When thinking of applying for a UK naturalisation application to qualify as a British citizen under the British nationality law, one of key considerations will be cost, time and how much you will need to pay in British Citizenship fees. Applying for British nationality may be stressful and time-consuming. At My Legal Services we are committed to professionally assisting all our clients in providing expert advice. Your case will be processed by an experienced immigration lawyers, who will assess your situation and advise you on how to proceed in meeting the eligibility requirements and have the relevant and mandatory documents to become naturalised as a British citizen.
In 2022, it costs £1,330 to make an application to naturalise as a British citizen. This includes the fee for the citizenship ceremony. In recent years the UK government has not increased the mandatory fee of £1,330 but this is subject to a review.
Are there other British citizenship fees you need to pay?
It’s important to note that the Home Office application fee may not be the only charge for your application. Naturalisation applicants will also have to pay £19.20 to have their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken together with pay a booking fee to attend your appointment.
If you have to prove you meet the English language test requirement, you will need to sit an approved language test, which can cost upwards of £150. The Life in the UK test also comes at a charge of £50 per test taken. If you need to resit, you will have to pay the test fee again.
Since the naturalisation application is costly a vast amount of our client’s instruct us to guide them through the process and engage an immigration lawyer to take care of the application on their behalf.
What are the British Naturalisation requirements?
Under the British Nationality Act, those who wish to apply for British Naturalisation must meet the following requirements:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have spent at least 3 or 5 years of continuous residence in the UK on the basis of marriage or civil partnership or different visa category
- Have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EEA citizen or Non-EEA in the UK or permanent residence status.
- Meet the level English language requirements (unless exempt) or show that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language
- Pass the Life in the UK Test and Listening & Speaking test, to show that you are aware of the basics of the British customs, traditions and culture. You may be exempt in certain cases.
At My Legal Services we regularly dealt with complex nationality cases including past criminal conviction (s) or an applicant with a criminal record or cases with a non-custodial sentence has taken place before we proceed to apply to the Home Office for your naturalisation application.
Before you apply for naturalisation, you must also ensure that you meet additional requirements. This incudes not exceeding the number of absences from the UK must not exceed a specific time frame, especially during the last year of your qualifying period, when you cannot spend more than 90 days outside the UK. It is also essential to satisfy the English language requirements unless you are exempt. You family members may also apply at the same time with you.
To apply for British citizenship, you need to complete the naturalisation online form and attend the Home Office to provide your biometric data. If your application is approved, you will receive an invitation to attend a Citizenship ceremony to obtain your Certificate of Naturalisation and can then apply for a British UK passport. You will not become a British citizen until you complete your ceremony where you will be required to swear an oath of allegiance or affirmation of allegiance and you will be given your certificate of naturalisation. If you have applied for a child, they will not be required to attend a Citizenship ceremony.
In some cases you may still retain your nationality and become a British citizen. This is known as dual nationality or dual citizenship.
What happens after I have been granted a Certificate of Naturalisation?
The cost of applying for a first adult British passport is £75.50, or £85.50 for a frequent traveller 50-page passport.
Please contact us for all details on British citizenship fees, if you are apply for citizenship through, for example, registration or naturalisation.
When can I apply for British citizenship?
Once you have been granted indefinite leave to remain from the British government, you can apply to become naturalised on the basis of your marriage or completing 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.
Do you want to become a British citizen? Find out more about the citizenship application process and how your children could be eligible for citizenship if they were born inside or outside of the UK. For more information about becoming a British citizen, get in touch with our immigration lawyers today on 02037424736
Is there a premium service for British Citizenship?
Unlike most UK visa and settlement applications, there is no premium service for naturalisation applications. This means you will not be able to pay extra to fast-track your application.
When do you pay the British citizenship fee?
The naturalisation fee is payable when making your application. If the fee is not paid, the application will be invalid and your application will not be processed.
I have been granted ILR as a Refugee, I am eligible to apply for my this Immigration status?
If you meet the requirements you are entitled to apply for British citizenship.
Can I get British citizenship through my child?
