Discover the criteria and process for acquiring British citizenship. Learn about eligibility, documents needed, and steps

British Citizenship Requirements

What conditions must you meet to become a citizen of Great Britain? At the last stage of your trip to UK Immigration, your goal is achieving British citizenship. Following the citizenship, others feel like they have become one of the UK nationals in a similar way and that also entitles them to own a British passport.

If one wants to become a British citizen, one needs to have been a resident of the UK for a set amount of time, but this timeframe depends on different types of visas. You also need to meet some Knowledge of Language & Life (KoLL) requirements; meaning, you have to prove your ability in the English language and pass the Life in UK Test.

Pathways to British Citizenship

There are several pathways to becoming a British citizen, including:


This path eventually makes British citizenship eligibility accessible for adult applicants who were not born here.


Alternative for citizens from an island nation created specifically for applicants with particular forms of British nationality or links to the United Kingdom.

By Birth in the UK (Ius Soli)

Any one of the parents should be British or a settled person at the time of birth of the child.

By Birth Abroad (Ius Sanguinis)

The child born out of Britain to British parents won’t be British automatically without documentary evidence. The application of a child under the age group of 18 years is required to be submitted by the child’s parents in the filled MN1 application form before the child turns 18.

By Adoption

In case an adoption order proceeds before the child turns 18 and is finalized by a judge in England.

English Language Requirements for UK Citizenship

To become a UK national you can evidence your knowledge of English, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic by passing a test that assesses your listening and speaking abilities at the B1 level. Only Any English test qualifications from authorized centers will be deemed valid as well as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) certificates or those granted by the London Trinity Knowledge. Some nationals may be exempt from this requirement.

The Life in the UK Test

The Life in the UK Test is the crossroad of the route to British citizenship and it is one of the significant steps in your path to acquire UK citizenship. The online examination is composed of multiple choice questions with 24 questions and different topics, such as the history of the British, their culture of tradition values, and lifestyle. The test is fifty pounds, and if you do not pass on the first attempt; you can retake as many times as needed until you pass. The part of the Immigration Rules, where IRR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) requires the Test for Life (B1 English language qualification), is not applicable for you if you have already passed this test as part of your ILR application, or if you are under 18 or over 65. To get ready for a test you can use an official handbook made by the Home Office or an app provided by them, downloaded to your mobile device.

Residency Requirements for British Citizenship

Whether you have entered the United Kingdom through the normal visa process or other immigration channels, the mandatory qualifying period to settle in the UK and become a British citizen without authorization is five years. The spouse of a national could get an exception with the condition of having resident status for three years in the country.

The key point is the fact that for the four and a half years of the application time, you cannot leave the UK for more than 450 days in total (270 days if you apply for British citizenship by marriage). Moreover, 12 12-month’ eligible period must not have been interrupted by your 90-day absence from your native country’s territory. If you are the one who has to be going abroad, give reasons and provide documents as evidence or explained statements for each absence. The Home Office may then decide to carry out the check based on those strong reasons.

The “Good Character” Requirement for UK Naturalization

Applicants to take on the role of British citizens have to show off their good character. To put it simply, they will have to show …so that they can work with confidence, get promoted, and be professionally recognized. The Home Office will investigate your case and find out and evaluate different aspects of your background, including your immigration history, your financial condition, and your criminal record. Convicts with custodial sentences exceeding four years will automatically be deemed to lack good character, resulting in rejection of their application. Failure to disclose your full criminal history and provide required documents to UK officials will also lead to rejection.

How Convictions Abroad Impact Good Character

A plea bargain will be accepted in legal cases abroad if the sentences are equivalent to those in the UK legal system. If your application involves a conviction for an offense not recognized under UK law and is therefore unrelated, it may be accepted as an ‘exceptional grant,’ provided you do not have any other convictions deemed dangerous. Failure to disclose such information without evidence of lack of awareness can result in the application being denied. The services of UK immigration lawyers known to help clients when they have issues that render their eligibility to hold British citizenship in question are available.

Applying for British Citizenship

Being in the industry of UK immigration for decades, our lawyers have enough credentials to handle Citizenship applications for the British Community. We also understand how important this responsibility is and, therefore, we will guide you throughout every of the implementation stages. Our amongst service, we can securely and accurately complete and submit your application forms for you.

Freedom from Immigration Restrictions Requirement

An important condition for obtaining the nationality of British States obligates the applicant to be free from any immigration restrictions or limitations whatever the period.
You must meet this requirement by holding settled status in the UK during the twelve months before you submit your application.. Based on your nationality, this could be the result of ILR (indeterminate leave to remain), approved permanent residence cards, or settled status from the EU. The Home Office will ask for more info, along with your requirements, plus proof of your actual immigration status and the UK visa you used to live in the country.

