British Citizenship

British Citizenship

Pahl & Associates can assist you with your application for British Citizenship

Why apply for British Citizenship?

What Is British Citizenship?

British Citizenship is the final UK immigration process for foreign nationals who have held permanent residence for at least 1 year. This process only obtains a certificate of British citizenship. Afterwards, you will then apply for a passport using this certificate as evidence. With British citizenship, you will be free from all immigration control and be ale to travel to many countries in the world without a visa such as Europe, USA and Canada. You can also pass citizenship to your children.

Benefits Of British Citizenship

Unlike visas for short-term residency such as UK visit visas, travel visas or work permits, the British Naturalisation service offers residency in the UK as a British Citizen and imposes no time or UK immigration restrictions upon the holder.  A work visa is not required and successful candidates are free to seek and under take work in Great Britain without immigration constraint. British Citizens can enjoy and use the full range of UK services available without any restrictions that they may have had before. You may have heard the term naturalisation used when talking about British citizenship. This means you become naturalised and a citizen of that nation, in this case the UK.

Routes To British Citizenship



If you have been living in the UK for 5 years or more and had Indefinite Leave to remain for a minimum of 12 months you may be eligible to apply for Citizenship. There are other requirements to be met such as Life in the UK test and residency. If you have travelled out of the UK for too long or had a criminal conviction then you may find you are not able to apply at this time. It is best to seek immigration advice before making an application to ensure you qualify.

Other Routes To B



If you are Married to someone who is a British Citizen you may be able to apply for British citizenship after being in the country for 3 years. Usually, if you came to the UK on a fiance visa, then obtained the further leave to remain visa (FLR) followed by indefinite leave to remain you would be eligible to apply for British citizenship after this 3 year period has been completed. Although there are many visa applications in this route it is the fastest way of becoming naturalised as a British Citizen within the UK visa system.



There are other ways of obtaining British citizenship. Children born to British parents overseas can apply and it is advisable that they apply and obtain their citizenship when possible. Also EEA citizens and their non-EEA family members are able to apply for British Citizenship. The route to citizenship is different for EEA migrants and their family so check the requirements first before applying. Pahl & Associates will be able to assist with your complete application process.

Key Requirements for British Nationality



In order to qualify to naturalise as a British citizen you will need to meet the following key requirements.


You must be aged 18 or over.

You must be of sound mind.
You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.
You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree.
You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
You must be of good character.


Residential requirements

To demonstrate the residential requirements for naturalisation, you must have:

been resident in the UK for at least five years (this is known as the residential qualifying period); and
been present in the UK five years before the date of your application; and
not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the five-year period; and
not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of the five-year period; and
not been in breach of the Immigration Rules at any stage during the five-year period.

Immigration time restrictions

You must be free from immigration time restrictions when you apply for naturalisation. Unless you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen, you should have been free from immigration time restrictions during the last 12 months of the residential qualifying period.


Breach of immigration laws during residential qualifying period

You must have been in the UK legally throughout the residential qualifying period. We may refuse your naturalisation application if you have breached the immigration laws during that period.

European Economic Area nationals and Swiss nationals

If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, or you are the family member of such a person, you will automatically have permanent residence status if you have exercised EEA free-movement rights in the UK for a continuous five-year period ending on or after 30 April 2006. You do not need to apply for leave to remain. You should have held permanent residence status for 12 months before you apply for naturalisation.



British Citizenship FAQs

How Long Will My Application Take?

British citizenship applications can take between 2-6 months. You can’t apply for them via the Premium Same Day Service such as for visa and ILR applications. The application must be mailed. In our experience, the vast majority of applicants have their application approved within 3-4 months. Only complex cases or applications made during peak times are likely to take up to the 6 month processing time

What Are The Main Reasons For Refusal?

We don’t often get refusals as we will not submit an application we deem to not qualify for British Citizenship. Reasons that could result in a refusal of your naturalisation application are:

refusal on good character grounds  related to having a criminal conviction or issues relating to immigration history,
failure to submit the required documents, fee or form
spending too many days out of the UK before you apply
not meeting the general requirements

Can I Apply 28 Days Early?

As a migrant you will be experienced and understand that for each of your visa and ILR applications you could usually apply up to 28 days in advance. For British Citizenship you must wait until you have completed 12 full months with your Indefinite Leave to Remain before submitting the application. If you submit before this you can expect a refusal as you will not meet the requirements.

Do I Have To Take The Life In the UK Test Again?

Once you have sat the Life in the UK test for ILR, then you will not have to take this test again. It is important you include the original test pass certificate with your application. If you lose the certificate for your Life in the UK test you will be required to sit the test again and submit the new certificate.

How can Pahl & Associates assist you and your family in obtaining British Nationality?

Review your immigration history and compliance

We interview you to confrm your UK immigration history and ensure you meet the residency requirements and lawful status in the UK

Check if you qualify under latest British Nationality Law

We confirm that you meet all the current legislation and confirm government fees for your nationality application

Legal Advice & Representation

We professionally prepare your application and advise in relation to essential supporting documentation prior to submission to the Home Office

How can Pahl & Associates assist you with your British Citizenship?

There are a number of steps involved in applying for British Citizenship and each person has their own individual history the details of which may have a direct impact on your application.


Since the introduction of the good character guidance in December 2014, many individuals have been refused naturalisation on the basis of their previous immigration history and lost their substantial application fees.


We will review your immigration history and give you realistic advice as to the prospects of submitting a successful application. 


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