In March 2020, the UK Government announced that migrant doctors, nurses, and paramedics working on the frontline would automatically have their visas extended for one year free of charge, as a token of appreciation. The British public has shown key workers a great amount of gratitude for their efforts in fighting the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. However, as the death rate continues to increase, recent polls suggest that the majority of people in the UK now support granting British citizenship to frontline migrant workers. At present, there has been no comment from the UK Government in respect of this.
What is British Citizenship?
British citizenship is a legal term given to subjects who have been awarded citizenship in the United Kingdom under the British Nationality Act 1981. There are a number of different routes to British citizenship based on personal circumstances, which are all governed by the British Nationality Act 1981.
Increase in support for British citizenship for migrant frontline workers?
A recent poll commissioned by the charity ‘Hope Not Hate’ shows a change of attitude towards migrant frontline workers. The hostility that was present in society has been replaced with kindness and appreciation in these tough times. We have witnessed the public come out in thousands every Thursday to applaud the efforts of frontline workers. The British public has recognised that these frontline workers are risking their lives in combatting COVID-19 and should be rewarded. The results of the recent poll conducted suggested that 77% of EU nationals working on the frontline should be offered automatic British citizenship. In addition to the frontline workers, 62% backed automatic British citizenship for care workers. Labour MP Clive Lewis has welcomed the proposal stating:
“It seems pretty clear the British people are way ahead of the curve compared with the government on this issue. The vast majority of us instinctively understand that when people, irrelevant of nationality, put their lives on the line for all of us, there should be no question of them being offered British citizenship. “But it also raises the question of why it takes a devastating pandemic to make this point. Those same people did the same essential jobs before the pandemic broke out. Politicians across the political spectrum should be re-evaluating the whole notion of citizenship and who should be eligible. Why should only the wealthy be entitled to fast-track citizenship when we now realise all workers play a critical role in our nation’s social and economic well being?”
As it stands the UK government has not commented or published guidance on this and it is unlikely that there will be an automatic entitlement to British citizenship for frontline workers. However, our Immigration Team is providing a 50% discount to frontline workers on British citizenship applications until 1 October 2020.
Is it worth getting British Citizenship?
For most economic migrants and their family members, obtaining British citizenship is their ultimate goal in the United Kingdom. If you are granted citizenship, you will have unrestricted rights to remain in the United Kingdom without being subject to the Immigration Rules or EEA regulations. This means you will no longer be required to apply for visas periodically. British citizens can enter and leave as they wish, as you will have a legal and unrestricted right of abode in the United Kingdom. Further, you will also have access to a number of different non-visa national countries (this may change on 1 January 2021). Citizens will also have access to schools, hospitals, and social benefits at no extra cost.
What are the different types of British?
There are a number of different routes to British citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1981. The main two methods of obtaining British citizenship is registering under Section 4A to 4J of the British Nationality Act 1981 or Naturalising as a citizen under Section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981. However, there are other routes as well such as a British overseas citizen, a British protected person, a British subject, or a British national (overseas). The law has changed and if are you born in the United Kingdom you are longer entitled to British citizenship. Your entitlement will dependant on the parent’s circumstances.
How to apply for British citizenship as a frontline worker?
Frontline workers who have acquired indefinite leave to remain can apply for British citizenship by way of Naturalisation under Section 6 (1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 which stipulates:
“If, on an application for naturalisation as a British citizen made by a person of full age and capacity, the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant fulfils the requirements of Schedule 1 for naturalisation as such a citizen under this subsection, he may, if he thinks fit, grant to him a certificate of naturalisation as such a citizen”.
The basic requirements for a British Citizenship application are:
- You must be at least 18 years or over (if you are applying under Section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981);
- You must meet the ‘Good Character’ requirement and show that you are of sound mind;
- You must consider the UK as your principal place of home and have documentary evidence;
- You must meet the residency requirement and not have excessive absences from the UK; and
- You must meet the English language requirement and show you have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
How our immigration solicitors can help with a British citizenship application?
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise British citizenship applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful citizenship applications for a range of clients; from EU member state countries and the rest of the world. The key to submitting a successful British citizenship application is being aware of the relevant legal requirements under the British Nationality Act 1981 and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the citizenship application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful British citizenship application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for British citizenship. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules/law.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules/law.
Successful British citizenship applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a British citizenship application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of citizenship application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the British Nationality Act 1981.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss an application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.