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What Is the Fastest Way to Get British Citizenship?

Gaining British Citizenship is an exciting prospect for many. The speed at which you are able to obtain citizenship depends on your personal circumstances, such as your heritage, marriage, whether you have British parents, and your living and working history in the United Kingdom.

Our lawyers are here to help you with your British Citizenship application. Contact us today on +44 (0) 333 414 9244.

Obtaining British Citizenship Automatically

There are some circumstances that allow you to become a British Citizen automatically, without needing to have lived in the United Kingdom for an extended period of time. This is therefore the quickest way to confirm your citizenship and apply for a passport.

You are likely already a British Citizen if you were born in the UK, or one of your parents is British or was born in the UK.

Much has changed in the last century with regards to citizenship, immigration laws, and political circumstances in the United Kingdom.

Therefore, your eligibility for automatic citizenship is based upon the geopolitical and historical context of Britain, current British territories and former British colonies, the Commonwealth, and the EU.

You may be able to become an automatic British Citizen if:

  • you have a British parent
  • you are another type of British nationality, such as a British Overseas Citizen or British Protected Person
  • you’re stateless
  • you used to be a British citizen, but renounced your citizenship
  • you’re a direct descendant of a Chagossian (someone who was born in British Indian Ocean Territory)
  • you’re a citizen of the Commonwealth
  • you are eligible for the Windrush Scheme

If you qualify as a citizen, you will not need to go through any British Citizenship applications. You can go straight ahead and apply for a British passport.

Citizenship After 3 Years (Married to a British Citizen)

If you’re married to a British Citizen, you will be able to apply for citizenship after 3 years of living in the UK, rather than after the usual 5 years.

To be eligible for this pathway, you must be married to or are in a civil partnership with a British Citizen, have lived in the UK for three years or more, be over 18, and already have indefinite leave to remain or settled status in the UK.

You must also adhere to the other requirements set out by the Home Office for citizenship, such as proving your English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language skills, showing proof of passing the Life in the UK Test, and being of good character.

You should also not have spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the 3 years before your application, or spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months from the date of your application.

Check out if you are eligible for British Citizenship by Marriage. Contact us today and let us guide through the process.

Citizenship After 5 Years and 12 Months (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Overview

Indefinite Leave to Remain (or ‘settlement’) is a status that you can obtain that allows you to settle in the UK permanently. Having a settled status provides you with the right to work and live in the country, be eligible for public funding, and the right to exit and re-enter the country without immigration restrictions.

We have a detailed page outlining everything you need to know about Indefinite Leave to Remain here.

After receiving settled status, you will then need to live in the UK for another 12 months before you can apply for British Citizenship.

Gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain and applying for citizenship can be fairly complicated. Contact us online today or call us on +44 (0) 333 414 9244 for professional support and guidance regarding gaining settled status in the UK.

Settlement After 5 Years (Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status)

If you have continuously lived in the UK for 5 years or longer, you will be able to apply for citizenship once you’ve had indefinite leave to remain status or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for 12 months.

The criteria for citizenship through this route is as follows. You must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Show proof that you were in the UK 5 years before the Home Office receives your application
  • Show proof of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic proficiency
  • Have passed the Life in the UK Test
  • Have intentions to continue living in the UK
  • Be of good character
  • Not have broken any UK laws

In addition, you must not have spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years before your application, or spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months from the date of your application.

Note that though applications for the EUSS have now closed, depending on specific circumstances, you may still be able to apply.

If you think your circumstances fit the description for applying past the deadline, contact IAS on +44 (0) 333 414 9244 or contact us online. We have a team of expert immigration lawyers equipped with the latest information on Brexit and the EU that can support you with your application.

What Visas/Routes Make Me Eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain Status?

Below is a list of visas that have eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain status.

Keep in mind that this list is subject to change.

Looking to become a British citizen? Consider applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Get our expert advice today.

How Do I Apply for Citizenship?

In most cases, you can apply for citizenship online through the gov.uk website. You may also apply by post, but this is generally discouraged due to how much longer the process may be.

You may choose to either apply yourself or to use a representative to apply on your behalf.

You will need to ensure that you fulfil all of the eligibility criteria for your specific route to citizenship, and that you have all of the required documents necessary to ensure your application is processed without any difficulties.

If you apply online, the application is considered received by the Home Office on the same day. If you apply by post however, the application will be marked as received only when it is received in the post. Therefore, be sure to give yourself reasonable time between the date from which you were first in the UK 5 years ago and the exact same date 5 years later when applying.

You can apply for citizenship through IAS. We have the right team of experts to support you through the entire application process. Contact us online or call us today on +44 (0) 333 414 9244.

Does My Child Have Rights to Citizenship?

Depending on where and when they were born, they may have different rights to citizenship to you, and the eligibility criteria above outlines this.

If you are already settled in the UK and are pregnant or wanting to start a family, then your child will gain automatic British Citizenship when born, assuming you can prove that you have one of the statuses outlined above and that you have a right of abode. If your child was born before 1 July 2021, you will need to prove that you have a permanent residence.

How Much Does the Citizenship Application Cost?

Indefinite Leave to Remain Status Costs around £2,400 and citizenship costs around £1,330. These prices are subject to change.

Additional costs apply as part of the process. For example, it costs £50 to take the ‘Life in the UK’ test, which you have to pass before completing the application for citizenship.

Ready to apply for British citizenship? Contact an immigration lawyer for expert advice and guidance throughout the application process.

How Can IAS Help?

Gaining citizenship in the United Kingdom is highly desirable for many people who emigrate to Great Britain and decide they want to stay permanently. A British passport offers a great deal of travel and business opportunities, and living in Britain can offer limitless opportunities for you, your business, and your family.

Since Brexit, laws, opportunities, and visa schemes are ever changing. We understand how challenging it can be to navigate the multiple paths to citizenship. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, and applying for citizenship can feel overwhelming; you want to be sure that your application is perfect, and that your eligibility is in line with the most recent immigration laws.

This is why we exist. At IAS, we have a team of expert immigration lawyers with up-to-date knowledge on how you can obtain British Citizenship. We are here to help.

Contact us today on +44 (0) 333 414 9244 or contact us online.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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