No, you are unable to get British citizenship via your child or children. However, children can obtain British citizenship through their parents. Children born inside the UK do not always automatically acquire British citizenship but children can be eligible for citizenship if at least one of their parents is a British citizen or has settled status in the UK.
How long do British citizenship applications take to process?
British citizenship applications typically take around 6 months. This may vary depending on the complexity of the application and service issues delaying application processing. That said, we have dealt with a vast amount of applications and on average it usually takes between 3-4 months, sometimes quicker.
What are the rules for British citizenship by way of birth?
The different ways to qualify for British citizenship include by birth. If you were born in the UK before 01/01/1983 you will be a British citizen automatically by birth. If you was born outside the UK, different routes and rules apply.
What are the rules British citizenship by descent?
A British citizen by descent is someone who was registered as a British citizen or who was born outside the UK to a British parent or British parents
If a British citizen by descent’s child is born overseas, they cannot normally pass their citizenship directly on, they may need to Register the child for British citizenship, if eligible. If the other parent is a British citizen otherwise than by descent, for example, someone British by birth, naturalisation or adoption, then that parent should be able to pass their citizenship directly on to the child.
Improve your prospects of a successful British citizenship application
To avoid a refused citizenship application and losing your British citizenship application fee, you will need to ensure you meet all of the eligibility requirements and that your eligibility is evidenced in the way the Home Office stipulates.
What is the Good character requirement?
The good character requirement applies to all naturalisation applicants over ten years of age. It is an area of growing scrutiny, with increasing numbers of applications being refused on good character grounds.
Unhelpfully for applicants, there is no single definition of ‘good character’, and each application is decided on its own facts. The Home Office issued guidance to caseworkers on the good character requirement in January 2019, which can help applicants understand the kind of factors that will be assessed, such as criminality, financial soundness, past immigration matters, and issues of deception and dishonesty. This is not, however, an exhaustive list, and caseworkers will consider an application as a whole to determine if the applicant meets the requirement.
What is the Residency requirement?
The residence rules are another common ground for refusal by the Home Office. There are effectively two parts to the residency requirement.
First, you have to have lived in the UK lawfully for a period of five years or more on the date you make your application, unless you are a foreign spouse of British citizens or UK settled person and can apply earlier. Second, you cannot have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during this five-year qualifying period or 270 days if you are naturalising as a foreign spouse
If your absences exceed these limits, or if you have not been resident in the UK for the minimum residence period, or are not able to evidence your qualifying residence, your application can be refused. There are also exceptions if you exceed the residency requirements.
In some cases, it may be possible to argue compelling reasons for any extensive absences, but the applicant will need to provide evidence to support their case.
Knowledge of English language and life
A further requirement on naturalisation applicants is that they can speak and understand English to a specific level, and that they pass a citizenship test about British life, culture and history. Importantly, this must all be evidenced in the correct way. Unless you are a national of an exempt English-speaking country, the rules require naturalisation applicants to prove their English ability by presenting evidence of either a degree that was researched or taught in English, or by passing a listening and speaking test at B1 level at an approved IELTS test centre.
Providing additional information
The Home Office may contact the applicant to request further information before a decision is made on the application. Any delay or failure to provide the requested information can result in the application being refused.
Where the Home Office requests further documentation from an applicant, they will usually write to the address given in the application form to request that this be sent and provide a time frame for doing so.
Our team of specialist immigration advisers help individuals and companies on all areas of UK immigration, visas and mobility. As Home Office fees are subject to change, you are advised to check the Home Office website for the latest fees before submitting your application, or contact us for a full appraisal of the current full costs of making a naturalisation application.
At My Legal Services, our Immigration Solicitors in London can help you through each step of your British nationality case. After assessing your eligibility, your dedicated lawyer will complete your application form to the best standard. This includes performing a full document check to ensure that your portfolio of evidence is adequate. We can also prepare a Letter of Representation to support your case.
Call us on 02037 324 736 or 07957 154 057 or book an appointment at our office to get started on your application or by using our contact form.
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