British Citizenship


Once a migrant meets certain criteria, including a minimum period of residence and good character requirements, he/she may apply to naturalise as a British citizen.  If you are at least 18 years old and have been granted indefinite leave to remain or have acquired a right of permanent residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship by Naturalisation.

In certain situations, adults and children may be able to acquire British citizenship by ‘registration’. If you do not qualify for British citizenship automatically, you may be eligible to apply for Registration as a British citizen, either by way of an entitlement or on a discretionary basis. Applications for registration on a discretionary basis, particularly as a child, can be challenging. Before applying on this basis, it can be helpful to consider the merits of the application, both in principle and in regard to the evidence available. One particularly relevant factor for children is often whether their future can clearly be seen to lie in the UK.

Applications for naturalisation are governed by the British Nationality Act 1981 and as such there are not separate rules for EU or non-EU citizens. All applicants have to meet the same requirements, regardless of their nationality. We have experience in advising you as to the most appropriate type of application for your circumstances and will be able to make the application, quickly and successfully.It is important to emphasise that unlike in other areas of immigration law, British Nationality is not a ‘right’ nor an ‘entitlement’, but a matter of law which can be granted or refused at the Home Secretary’s discretion. The application form asks you to satisfy certain criteria, however it is for the Home Secretary to decide whether these criteria can be bypassed in certain situations.

We frequently assist individuals and families who have been living legally in the UK for a period exceeding 5 years (or 3 years if you are the spouse of a British National) with their applications for naturalisation.

In order to qualify for UK Citizenship, you will need to have spent no more than 90 days outside the UK during the 12-month period immediately before the date of your application for British Citizenship by Naturalisation.  If you are not married to a British citizen, you will also need to have not been away from the UK for more than 450 days during the preceding 5 years.  If you are married to a British citizen, you will need to have spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in the previous 3 years.

Naturalisation or registration as a British citizen is the final step of the immigration journey. We have substantial experience in the complex British citizenship rules and eligibility requirements and our team is well placed to provide assistance in even the most complicated matters.Whether a client is an adult seeking to naturalise as a UK citizen or a parent wanting to register a child as a British national, our team provides tailored advice from the planning phase through to the application for a first British passport.

From the planning stage through to the to end, we are able to assist with the application and we help clients navigate the complex application process. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance in understanding these requirements and if you would like to know more about how to apply.