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How can I become a British citizen?

British nationality law is a specialist area of law with which Danielle and her team of UK Immigration Law Solicitors are familiar and experienced.
Whether you are seeking to register your child as a British Citizen, or looking to apply for naturalisation as an adult, now that you have been living in the UK for some time, Danielle’s team will be very happy to assist with your case.

The Process of Registration as a British Citizen

A child who was born in the UK should be registered as a British citizen by virtue of section 1(4) of the British Nationality Act 1981. This section indicates that a child who was born in the UK can be registered as a British citizen, even if the parents are not British or settled in the UK at the time of their birth, as long as the child has been resident in the UK for 10 years. Alternatively, the other option is to apply for registration for British citizenship for a child under 18 at the Home Office’s discretion. This will fall under section 3(1). The consideration to be taken into account is the child’s connection with the UK and the Home Office will expect the child to be free from any restrictions on their stay in the UK.

Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped become British citizens.

Our team of immigration solicitors are also very happy to assist with any applications to register yourself or your child as a British Citizen. The law in this area is complex and if you would like to find out more regarding registering yourself or your child as a British Citizen, please get in touch on 020 7267 4133.

What does it mean to acquire British citizenship by descent?

A British citizen is either a British citizen other than by descent, or is a British citizen by descent. The difference is important because British citizens by descent cannot pass their British citizenship onto their children born outside of the UK. A British citizen other than by descent can automatically pass on British citizenship to a child born outside of the UK. 

A British citizen by descent is a person born outside the UK to a British parent.

 Can I acquire British citizenship by marriage?

You cannot acquire British citizenship by marriage and you must make an application to ‘naturalise’ as a British citizen. You must be 18 or over, married to or in a civil partnership with someone who is a British citizen and have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before the date of your application. You are still required to prove your knowledge of English, pass the life in the UK Test and be of good character. 

How much does a UK citizenship application cost?

The latest Home Office fees revised every year. If you wish to naturalize as a British citizen the current fee, as of April 2020, for submitting an application is £1330. If you wish to register as a British Citizen the current fee, as of April 2020, is £1206. With either route you must also incur the cost of the Citizenship Ceremony which is £80. 

Can I apply for British citizenship for my child born abroad?

Children born before the 1st July 2006 only benefit from British citizenship if the mother was British or if the father was British and married to the mother. We regularly assist children born before 1st July 2006 who did not become British citizens by making applications to register as British citizens. 

Children born on or after 1st July 2006 

 What does British nationality law cover?

The law covering British citizenship is the British Nationality Act 1981 and the regulations made under it, the ‘British Overseas Territories Act’ 2002 and the ‘Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act’ 2006.  

Together this body of law covers the requirements of being or becoming a British citizen. 

What is the test for British citizenship?

One of the requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen is to pass the Life in the UK Test. You will be required to answer 24 questions in 45 minutes on a computer, to demonstrate you have sufficient knowledge British traditions and customs.

What is the Life in the UK test?

The Life in the UK test is a computer based multiple choice test which must be passed if one is to make an application for naturalisation as a British citizen. The test covers topics such as British values, principles, traditions, culture, and it consists of 24 questions which need to be completed within a 45-minute time limit. Upon passing the Life in the UK test, the candidate will receive a pass certificate. This certificate has no expiry date and can be used for all future applications. Having an under-graduate degree in the UK taught in English will exempt an applicant from the English Language Test, but will not exempt them from the Life in the UK Test.  In order to prepare for the test, one needs the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test, and the candidate needs to study it to prepare for the test. The test needs to be booked online using an ID.  There are exemptions from taking the test, namely those under the age of 18, or over the age of 65, or those who have long term physical or mental conditions.  If one of these applies, the candidate will have to provide a letter, or a form, signed by their GP confirming the physical or mental condition.

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