Children

There are several ways that a child can meet the requirements to register as a British citizen. Depending on the child's circumstances, they will be able to apply for registration as a British citizen by entitlement or discretion. These terms are explained below. If the child has a right under British nationality law to apply and be registered as a British citizen this is an entitlement. If the child does not have a right under British nationality law to apply and be registered as a British citizen, registration will be at the UK Border Agency's discretion. In these cases they will consider the circumstances of the child's case and whether it is reasonable for them to be registered as a British citizen. If the child is applying for registration at The UK Border Agency's discretion you should provide as much evidence as possible to support the case. It is possible that some families include some children with an entitlement to register and others without. If an application is made from families in these circumstances you are asked to indicate on the form if you still wish to register the children who have an entitlement to British citizenship if other applications are unsuccessful. If you do so, the children will have different nationalities. For all registrations, the child must: be under 18 on the date we receive the application; and be of good character if they are 10 years or over on the date of application. The child must also meet the requirements of certain sections of the British Nationality Act 1981.

5 years Residence

There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:

  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must be of sound mind.
  • You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established
  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish
  • You must be of good character.
  • You must meet the residential requirements (see below).

Residential requirements

To demonstrate the residential requirements for naturalisation, you must have:

been resident in the UK for at least five years (this is known as the residential qualifying period); and
been present in the UK five years before the date of your application; and
not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the five-year period; and
not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of the five-year period; and
not been in breach of the Immigration Rules at any stage during the five-year period.

When does the residential qualifying period start?

The residential qualifying period is calculated from the day when your application is received. Most unsuccessful applications fail because the applicant was not present in the UK at the beginning of the residential qualifying period. You must make sure you meet this requirement before you make your application. For example, if your application is received on 25 March 2010, you must show that you were in the UK on 26 March 2005.

If you have spent time in the UK while you were exempt from immigration control, you cannot include this time as part of the residential qualifying period. If you were in the UK as a diplomat or as a member of visiting armed forces, or if you were in any place of detention, you are considered to have been exempt from immigration control during that time. This time is treated as absence from the UK when we assess your application.


Immigration time restrictions

You must be free from immigration time restrictions when you apply for naturalisation. Unless you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen, you should have been free from immigration time restrictions during the last 12 months of the residential qualifying period.

If you are free from immigration time restrictions, there will probably be a stamp or sticker in your passport saying that you have indefinite leave to enter or remain or no time limit on your stay. But you may have a letter from the Home Office saying that you are free from immigration conditions. See The documents we require for naturalisation applications for details of how to prove you are free from immigration time restrictions.

We have discretion to allow applications from people who do not meet this requirement. For details of how we apply discretion, you should read the Discretion on immigration time restrictions page.

European Economic Area nationals and Swiss nationals

If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, or you are the family member of such a person, you will automatically have permanent residence status if you have exercised EEA free-movement rights in the UK for a continuous five-year period ending on or after 30 April 2006. You do not need to apply for leave to remain. You should have held permanent residence status for 12 months before you apply for naturalisation.

If you have been outside the UK for six months or more in any one of the five years of the residence period, you will have broken your residence. This does not apply if:

the absence was due to military service; or
all absences were for under 12 months and were for important reasons such as pregnancy, childcare, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.

If you leave the UK for a continuous period of two years or more, you will lose your permanent residence status.

If you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK, you will be considered to be settled here provided that you have not been away for two years or more since you received ILR.

Breach of immigration laws during residential qualifying period

You must have been in the UK legally throughout the residential qualifying period. We may refuse your naturalisation application if you have breached the immigration laws during that period.


Absences from the UK during the residential qualifying period

During the residential qualifying period, you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days. You must not have been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months.

We have discretion to allow absences above the normal limits. For details of how we apply discretion, you should read the Discretion on absences from the UK page.
Crown service

If you are applying on the grounds of your Crown service instead of your residence in the UK, you must show that you:

are serving overseas in Crown service on the date when your application is received; and
have been the holder of a responsible post overseas; and
have given outstanding service, normally over a substantial period; and
have a close connection with the UK.

Crown service is an alternative only to the residence requirements for naturalisation. You must still meet the other requirements for naturalisation.

