From 6 April 2015, applicants registering or naturalising as British Citizens will have to submit their biometric information as part of their application. This change also applies to non-EU nationals who are applying for a Residence Card, Derivative Residence Card or Permanent Residence Card. The reason for this new immigration requirement is to enable the UK Home Office to identify which individuals have the right to be in the UK.
Difference Between a Residence Card & Biometric Residence Card
AApplicants who are applying to become a British Citizen from outside the UK will have to submit their biometric information at their nearest UK Visa Centre. However, if applicants are traveling to the UK or are in the UK they can submit their biometric information at a UK Post Office.
Applicants who are successfully granted British Citizenship will receive a Residence Card (RC) which takes a similar form to a Biometric Residence Card. It is the size of a credit card with the applicant’s name, date of birth, nationality, status in the UK and their photograph. Although, a Residence Card and a Biometric Residence Card may look similar they represent very different things as explained by a UK Home Office Official:
“The RC is different to a BRP, which are issued to certain non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control. RCs are issued to non-EEA nationals who have a right of residence in the UK under European Union law.”
According to the Home Office’s Immigration Statistics there is an increasing number of applications being made by those who wish to make the UK their permanent home and wish to obtain a British passport. In the last 5 years covering the period of January 2010 to June 2014:
- 687,885 Adults have made visa applications to obtain British citizenship; and
- 211160 Children have made visa applications to obtain British citizenship.
Eligibility of Become a British Citizen
The UK has become a desirable destination for students, entrepreneurs, investors and family members of those settled in the UK. There are a number of different ways for an individual to become a British Citizen. The most common route is through ‘Naturalisation’. This can be achieved if:
- You’re 18 or over
- You’re of good character, eg you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record
- You’ll continue to live in the UK
- You’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
- You meet the residency requirement
Furthermore, there are a number of requirements that you must meet in order to have a successful application for British Citizenship. Such as residing in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application, have not spent more than 450 days outside the UK for the duration of those 5 years and spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months.
To understand more on your eligibility of applying for Naturalisation / British Citizenship we can arrange for you to have a detailed consultation at our London office. In order to make a successful application we will assess your immigration history to ensure that you are compliant with the UK Immigration rules.
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.