How to choose a British citizenship referee?
If you are embarking on the process of becoming a British citizenship then you will need to ensure that you have two referees to support you applying for British citizenship.
The referees will play a key part in proving your identify. However, it is important to ensure your referees meet the requirements set out by the Home Office otherwise your application form could be rejected or delayed.
If you are unsure about who to choose as a British citizenship referee then you may want to seek legal advice to make sure you are choosing referees that meet the right criteria.
Home Office criteria for referees
Both your referees should be people who have know you personally for at least three years.
One of your referees can be a person of any nationality who has professional standing. However, your second referee must be a British passport holder and be either a professional person or at least 25 years of age.
Your referees must not be any of the following:
- Be a relative
- Be a solicitor representing you on your citizenship application
- Be related to your other referee
- Be employed by the Home Office
- Have been convicted of an imprisonable offence in the last 10 years
What does professional standing mean?
One of your referees must be of professional standing – and this means they must have an occupation that is of a certain type. The Home Office has produced a list of suitable professional person occupations and this can be viewed online.
Here are a few examples of qualifying jobs for your referees:
- Chief petty officers
- Civil servant
- Teacher or lecturer
- Police officer
- Legal secretaries
- local government officer manager or Personnel officer
- Limited company assurance agent
- Certified or qualified paralegals
- Officer of the armed services
- Warrant officers
- VAT registered charity director or manager
What if my referees are not accepted?
If you use a referee who does not meet the requirements then the immigration services will contact you to ask you to provide another more suitable referee.
If you are unable to find an alternative referee then your application for British citizenship can be refused by the Home Office.
Referees requirements for child applications
When a child is applying for British citizenship the rules for referrers are different as at least one of the referees should be someone who has dealt with the child applying in a professional environment/role, this could include a:
- Health visitor
- Social worker
If a child is unable to find a suitable referee then they are able to provide two referees who meet the same criteria for a referee for an adult application. However, their application form will need to be accompanied by supporting documents to prove that they have attempted to provide a professional referee from someone who has known the child in a professional capacity.
What will my referees need to do?
Once your referees have agreed to support your UK citizenship application they will need to provide some information about themselves and sign a declaration.
In order to complete your application they will need to provide the following information so you can complete your form online:
- Full name
- Address(es) for last 3 years
- Date of birth
- Contact telephone number
- Email address
- British passport number (if British)
- How they know you and what their relationship to you is
Your referees will then need to complete a declaration as part of the application. If you are applying online then follow the steps online about how your referee will complete their declaration and confirm your identity.
If you are using a paper form then you must ensure at the top of the declaration form is a passport-sized photograph of yourself that should have your name and date of birth written on the back. Your referees must sign the declaration at the bottom of the form.
When your referees sign the declaration they will be confirming that:
- They are qualified to act as a referee
- The photograph above is a true likeness of you
- They understand each of the points in the “Requirements of a referee” section of the form
- To the best of their knowledge, the details given about you in the application are correct
- The details given about them as a referee are correct
- They understand they could be fined up to £5,000, or go to prison for up to 3 months if they knowingly give false information on the application.
How Can IAS Help?
A certificate of British Citizenship is an important document that proves your right to live and work in the UK indefinitely without being subject to any immigration restrictions.
IAS can help. We are expert legal advisers specialising in UK immigration law, with years’ worth of experience helping individuals with their immigration issues. We can help establish your eligibility for a certificate of entitlement, assist you throughout the application process, and even liaise with the Home Office to keep track of your application as it gets processed.
Last modified on August 25th, 2022 at 8:40 am
Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.
We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.
Fast Track Package
Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.
The Advice Package
With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.
The Application Package
Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.
The Appeal Package
Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.