicants with a settled status.

Spouses of British citizens have to meet the following requirements:

  • be settled (or have indefinite leave to remain) on the day of the application;
  • have been resident in the UK lawfully for at least three years;
  • have not left the UK for more than 270 days in the last three years, and 90 days in the last 12 months prior to the application. Where absences from the UK exceed the permitted limit, the discretion of the Secretary of State may be called for if there are exceptional or compassionate circumstances;
  • have been present in the UK on the day three years before the application is received by UKBA;
  • be of good character;
  • have successfully passed the Knowledge of Life in the UK test.

Those who are not applying as the spouse of a British citizens have to meet the following requirements:

  • be settled in the UK (have indefinite leave to remain) for at least 12 months;
  • have lived in the UK for not less than five years lawfully (most applicants would have been in the UK for not less than six years, having spent five years in the UK prior to obtaining indefinite leave to remain);
  • have not left the country for more than 450 days (the day of departure and arrival not counting as absences) in the last five years;
  • have not left the country for more than 90 days in the last 12 months;
  • have been present in the UK on the day five years before the application is received by UKBA;
  • be of good character;
  • have successfully completed the Knowledge of Life in the UK test.

As with spouses of British citizens, discretion can be exercised where the permitted limit of absence was exceeded due to compassionate and exceptional circumstances, or due to requirements of business or employment.

Unlike the applicants for an extension of stay in the UK, applicants for naturalisation are not required to remain in the UK while their application is under consideration.

Kadmos Consultants regularly assist clients with all types of applications, including the more complex cases where reliance is made on the discretionary powers of the Secretary of State.

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