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Who can be a British Citizenship referee?

When you make an application to become a British citizen you are required to use two referees to help verify your identity. It is important you select suitable referees to complete your British citizenship application.

For more information about British citizenship and making an application reach out to one of our expert immigration advisers for more information. Call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online today.

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    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:

    • Accountant
    • Dentist
    • Barrister
    • Chief petty officers
    • Councillor
    • 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:

    • Teacher
    • Health visitor
    • Doctor
    • 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
    • Profession
    • 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.

    Contact us today if you require assistance with your British citizenship application. Get in touch

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      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.

      For more information about the services we offer and how we can help you, get in touch with us today on 0333 305 9375, or talk to us online today.

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