How can I become a British citizen?
There are several routes to getting British citizenship. The main ones are:
- British citizenship by birth – if you were born in the UK after 1st January 1983, you may automatically receive British citizenship. If you were born abroad but at least one of your parents is a British citizen, you will also be classified as a British citizen.
- British citizenship by marriage – if you get married to a British citizen, after you have spent three years living in the UK as a settled person, you can apply for British citizenship.
- British citizenship by naturalisation – after five years of living in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Then after spending additional 12 months in the UK as a settled person, you can apply to become a British citizen if you meet the naturalisation criteria.
Is it possible to buy UK citizenship?
Buying UK citizenship is not an option. Nevertheless, some eligible individuals can obtain UK citizenship by investment.
Using this track is not as easy as simply purchasing British citizenship. The investment amount is very high and there are numerous criteria investors need to meet.
Even after you make the investment, you will not automatically receive UK citizenship. You will first have to live in the UK on a valid investor visa for a certain qualifying period of time. Then you will have to successfully apply for IRL and live in the UK for one more year as a settled person.Then finally you will be submitted your application to become a British citizen by naturalisation.
If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for British citizenship, your application might be rejected despite you investing money into the UK.
How to obtain British citizenship by investment?
To be eligible for UK citizenship by investment, you need to apply for the Tier I (Investor) Visa. This visa category allows holders and their families come settle in the UK provided that they meed the eligibility requirements for the British citizenship.
Individuals wanting to receive UK citizenship via this route have to invest a minimum amount of investment money into the capital of UK-based companies. Receiving the Tier I (Investor) Visa does not automatically give you British citizenship. Nevertheless, depending on how much you invest, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after a certain period of time. Then, after spending one more year in the UK as a settled person, you will be able to submit your application for UK citizenship.
To qualify for settlement in the UK, you have to invest one of the following amounts:
- £2,000,000, which will allow you to apply for ILR after 5 years
- £5,000,000, which will allow you to apply for ILR after 3 years
- £10,000,000, which will allow you to apply for ILR after 2 years.
How to apply for the Tier I (Investor) Visa?
You can apply for the Tier I (Investor) Visa no more than three months before you travel to the UK. Your application can be submitted online and you have to include extensive documentation showing that you and your investments funds meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You are 18 years old or older
- You have at least £2,000,000 investment funds
- You are able to prove that the money belongs to you, your spouse, or your unmarried partner.
- You have opened an account at a UK regulated bank where you will deposit the money.
- The money is held in one or more regulated financial institutions
- The money can be converted into pounds and moved to the UK.
- The amount you want to invest is disposable and available for use in the UK
- The money will be invested in an actively trading company registered in the UK
- You will be able to maintain the investment throughout the visa duration.
With your application you also have to submit a valid passport and a recent criminal record certificate. You will also need to pay an application fee of £1623.
What are the requirements for British citizenship?
After receiving IRL and spending 12 months in the UK, you will become eligible to apply for naturalisation. To qualify for British citizenship, you will need to satisfy the following requirements:
- Be aged 18 or over
- Have held ILR in the UK for at least 12 months.
- Be of ‘good character’
- Be of sound mind
- Have lived in the UK for the required qualifying period – normally 5 years, but if you are applying via the investment route, this period might be shortened to 3 or 2 years.
- Meet the English language requirements
- Pass the Life in the UK Test
- Not have previously violated UK immigration rules
- Intend to live in the UK permanently after receiving British citizenship.
In addition to having to meet these requirements, during the 12 months of being in the UK on the IRL status, you must have spent no more than 90 days abroad. If you are not sure if you meet all the criteria for naturalisation, hire one of our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility for British citizenship and will help you begin the application process.
How can IAS help?
If you would like to find out more about using the option to get British citizenship by investment, our immigration lawyers are here to answer your questions. They can assess your situation and determine whether you are eligible for the Tier I (Investor) Visa.
If they assert that you meet all the requirements, they will help you prepare all the necessary documents and submit your visa application. If, however, you do not qualify for the visa, they will explain to you what the alternative routes to British citizenship are.
Our immigration lawyers will support you during each step of your visa application process, making it stress-free and straightforward.
To find out more about how our lawyers can help with your situation, call us today on 03714543967.
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