- How Much Does It Cost To Become a British Citizen?
- Benefits of Becoming a British Citizen
- Can I Become a British Citizen?
- How Do I Become a British Citizen?
- How Much Does It Cost to Get British Citizenship by Naturalisation?
- How Much Does It Cost to Register as a British Citizen?
- Can I Get a Fee Waiver?
- How Much Does It Cost To Get a British Passport?
- Other British Citizenship Fees
- What Is An Invalid Application?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost To Become a British Citizen?
There are different ways to become a British citizen and the total cost depends on the route taken to secure citizenship in addition to the applicant’s circumstances. In some cases, applicants may be eligible to apply for a fee waiver. If successful, this means the fees do not apply.
Many foreign nationals become British citizens through naturalisation. To be eligible, applicants must be over the age of 18 and have lived in the UK for at least 5 years. In addition, they must have held either ILR, settled status or indefinite leave to enter the UK for at least 12 months unless they are married to a British citizen. They must also intend to continue living in the UK once citizenship is granted and be of ‘good’ character. Once granted citizenship and when invited, all applicants should attend a citizenship ceremony.
The application fee to become a British citizen by naturalisation is currently £1330. (This includes an £80 citizenship ceremony administration charge).
There may be other circumstances that grant an applicant the right to ‘naturalise’. For example, an individual may be eligible if they became a British overseas territory citizen after 21 May 2002 and they meet specific criteria. The fee for naturalising as a British overseas territory citizen is currently £1000.
Life in the UK Test Fee
In addition to the above criteria, all naturalisation applicants (unless exempt) must also pass a ‘Life in the UK Test’. Applicants are given 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about life in the UK to prove their understanding of the country’s core values.
The fee for completing the Life in the UK Test is currently £50.
Proof Of English Language Fee
Depending on the country that they are originally from, some applicants may also have to prove their knowledge of either English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language. To do this applicants must pass a listening and speaking test for which the fee is currently £150.
Biometric Information Fee
All applicants must agree to have their biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) taken and stored on UK government systems. There is currently no charge for this service.
The process of registering as a British citizen usually applies to children under the age of 18 that do not automatically have British citizenship. Children who were born in the UK to foreign parents can apply to register as British citizens as soon as their parents are granted ILR. Children born outside of the UK may be able to register if they have a British mother or father or have lived in the UK for at least 10 years.
The fee to register as a British citizen is currently £1012. However, if the registering child turns 18 during the application process, they are also expected to pay the £80 citizenship ceremony and administration charge.
There are certain circumstances where adults may also be able to register. For example, British overseas nationals or British overseas territories citizens with a connection to Gibraltar or Hong Kong could be eligible, alongside those with a British parent that had the right to become a British citizen when they were born.
The fee to register an adult as a British citizen is currently £1206. However, British overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons can apply to register as British nationals for a lower cost of £901.
Can I Get a Fee Waiver?
Fee waivers are available under the British Nationality Act of 1981 for applicants that are under 18 and meet specific criteria. Applicants are eligible to apply if they or their parent/guardian:
- Does not have a place to live and cannot afford one.
- Is unable to afford essential living costs such as food and heating.
- Cannot afford the fee after paying for other essential living costs (like rent, food, etc).
- Could not meet the child’s needs after paying the fee.
Children being looked after by a local authority are exempt from paying the fee completely so long as they can provide evidence of this on their citizenship application.
The Home Office provides further information on affordability in the fee waiver application guidance notes but it is worth noting that applicants will have to prove their income as part of their fee waiver application form. The proof is usually provided in the form of documentation such as bank statements.
How Much Does It Cost To Get a British Passport?
Once British citizenship has been granted by the Home Office, applicants can apply for a British passport. The process takes approximately 10 weeks but this can be fast-tracked in certain circumstances.
Applicants can apply online or by post, however, it is cheaper to apply online. Fees also depend on whether or not the applicant is applying from inside or outside of the UK.
Applying From Inside the UK
The following fees apply to those applying from inside the UK:
- Adult (16+) 34 page (standard): £82.50 (online)/ £93 (post).
- Adult (16+) 50 page (frequent traveller): £93.50 (online)/ £104 (post).
- Child (Under 16) 34 page (standard): £53.50 (online)/ £64 (post).
- Child (under 16) 50 page (frequent traveller): £64.50 (online)/ £74 (post).
