Top 4 Points to Remember When Applying for British Citizenship

The below is a summary of the most important requirements for naturalisation. Remember the key is preparation!

1. Life in the UK test

If you are between 18 and 65 then you will be required to sit the Life in the UK test unless you are exempt due to a physical or mental condition. If this is the case then your doctor will be required to provide details of this by completing an exemption form. If you have already taken a Life in the UK test when you applied for indefinite leave to remain, you do not need to sit another test.

2. English Language

You can sit an English language test (speaking and listening) to prove your knowledge of English language. However you must ensure that the test is Home Office approved. You can also meet this requirement if you have a degree which was taught in English. Thirdly, if you are from an English majority speaking country then this automatically proves your English language proficiency.

3. Proof of Residence

You will need to prove that you have been resident in the UK for the last 5 years and ensure that at least one of those years you held indefinite leave to remain. However, there is a limit on the number of absences which are allowed during this period:

  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

However if you are married or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen then you only need to show evidence that you have been resident for the last 3 years. Similarly, the following restrictions apply:

  • spent no more than 270 days outside the UK during those 3 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

4. Good Character

This relates to criminality and immigration breaches. This also includes convictions and sentences imposed from outside of the UK. It is always best to declare all forms of criminality and breaches such as fines because it is far more detrimental to withhold such information which can amount to deception. It is highlighted that an application can be refused on grounds of deception.