Requirements for British Citizenship Registration

Knowledge of English (KoLL) is not present in the British registration way, which is for those persons with close connections with the UK to apply. Usually from among the British Overseas Citizens, Protected People, or Subject Class British, like children of UK nationals with the necessary qualifications, registration for UK citizenship is quite possible. The applicants have to provide proof that they have been living in the UK for continuous uninterrupted five years, which has not included over 450 days of absence from the country, and a full criminal record declaration to show that the character they have is good.

How Many Days Can You Stay Outside the UK for a British Citizenship Application

To obtain a British citizenship permit, reside in the UK for a specified time and avoid trips outside the country exceeding six months before applying You aren’t eligible for citizenship if you haven’t been out of the UK for over 450 days within the 5 years. Furthermore, you must be present for up to one month of absence in the past 12 months.

Compliance with immigration rules in the UK for example required documentation or having a visa or settled status is essential during your qualification period.

Requirements for British Citizenship by Marriage

A British citizen’s partner can consider the case of them becoming a British national if they have lived within the country as settled persons for three years. To qualify for British citizenship, spouses must meet the following criteria:

Hold the principle of retained rights for at least three years afterward, and have a permanent residence card or EU-settled status before applying.

In any case, be at least 18 years old.

This is the last step. You shall have a kindhearted character or no deep criminal convictions abroad or in the UK.

Prove competency in both written and spoken English either by an ESOL examination or showing their nationality among Anglophonic countries.

Achieve a high score in the Life in the UK Test and therefore get a passing mark.

Passing on Citizenship to a Child

Children born in the UK do not get UK citizenship, and this is when at least one of their parents is not British. Immigrant children need to wait until one of their parents acquires British citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), a senior naturalization status, before they become eligible to be registered as British citizens. In order to qualify for British citizenship, children must fulfill the following eligibility criteria

One parent must possess either UK nationality or settled status (for those born in the UK) or other citizenship (outside the UK), other than for descent (for those born overseas).

For children born before 2006, If the father is British citizen or has settled status and the parents not married, their children does not acquire British citizenship by right of descent.

Whoever they are, children who are mature enough to understand the law must display good conduct if they are 10 years or older.

An adopted child of UK citizens only needs to meet one requirement to become a UK national: the adoption court order must come from a British court or a court of a British overseas territory.

Requirements for British Naturalization

As per the British Nationality Act 1981, the mandatory requirements for UK naturalization are as follows:

  • Be eighteen or older.
  • Pledging for the good health of mind, which implies free from mental defects.
  • You should possess citizen status of the United Kingdom for a time spanning five years (or three standing for marriage with a British citizen or a settled person).
  • Stay out of the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for over one hundred and twenty months before the naturalization application.
  • No time spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the residence which was till five years, and 90 days or fewer in the last 12-month period.
  • Possess good character, with no breaches of UK immigration rules
  • Achieve the required level of English proficiency and gain knowledge about life in the UK before residing in the country for a year.
  • One of the purposes is always the intention of the British government or any establishment based in the UK.

British Citizenship Application Form

To apply for British citizenship, applicants must fill in Form AN (Application of Naturalization), adults and Form MN1 (Applications of Naturalization as a British citizen), and children. Most applicants can access and submit the form online.

However, this may not be possible for those who are living in countries where there is little or no Internet access. The application process is the place where you would need to give the reasons why you want to be a British citizen and the conditions under which you would, for example, terms and conditions. You should submit additional documents, such as admission settings, evidence of your good character, your job status, identity proof, and so on.

In case your application is based on a marriage, you should demonstrate your genuine marriage as well. Furthermore, you need to complete a comprehensive application that includes two personal referees who have known you for at least three years.

Renouncing British Citizenship

You can renounce your British citizenship if you choose to. This is a condition when you want to become a foreign citizen and therefore your home country doesn’t allow holding two citizenships at once. The UK permits the British population to possess dual citizenship so it is not obligatory to give up your British nationality. Make sure to get a thorough legal counsel before making this decision because it is of critical importance.  Once you apply to renounce your British nationality, you will receive a “declaration of renunciation” as proof that you are no longer a British citizen. This change in status does not affect other family members, and they will remain British nationals. To apply for the removal of your British citizenship status, you must be at least 18 years old. You can also reclaim your status in the future if you still meet the criteria for British nationality.

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