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How to become a British citizen by naturalisation

British passport

British passport

Before applying to become a British citizen, it is advisable to check if you meet the requirements.

While there are different ways to become a British citizen, the most common is called ‘naturalisation’.

You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if:
• you’re 18 or over
• you’re of good character, e.g., you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
• 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

You must usually have:
• lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application
• 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
• been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave) or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national (and you have a permanent residence card or document that shows you have permanent residence)
• had indefinite leave to stay in the UK for the last 12 months (or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national with a permanent residence card or document that shows you have permanent residence)
• not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

How to apply for British citizenship
There are 3 ways to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation:
• You can make an individual application
• You can use the Nationality Checking Service (NCS)
• You use an agent or representative

Applying by making an individual application
To make an individual application, you must fill in Form AN – application for naturalisation as a British citizen

Applying by using the NCS
The NCS is run by local councils and they can help you make your application. Check if your local council has an NCS by clicking here.

Applying through an agent or representative
An agent or representative is a private company or individual that can help you with your application and give you advice. Before seeking the help pf an agent or representative, please check if they are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. Click here to check

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