Moving from ILR to Naturalisation
ILR to citizenship can be a long and complex process, and it is likely to be one of the most important decisions you ever undertake. One of the main requirements for naturalisation is holding Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least a year before your application. You will need to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain before you start the process of applying for citizenship.
The transition from ILR to naturalisation involves many of the same requirements. These include a good character assessment, residence requirement and Life in the UK test. This means you will not need to pass a second Life in the UK test to apply for British Citizenship.
How can IAS help?
Our expert lawyers have decades of experience in settlement applications and, after ILR we can advise you on how to apply for citizenship. We will ensure you meet the requirements for ILR and then advise you on how to ensure you meet the requirements for British Citizenship once you have held ILR for at least one year.
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Typically, to be eligible for ILR, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- have spent the last five years in the UK, with no breaches over the limit of 180 days in each of the five years;
- proof that you are of good moral character;
- have passed the Life in the UK test;
- proof that you still meet the requirements of your previous visa category at the time of your application; and
- have evidence of your knowledge of the English language at the relevant level for ILR of B1
In some cases, you may not be able to apply for ILR until ten years of continuous residence. Read more about how to apply for ILR after five years to find out more.
The application for naturalisation has many of the same requirements, including the good character assessment, Life in the UK test and five-year residence requirement. You will also need to show you have held ILR for at least a year.
The most common form for applying for naturalisation from ILR is Form AN. You will need to complete this form correctly and include evidence which satisfies every requirement before you submit it. There is a fee of £1,330 for the application which is non-refundable. The application is extensive and time-consuming, requiring exceptional attention to detail. To ensure you do it right first time, you may wish to seek the help of an immigration professional.
For more information, read our Form AN Guide.
Once you have been naturalised, you will be a full citizen of the United Kingdom. This means you will be able to apply for a UK passport and you will be completely free from immigration restrictions across Great Britain.
You may have the opportunity to apply for your passport at the same time as your naturalisation using the Nationality Document Return Service. This service allows you to take your supporting documents to your local authority and copy them for your application. Using this service will allow you to keep your documents while your citizenship application is processing.
Once you have held ILR for at least one year, you can then make your application for British Citizenship. You will also need to show you have lived in the UK for a continuous residency period of five years.
After making the application for naturalisation, the Home Office will inform you that they have received your application within four weeks. The average processing time is about six months.
As one of the largest and oldest immigration law firms in the country, we understand the importance of settlement applications. We have a proven track record of supporting clients from their first visa all the way through to British Citizenship.
With our ILR to naturalisation service, we will:
- ensure you are eligible and meet the requirements before applying;
- confirm you have the necessary evidence and advise you on alternative documents if necessary;
- advise you on how to remain eligible for British Citizenship following your application for ILR;
- write a personalised Letter of Representation which supports your case for both applications;
- prepare you for tests such as the English language and Life in the UK test;
- maintain contact with the Home Office and inform you as soon as a decision has been made.
For more information about any part of this process, or to get started, call us now on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online using our contact form.