British Citizenship – Applying for Naturalisation or Registration

Naturalisation as a British citizen is a significant life decision, and it is best that you consult an immigration specialist before proceeding with your application. As a niche law firm specialising in UK immigration law, our lawyers are uniquely qualified to provide all the help you require to ensure your application is successful.


What does naturalisation involve?

Naturalisation is the process most adult applicants must undergo in order to become a British citizen. If your application is successful (see the required criteria below) you will gain the full range of rights enjoyed by nationals of the UK. Our solicitors can assist you through this journey and maximise your chances for a successful application.

Who can apply for naturalisation for British citizenship?

Once you have settled in the UK and lived here legally for five years, or three years if you are married to a British citizen, you may be eligible to naturalise as British. Before you begin your naturalisation application, you must also meet the following requirements:

  • You must be aged 18 or over
  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable level
  • You must be of good character. For example, you must not have a recent criminal record
  • You must possess a full understanding of the step you are taking and the legal implications of becoming a British citizen
  • You must have sufficient knowledge about life in the UK
  • You must intend to continue to live in the UK or to continue in Crown service, following the acceptance of your naturalisation application

Rules for children

To become British, children must undergo a registration process. The best approach may be determined by factors such as where and when the child was born and the status of the parents. Latitude Law can advise you on the best route available for your child.  Our lawyers have particular expertise in complex cases involving adoption and surrogacy. For an application form and guidance, visit the government website.

British Citizenship Q&As

Am I eligible for British Citizenship by Naturalisation?

Yes, if you hold settled status in the UK, have lived in the UK for the last 5 years or 3 years if you are married to a British citizen, have not been out of the country for more than a certain number of days, and are of “good character”.

How long does it take to apply for British Naturalisation?

The Home Office state that they aim to complete naturalisation applications within 6 months of submission. Of course, this period is not set in stone and applications can sometimes be met with delays.

What documents are required before I start the Naturalisation process?

Before beginning the process, you will need to pass a Life in the UK test and, if you do not meet the English language requirement in another way (i.e. by being a national of a majority speaking English country or by having a degree taught in English), an English language test.

How will previous convictions affect my application?

Previous convictions will be considered when looking at the good character requirement. Having a previous conviction may not automatically mean that your application will be refused. However, having such a conviction will make your application more difficult. The type (ie custodial or non-custodial) and length of any sentence are relevant, as is the nature of the crime itself and whether it was a one-off offence or part of a more persistent pattern of offending.

Can I apply for British Citizenship as an EEA national?

Yes, if you have been granted a permanent residence card and can meet the other requirements.

How do I apply for a British passport?

You can apply for a British passport at the same time as making a naturalisation application if you use the online process and the nationality document return service. This service allows you to keep your documents whilst your application is being processed but is only run by certain local authorities. If you do not use this service, you can apply for a British passport once your naturalisation application has been approved and you have been granted a certificate of naturalisation.

Contact Latitude Law

If you have any questions regarding any of the above criteria, your eligibility to apply for British citizenship or simply require legal advice on UK naturalisation or registration of children, feel free to contact the experienced immigration and nationality lawyers at Latitude Law.

Call 0161 234 6800 or complete our enquiry form and make an appointment with an immigration solicitor to discuss your naturalisation application. We can arrange appointments in our London, Liverpool, or Manchester offices, or we can take your instructions via email, phone, or Skype.

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