There are a variety of routes available to obtaining British citizenship. It is important when applying for British citizenship that you have complied with all the requirements under your chosen route. Many people apply to become a British Citizen, 165,693 applications were submitted between March 2019 and March 2020. Of those applications, 163,624 were granted.
The relevant qualifying period of residence
One of the most common routes used to acquire British citizenship is lawfully residing in the United Kingdom for the relevant qualifying period. The relevant qualifying period varies depending on the applicant’s circumstances. In order to be successful under this route, the applicant must either have Indefinite Leave to Remain, permanent residence, or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme prior to applying. If the applicant is married to a British partner, the relevant qualifying period is three years therefore the applicant must have resided in the U.K for three years preceding their application. If the applicant is not married to their British partner, or their partner is from the European Union, then the relevant qualifying period is five years. The applicant must not have left the United Kingdom for more than 450 days in the five years or more than 90 days in the preceding twelve months of the application. Applicants must also have been resident in the United Kingdom five years prior to the exact date of the application.
Applicants must reside a further twelve months in the United Kingdom from the date they obtained their Indefinite Leave to Remain, permanent residence, or settled status prior to applying for British citizenship. For applicants who have Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of their marriage to a British partner, there is no requirement to wait a further twelve months before applying.
Automatic citizenship from a British parent
You may be automatically a British citizen if one of your parents is British, however, you may also need to register as a British Citizen. If you were born in the United Kingdom, on or after 1st January 1983, and one of your parents was a British citizen or had settled status at the time of your birth, then you may automatically be a British Citizen. If you were born in the United Kingdom before 1983, you may automatically be a British citizen if your father was a diplomat working outside the United Kingdom, or he was ‘an enemy alien in occupation’ and you were born in the Channel Islands during World War 2.
If you were born outside the United Kingdom after 1st January 1983, you may still automatically be a British citizen if one of your parents was a British citizen at the time of your birth. This also applies to adopted children.
You may be entitled to register for British citizenship if you are a British national such as a British Overseas citizen, British Protected Person, British Subject, or a British national (overseas). You may also apply if you have worked as a Crown servant at any time. You may automatically be a British citizen if you were registered as a British Overseas Territories citizen in Gibraltar before 21 May 2002. If you were naturalised in Gibraltar after 21 May 2002 or registered in Gibraltar as a minor after 21 May 2002, you may be entitled to apply for British citizenship. If you are stateless or have renounced your citizenship you can apply to register as a British citizen. Lastly, British citizenship can be applied for under the Windrush Scheme if you or one of your parents lived in the United Kingdom prior to 1973 and have not spent more than two years abroad, and you were born in the United Kingdom or you entered the United Kingdom before attaining the age of eighteen.
Please contact John Szepietowski firstname.lastname@example.org at Audley Chaucer for details on this matter or any other legal topic www.audleychaucer.com
Larissa Bourgi February 2021