Applying for British Citizenship

It is important to note that not everyone can apply for British Citizenship and you will need to satisfy a number of criteria.

There are few different ways you can become a British Citizen and the most common is called ‘Naturalisation’.

You can apply for naturalisation if you meet the following criteria:


– You are over the age of 18;

– You are of good character; you can’t have a serious or recent criminal record and you have not been involved in any immigration offences in the last 10 years; – You will continue to live in the UK once you are naturalised;  – you have met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirement;  -you meet the residency requirement which is that you must have lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application and; – spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years – spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 month – had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) – had permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document – not broken any immigration laws while in the UK


Why do Applications fail? Interestingly, most applications that fail, do so because applicants do not meet the residency requirements or the applicant has not met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirement.


You will also need to prove that you have knowledge of English.  This means that you have sufficient English speaking and writing skill. You can prove this by having one of the following: English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level


You will also have to take a test. This is called “Life in the UK”. The test costs £50 and you will have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs. This is probably the most worrisome aspect for applicants. I know this because it is the part I get asked about most but unfortunately, there is no getting out of it as the test is mandatory. The only circumstances where an applicant is exempt if they are under the age of 18 or over 65 or have a long-term physical or mental condition. The test is taken at a test centre.


Nayyars Solicitors have an excellent success rate in Citizenship Applications. For advice on naturalisation and applications, contact our Immigration Team who can start the process for you.


Jussa Ali

Trainee Solicitor

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