Marriage – 3 years

Here are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:

  • you are aged 18 or over
  • you are of sound mind
  • you can communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic
  • you have sufficient knowledge of life in the United Kingdom
  • you are the husband, wife or civil partner of a British citizen
  • you meet the residential requirements
  • our husband, wife or civil partner is in Crown or designated service

Residential requirements

In order to demonstrate the residential requirements for naturalisation you need to: have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least three years (this is known as the residential qualifying period) before the date of your application; and have not spent more than 270 days outside the United Kingdom during the three-year period; and have not spend more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in the last 12 months of the three-year period; and have not been in breach of the immigration rules at any stage during the three-year period.

Start of the residential qualifying period

The residential qualifying period will be worked out from the day that your application is received by the Home Office. Most unsuccessful applications fail because the applicant was not present in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the residential qualifying period. You must make sure you meet this requirement before you make your application. For example, if we received your application on 25 November 2005, you would have to show that you were in the United Kingdom on 26 November 2002. You cannot count time you have spent in the United Kingdom while exempt from immigration control as part of the residential qualifying period. If you are in the United Kingdom as a diplomat or as a member of visiting armed forces or if you are in any place of detention, you would be considered exempt from immigration control. This time would be treated as absence from the United Kingdom.

Immigration time restrictions

You must be free from immigration time restrictions on the day you make your application. This often means having already gained settled status before you make your citizenship application. How and when you are eligible for settled status will depend on the immigration category you were in and successfully meeting its requirements for indefinite leave to enter or remain. For example spouses and civil partners of British citizens who must complete a 5 year probationary period under Appendix FM would generally have the opportunity to apply for naturalisation on this basis once they complete the 5 year period and obtain indefinite leave to remain provided they can also meet the other requirements of naturalisation at that time.

European Economic Area nationals and Swiss nationals

If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) national or a Swiss national or the family member of such a person, you will automatically have permanent residence status if you have exercised EEA free-movement rights in the United Kingdom for a continuous five-year period ending on or after 30 April 2006. You do not have to apply for leave to remain. If you have been outside the United Kingdom for six months or more in any one of the five years of the residence period you will have broken your residence. This does not apply if: the absence was due to military service; or all absences were for under 12 months and were for important reasons such as pregnancy, childcare, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting. If you leave the United Kingdom for a continuous period of two years or more you will lose your permanent residence status. If you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the United Kingdom you will be considered settled providing you have not been away for two years or more since you received ILR.

Breach of immigration laws during residential qualifying period

You must have been in the United Kingdom legally throughout the residential qualifying period. We may refuse your naturalisation application if you have breached the immigration laws during the residential qualifying period. If you came to the United Kingdom as an asylum applicant, you would be considered in breach of the immigration rules if your application for refugee status and any appeals were refused during the residential qualifying period. You would also be in breach of the immigration rules if you entered the United Kingdom illegally and obtained refugee status during the residential qualifying period.

Absences from the United Kingdom during the residential qualifying period

During the residential qualifying period you must not have been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 270 days in the last three years. You must not have been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months. There is discretion to allow absences above the normal limits. For details of how we apply discretion, you should read the page on discretion when considering absences from the United Kingdom during the residential qualifying period.

Crown and designated service

If you are applying on the grounds of your husband's, wife's or civil partner's crown service rather than your residence in the United Kingdom you must show that: one the day you apply your husband, wife or civil partner is working outside the United Kingdom in crown or designated service; and your husband, wife or civil partner was recruited to that service in the United Kingdom; and your naturalisation would be in the interests of your husband's. wife's or civil partner's employing organisation; and if you are in the United Kingdom on the day you apply you must not be subject to time restrictions; and you were not in breach of the United Kingdom immigration laws during the three years immediately before applying; and your marriage or civil partnership has lasted more than three years. Marriage or civil partnership to a British citizen in crown or designated service is an alternative only to the residence requirements for naturalisation. You must still meet the other requirements for naturalisation.

About – Citizenship

Citizenship - what's it about?

British nationality is defined in law. Whether a person has a claim to British nationality can be determined by applying the definitions and requirements of the British Nationality Act 1981 and related legislation to the facts of their date and place of birth and descent. The most acceptable evidence of British citizenship is a British passport.

Headquarters

Global Immigration Ltd
804 Little Horton Lane
Bradford
West Yorkshire
BD5 9DG

Contact Us

Contact Tel. No. 01274 577644

Overseas Tel No. +44 1274 577644

Email: info@globalimmigration.org.uk

Registered in the UK

Reg. No: 5412701

Oisc

Established and authorized by the

OISC

since 2006

Developed By: Witty Web Solutions

Copyright 2020 Global Immigration © All Rights Reserved