What documents do I need to apply for British Citizenship?

The list of documents you must have to apply for British Citizenship is not very long, but making sure you have the correct certification and proof is vital. On this page we have listed everything you need for a successful application.

British citizen documents checklist

Your application for British Citizenship depends on sending the correct documents across. If they are wrong, you will not be able to apply for citizenship. You will need the following:

  • Proof that you are settled in the UK: in most cases, for at least the past 12 months: e.g. biometric residence permit (BRP), settled status letter under the EUSS scheme, permanent residence card or letter confirming when you obtained permanent residence.
  • Proof that you meet the knowledge of life and language in the UK requirements: To prove that you have passed the Life in the UK Test you must provide your test reference ID. To prove knowledge of the English language, you must have an English qualification at B1 level or higher; a degree taught or researched in English; or come from a majority English-speaking country. If you received your degree abroad, Ecctis equivalence will be required.
  • Evidence of identity: e.g. valid passport, valid travel document or birth certificate. If a document was used as proof of your identity for the Life in the UK or English language tests, this must be submitted with the application.
  • Biometric Evidence: You will be required to provide fingerprints. Children under the age of 6 will not have to do this, but must still provide a photo.
  • Proof of residence in the UK for the relevant period: (this will be for either 3 or 5 years, depending on whether you are married to a British citizen). You must comply with maximum absence requirements during the period, and for the 12 months immediately prior to your application.
  • Proof that you have not been in breach of immigration laws for up to 10 years preceding your application: and evidence that you are otherwise a person of good character, taking account of any criminal convictions including motor offences and fixed penalties.

Additional documents may be required if you are applying on the basis of your marriage to a British Citizen or service to the Crown.

How can I apply?

You can either apply yourself, or hire a legal representative.

If you are planning to apply by yourself, you will need to ensure you have read up on the process, which can be difficult to understand if you are not well-versed in citizenship law and practice.

If you apply online, your appointment will be made through the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS), and here you will be able to provide the necessary identification documents. You can upload digital copies of these onto the service, or provide them at the appointment.

If you apply by post, you will have to provide the same information, but it may take longer to have your information processed.

This process can be complicated, therefore; we suggest that you get an expert immigration solicitor to help you through, like those at Latitude. Our specialists will be able to break down the application and all of the options available to you. We will handle all aspects of your case, from completion of the online form to upload of your supporting evidence and arranging your biometrics appointment.

How much does it cost to apply?

You will have to pay a fee for the handling and processing of your application, which includes a citizenship ceremony fee. If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive a refund on the latter.

If you have been absent from the country

If you have left the country within the required time period for you to have applied, you will have to make sure you are within specified limits or your application may not be successful.

Firstly, you must have been in the UK for 3 or 5 years before you can apply, and you must provide evidence of this. Absences are limited to 450 days over 5 years, or 270 days over 3 years. In both cases, you are restricted to 90 days abroad in the 12 months before you apply. Latitude Law’s solicitors work regularly with Home Office policy which can in some instances allow excess absences for good reason.

Do you need help with your British citizenship application?

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