We are specialist immigration solicitors within Croydon and Central London and have a strong reputation in assisting clients with British Citizenship. We offer competitive pricing and offer a bespoke nationality service to all our clients.
There are many advantages in becoming a British Citizen, especially if you intend to live permanently in the UK.
British Citizenship may be obtained as a right by operation of the law, as an entitlement through the process of registration or by naturalisation at the discretion of the Home Office. Whichever method you use, this area of law is highly complex and there are detailed rules and requirements to be met and you should seek our advice before applying.
If an application for citizenship either by registration or naturalisation is refused, there is no right of appeal and any application fee paid to the Home Office is not refundable. It is therefore important that you obtain good quality and professional legal advice so as to ensure that your application has the best possible chance of success.
British Citizenship By Registration
There are many circumstances under which a person may be entitled to register for British Citizenship. Registration is a simpler method of acquiring citizenship than naturalisation, but only certain people are eligible.
Currently, registration is normally reserved for children under 18 in the following circumstances:
- Children born in the UK where a parent obtains British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain after the child is born.
- Children born in the UK who live in the UK until the age of 10.
- Children born to a British father who is not married to the mother.
- Certain children born outside the UK to a British citizen.
- Children under 18 who are adopted outside the United Kingdom by British citizens
- Children for whom the Secretary of State is willing to exercise her discretion to grant nationality, such as children in care and children who were born outside the UK who are older teenagers who have spent the majority of their lives in the UK.
Adults may also be entitled to be registered as British Citizens in some circumstances:
- Persons born outside the UK to a British born or naturalised mother.
- British Overseas citizens, British subjects, British Nationals overseas and – British protected persons.
- Persons who have no other nationality.
In some cases, citizenship can be gained through registration as a matter of right provided all the requirements are met. However, in most cases being registered as a British citizen by the Home Office is a discretionary decision and the criteria for such decisions are not fully set out in the legislation. This makes it all the more important to seek our advice before any application is made.
British Citizenship by Naturalisation
Naturalisation is the method by which a foreign national who is settled in the UK may acquire British citizenship.
For most people, becoming a citizen by naturalisation is not overly complicate but bearing in mind that the Home Office may choose to refuse an application for naturalisation even where the applicant meets all the legal requirement, it is advisable to seek professional legal advice from a UK based firm of Solicitors that has experience of naturalisation and visa services before you apply.
To qualify and to apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen, a foreign national living in the UK must obtain settled status either through marriage to a person settled in the UK or through length of residence in the UK. However, there are additional requirements of the rules which must be met such as age, length of residence in the UK, whether you intend to live permanently in the UK and whether you are of good character. You will also be required to show that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the UK.
We also offer advice on British citizenship applications for EEA and Swiss citizens. An EEA or Swiss citizen may apply for naturalisation if he or she can prove that they have a right of permanent residence in the UK and satisfies additional rules.
For further information and a free telephone consultation, call our Central London or Croydon offices today on 0344 444 8216 and speak to one of our senior lawyers.