Naturalisation is the process by which someone can obtain British nationality. There are different routes through which someone can successfully apply for British Naturalisation, and each one has specific requirements that applicants will need to meet. Knowing the applicable route and how to meet the requirements are the vital first steps for someone making a British Naturalisation application.
British Naturalisation: the 3 Years Spouse Qualifying Route
In order to apply for British Naturalisation as the spouse of a British citizen under section 6(2) British Nationality Act 1981, the applicant will need to have been resident in the United Kingdom for prior to making their application. The applicant will need to hold Indefinite Leave to Remain as the spouse of a British citizen or settled person in the United Kingdom before making their application for British Naturalisation, and even if this is the case they will still be required to meet further evidential requirements.
Someone married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen is able to apply for British Naturalisation in this way. The will need to be holding Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least one year, and to have been living in the United Kingdom as a spouse or civil partner for at least three years. When they make their application, this means that the applicant will need to submit evidence of at least three years of residence in the United Kingdom, as well as evidence that they have not been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 270 days over that period, and no more than 90 days of absences in the year prior to the date of application.
British Naturalisation: the 5 Years EEA Qualifying Route
EEA nationals who have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least six years are also able to apply for British Naturalisation. The first step that EEA nationals will need to take, however, is to apply for Permanent Residence. The requirement for EEA nationals to apply for Permanent Residence is through exercising their treaty rights of five years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom. Once they have successfully been awarded Permanent Residence in the United Kingdom, the EEA national will then need to continue holding Permanent Residence for a further year in order to qualify for British Naturalisation. These applications cannot be made at the same time, however, and the EEA national must apply for Permanent Residence before making an application for British Naturalisation.
When making their Permanent Residence application, the EEA national can submit evidence to demonstrate that they have been resident in the United Kingdom for more than the required five years. If the EEA national in fact wishes to apply for British Naturalisation soon after applying for Permanent Residence, it is advisable that they submit evidence to demonstrate they have been resident in the United Kingdom for more than six years. When the Home Office makes their decision on the Permanent Residence application, they will therefore be able to see that the EEA national has been exercising their treaty rights in the United Kingdom for a period that qualifies them for British Naturalisation, and this becomes the starting point for their subsequent British Naturalisation application.
British Naturalisation: Good Character Requirement
As well as those evidence requirements specific to their route of application, all applicants for British Naturalisation are required to demonstrate that they meet the further requirements for good character, English language ability, and knowledge of British society and life. Should an application for British Naturalisation be unsuccessful, it should be noted that there is no right of appeal or right of administrative review. It is possible to seek a judicial review of an unsuccessful application, but before making recourse to judicial review, decisions can now be ‘reconsidered’, meaning that an unsuccessful application could potentially be overturned. Having a decision overturned would require specialist knowledge of the immigration rules, however.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for British Naturalisation
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to apply for British Naturalisation.
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, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful British Naturalisation Applications
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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
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.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.