It is worth bearing in mind, EEA Nationals who currently hold a Certificate of Permanent Residency, may be required to switch into a new ‘Settled Status’ in order to qualify to Naturalise. However the rules have not changed yet.
Naturalisation & Citizenship
Applying for Naturalisation in the UK – One of the processes of obtaining British citizenship is via naturalisation. The most common routes you may apply under are the Worker and Family routes.
Routes to Naturalisation as a British Citizen
Family route, 3 year rule – the applicant must be married to a British citizen, hold ILR and have resided in the UK for a full 3 years. The three year rule is only applicable for those who came on a settlement visa under the Family route prior to the rule change in July 2012.
Family & Worker Route, 5 year rule – is on the basis of having held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Permanent Residency (for EEA Members and their family members) after previously spending a continuous period of 5 years on a visa route which leads to settlement, such as those on work related visas or those who have applied for a spouse visa.
Naturalisation – Process
- All applications must be made in the UK.
- You cannot apply using the Premium Service.
- You may apply online or via the postal route.
- You must have been physically present in the UK at the beginning of the 3 or 5 year period.
- Unless you are exempt you are required to meet the Knowledge of Life and Language in the UK requirement known as KoLL.
- 3 year rule: having spent no more than 270 days in total outside of the UK in the most recent 3 years.
- 5 year rule: having spent no more than 450 days outside the UK in the last 5 years.
- You are of good character.
- You have a referee who is a professional and has known you for more than 3 years.
- Your application may take up to 6 months to process.
- Your referee must have known you for at least three years.
- You may be called for interview.
- If your application is successful you will be invited to a Citizenship Ceremony.
After your application has been approved you will be invited to book your citizenship ceremony.
- The ceremony is available for persons over 18 years.
- You are permitted to take up to 2 guests with you to the ceremony.
- Additionally, you must take your invitation when you go to your ceremony.
- Your ceremony will usually take place in a Registrar office close to where you live.