UK Immigration: Decrease in Foreign Nationals Acquiring British Citizenship

This month, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford revealed that the number of foreign nationals being granted Naturalisation / British Citizenship was at its lowest in 2014. According to the statistics, in 2014  just under 125,800 foreign citizens naturalised as British citizens. This is the lowest number of applications for citizenship in the UK  since 2002. 

5% of British Citizenship Applications Refused in 2014

The main route towards Naturalisation / British Citizenship is through residency, marriage and registration of minor children. The number of foreign nationals being granted citizenship between 2000 to 2013 increased in the above mentioned categories. 50% of naturalisations in 2014 were of foreign nationals who have lived in the UK for five years, plus one additional year as a settled resident. Most of the other half is split between spouses and civil partners of British citizens and minor children registering as citizens. However,  in 2014 the decline in citizenship granted also took place across all of three main categories.

According to the Migration Observatory 5% of citizenship applications were rejected in 2014. A possible reason for this may be the introduction of  the Life in the UK test and more stringent English language requirements in 2004. Furthermore, the majority of refusal of applications for Naturalisation are due to applicants  failure to meet either the residence or the ‘good character’ requirements.

Dr Scott Blinder who conducted the study stated:

“In 2014, 125,800 foreign citizens naturalised as British citizens. This was a 40 per cent decline from 2013, when citizenship grants reached almost 208,000, the largest annual number since records began in 1962. According to the Home Office the 2013 peak in citizenship grants followed an increase in applications in advance of changes to language requirements. Lower numbers of citizenship applications are also consistent with recent decreases in grants of settlement … which will have reduced the pool of people newly eligible to apply for citizenship.”

In 2013 individuals originally from India and Pakistan lead the largest groups of newly naturalised British Citizens. 36,351 Naturalisation applications were granted to Indian nationals and 21,655 application were granted to Pakistani national.

Our Expert Immigration Services for British Citizenship Applications

We can help with your naturalisation application and queries. Our expert team of lawyers can assist you with the preparation of your application and ensure that you are eligible under the relevant Immigration Rules. Our city of London Solicitors will have a detailed consultation with you in order to understand your immigration matter, as well as ensuring that you know what is involved in the visa application process.

Applicants who decide to instruct the immigration team at LexLaw will be provided with a detailed document list tailored to their circumstances, detailed legal representations and preparing the application on your behalf before submission to the Home Office. In order to qualify for British citizenship you must be:

  • Minimum age of 18;
  • Sound mind;
  • Intention of having your home in the UK;
  • Sufficient knowledge of English Language;
  • Sufficient knowledge of life in the UK;
  • Good character;
  • Residence requirements; and
  • References.

Want to make an Application for Naturalisation?

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a visa application to the UK step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

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