Applicants born on or before 2 September 1929 do not have to pay any fees and can obtain a passport free of charge.
Applying From Outside the UK
Processes and fees vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and where they are applying from.
Other British Citizenship Fees
There are other fees applicable to other processes that relate to British citizenship. For example, if somebody wants to renounce their citizenship or apply to the Home Office for a certificate for the right of abode, then they are charged fees to do so.
Renouncing British Citizenship
To apply to renounce British citizenship (including that of British Overseas citizenship, British Overseas Territories citizenship, a British subject, British protected person status or British National Overseas) the fee payable to the Home Office is £372.
Right Of Abode Certificate
All British citizens and some commonwealth citizens have the ‘right of abode’ in the UK. This means they are not subject to immigration control and can live and work in the UK without restriction. They do not need a visa to enter the UK and there is no limit on the length of time they can spend in the country. If they do not have a passport that describes them as a British citizen, they can apply to obtain a certificate that proves their ‘right of abode’. To do so they must pay the Home Office a fee of £372.
Further examples of when fees may apply in relation to British citizenship are as follows:
- Duplicate certificate: £250
- Confirmation of status as a British citizen: £250
- Confirmation of non-acquisition of British citizenship: £250
- Reconsideration of an application for naturalisation or registration: £372
- Reconsideration of an application for a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode: £372
- Correction to nationality certificate: £250
What Is An Invalid Application?
An application will be considered invalid if the fee is not paid in full upon submission or if the biometric information is missing. If an application is invalid it will not be considered by the Home Office and the fee will be refunded to the applicant less a £25 administration charge.
Benefits of Becoming a British Citizen
There are various reasons why foreign nationals may wish to become British citizens. If they have settled in the UK and built a life, it gives them security. Once citizenship is granted they have full rights to live and work in the UK indefinitely and can travel without restriction as a UK citizen. Citizenship also gives the right to vote in all local and general elections in the UK and allows access to the UK’s state benefits and National Health Service (NHS).
Can I Become a British Citizen?
Being born in the UK does not automatically grant British citizenship and status at birth mainly depends on where an individual’s parents were born. It is possible to check citizenship status on the UK government’s website.
There are several reasons why an applicant may be eligible to apply for British citizenship. They include:
- Through marriage or civil partnership.
- By having ‘settled status’ under the EU settlement scheme.
- By having indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
- By being born in the UK.
- By having a British parent.
- By having another type of British nationality.
- By having a parent with British overseas territories citizenship.
- By being ‘stateless’.
- By having previously renounced citizenship.
- By being a Chagossian descendant (a direct descendant of someone born in the British Indian Ocean Territory).
- By being a commonwealth citizen under the Windrush scheme.
- Where other special circumstances apply.
How Do I Become a British Citizen?
There are different routes available to obtain British citizenship depending on the applicant’s circumstances. For example, those with ILR or settled status under the EU scheme should apply for British citizenship by naturalisation, and those under 18 who were born in the UK but do not automatically qualify for citizenship should register as British citizens.
The eligibility requirements and fees needed for British citizenship differ depending on the route taken to secure citizenship. However, all British citizenship applicants must have permission to stay in the UK whilst their application is being processed. Permission needs to last until the applicant has attended their citizenship ceremony.
British citizenship applications can often be complex and daunting. However, our team of immigration specialists at IAS can help you complete your application quickly and easily no matter what your circumstances may be.
Our expert immigration lawyers can advise you on the most suitable pathway to citizenship, help you fill out your application form, gather evidence and inform you of all eligibility requirements and residence rules that you must meet to be granted British citizenship.
We can inform you of the total amount of fees that you will be liable for when you submit your application and can help you apply for a fee waiver if you are eligible. We can guide you through any application and service issues that may arise during the process and help you combat them lawfully.
For accurate help and advice regarding your British citizenship application or to get answers to queries about citizenship fees, call IAS today at 0333 305 9375 or contact us online.
Last modified on October 24th, 2023 at 4:01 pm
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All individual citizenship fees must be paid in full at the time of purchase, therefore it is not possible to spread the cost.
Unfortunately, if an application that has been considered by the Home Office is rejected the applicant is not entitled to a refund of the entire fee. Only the £80 citizenship ceremony administration charge is refundable.
Payment should be made upon submitting an online application where applicants can pay with either a debit or credit card.