COVID-19 News: Applying for British Citizenship
For those currently residing in the UK who were preparing to apply for British citizenship, COVID-19 has certainly created significant uncertainty.
With travel and immigration advice being regularly updated and amended by the British government, the current situation can be difficult to keep on top of. However, IAS’ team of immigration lawyers are providing consistent, clear, up-to-date information on the latest government guidance.
Under the UK’s immigration law, those who wish to acquire British citizenship may be eligible to do so through birth, descent, marriage or simply as the final step to residency in the UK having already acquired settled status either via Permanent Residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain. This process of becoming a British citizen is referred to as ‘naturalisation’.
To discuss your options with an OISC-accredited immigration lawyer, contact our client care team today on 0333 305 9375
With all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the government recently announced that it would be extending all visas to those whose immigration permission to remain in the UK expires between the 24th of January and the 31st of May.
This provided some much-needed reassurance and security. However, those with long-term residence in the UK who were hoping to apply for British citizenship may remain unsure of their options.
Can I still naturalise in the UK as a British citizen despite the Coronavirus pandemic?
Thankfully, the process of applying for British citizenship is one which, at present, remains open to individuals who are eligible. This means that it is still possible to complete and submit your application to the Home Office.
COVID-19 fortunately has no bearing on an individual’s continuous, acquired residence in the UK, therefore applications are still being accepted and processed.
Despite the government recently announcing that the UK is set to remain in lockdown for a further three weeks at least, it is nonetheless possible to begin your journey to obtaining citizenship in the UK today.
The process of applying for British citizenship is one which, at present, remains open to individuals who are eligible
You must, of course, continue to meet the necessary requirements while also providing the adequate, relevant supporting documentation. To discuss your options with an OISC-accredited immigration lawyer, contact our client care team today on 0333 305 9375. We provide appointments both over the phone and via video call.
I’m due to attend my British citizenship ceremony, what should I do?
While COVID-19 may not have impacted an individual’s ability to apply for British citizenship, it does mean that British citizenship ceremonies are currently unable to go ahead.
Officially, the process of obtaining British citizenship is not legally complete until the applicant has attended their citizenship ceremony. It essentially validates your newly acquired status as a British national.
Successful applicants now have six months to book their British citizenship ceremony as opposed to the typical three month period
With current social distancing and lockdown measures in place, all ceremonies are no longer going ahead. To accommodate this, the Home Office has announced that successful applicants now have six months to book their British citizenship ceremony as opposed to the typical three month period.
Currently, there is no option to attend a ceremony virtually through digital means.
Will my application for British citizenship be processed within the standard timeframe?
One crucial area of the application process that has been impacted by COVID-19 is the current processing times. On 16th April, the Home Office stated that it is taking longer than usual to process nationality applications as a result of the Coronavirus.
Therefore, whereas an application to become a British national may typically take up to six months, it may now take longer.
It is taking longer than usual to process nationality applications as a result of the Coronavirus
To prevent any further delays, why not begin your British citizenship application today? We have offices located across the UK, including in London, Manchester, or Birmingham. You can also use the office finder to find the closest branch to you.
Contact IAS on 0333 305 9375 to discuss your personal circumstances.
Our immigration experts are also offering legal advice and guidance to all NHS workers completely free of charge.
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