New Citizenship Programs for the United Kingdom – How to Apply
The UK is a great place to live, work, and play. But did you know that by becoming a citizen of Britain, you can get a passport that allows visa-free travel? It also comes with loads of benefits and perks. Would you like to apply?
An interesting aspect of starting a new life in the United Kingdom is that there are many different options to obtain citizenship within the United Kingdom, not just one method. This means that you can either apply for citizenship directly after getting a permanent residence or choose to invest in the United Kingdom first, then apply for citizenship later on. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to consider all of your options before making any decisions that will have long-lasting effects on your life and future endeavors. For more information about these programs, see the following guide on how to apply for citizenship in the United Kingdom.
About Citizenship Programs for the United Kingdom.
The UK has one of the most generous citizenship programs in place. Along with requiring a set number of years of continuous residence in any country, applicants must have good English-language skills and pass various exams, including a Life in UK test that helps determine your knowledge of British history and culture. From there, you can apply for citizenship at your local embassy or consulate.
However, it’s important to note that if you plan on applying for naturalization as an adult, you must hold indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status first. ILR is a permanent residency status granted after five years of living in Britain under any immigration category other than asylum seeker or refugee.
Now let's take a look at the step in which you can apply, however here we are going to be discussing the four major ways you can apply for United Kingdom citizenship.
4 steps to applying for New Citizenship in the United Kingdom.
Take a look at what new citizenship programs are available and which ones might be right for you. Use these four steps to apply and become a British citizen:
- Be of Good Character.
- Complete an English Test
- Live in the UK for a certain amount of time.
- File your application
However, don’t forget that if you want to get married or have children, you will need additional documents. Now Let’s take a closer look at each step.
Be of good character (criminal record check)
To gain British citizenship, all applicants must show they have been living in England and Wales for five years. Those who have spent any time incarcerated during that period will not be able to apply no matter how long they’ve lived there overall unless they can prove their release was unjust or unlawful (if, say, their rights were violated).
To clear up any doubts about your criminal record before filing your application, contact Home Office officials by phone or email to ask about specific circumstances that may affect your eligibility.
You should also provide them with details on any convictions you have had. If you are unsure if you qualify, it is best to err on the side of caution and request more information from immigration officials than provide too little information and risk losing your chance to become a citizen.
Complete an English test
Applicants between 18-65 years old must pass an English language test if they do not already hold British citizenship or another form of UK residence permit (such as indefinite leave to remain) that requires them to speak English. The easiest way to do so is by taking one of two government tests: The IELTS Academic Test, which costs $400 per person, or The Life in the UK Te, which costs $200 per person.
Live in Britain for a certain amount of time.
There are two ways to meet these requirements. The first option is if you have completed five years of continuous lawful residence in Britain before applying for citizenship. In other words, you would need to move there legally and live there continuously without leaving for more than six months after moving there until applying.
Meanwhile, the second option is to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of life in Britain. This means completing a questionnaire showing that you understand things like why people drive on the left side of the road, what happens when someone dies without a will, and whether or not it's acceptable to call 999 when reporting a crime.
File your application.
Once you've passed both exams and met all residency requirements, you'll need to submit your citizenship application along with proof of identity documents such as birth certificates or passports. You'll also need to pay £1,282 (USD 1,828) in fees unless you're eligible for a fee waiver due to low income. After submitting your paperwork, expect a wait time of around three months before receiving notification that your application has been accepted or denied.
Costs of naturalization
The cost of UK citizenship is £1,278.50 (excluding fees). If you were born in a country that is not a European Economic Area (EEA) member state or Switzerland and you are applying as an adult, there will be an additional fee of £1,033 if your current nationality is not listed on your British passport or £921 if it is listed.
Requirements for British citizenship by birth
British citizenship can be obtained by birth if at least one parent is a British citizen or a citizen of any EU country. You are also eligible if you were born in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Your parents must have been residents in those areas for at least three years before your birth. If you have not already settled status in any other way, British citizenship will be granted automatically once you turn 18.
Requirements for British citizenship by descent.
To be eligible for British citizenship by descent, you must: have a British parent; or have a parent who was born in Britain but is not a British citizen, or have at least one grandparent who was born in Britain and is also not a British citizen. You cannot apply if your father was born outside of Britain before 1949 and you were never registered as a citizen.
Eligibility requirements of British citizenship by marriage.
The applicant must have been married to their British citizen spouse for at least one year immediately before applying. An applicant can also qualify if they have been in a relationship with their British citizen partner, but not living together, and were either engaged to be married or had plans to marry within three months of applying. In addition, an applicant must meet other general eligibility requirements including being aged 18 or over; being of sound mind; having sufficient knowledge about life in Britain; and having sufficient knowledge about the English language and life in Britain. If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parents’ permission to apply for citizenship by marriage.
British citizenship by adoption
If you are under 18 years old and have been adopted by a British citizen, you may be eligible for citizenship by adoption. Adopting a child who is not a British citizen but is resident in Britain can be done without having to leave your home country, so you must contact your nearest British consulate as soon as possible if you wish to take advantage of these new programs.
The UK has strict laws regarding international adoptions, which means there are many restrictions on where children can come from and how they must be processed. You will need to discuss all of these matters with your local consulate before beginning any paperwork or submitting an application.
The cost of adopting a child through one of these programs is also significant ranging from $5,000-USD 15,000 so make sure you discuss all financial aspects with your local consulate before beginning any procedures.
Naturalization is another country while a UK citizen
There are several ways you can apply for citizenship, depending on your circumstances. If you’re over 18 and married to a UK citizen or registered civil partner, you can apply through marriage.
You’ll need to have been married or in a registered civil partnership for at least three years before applying, and you must be able to speak English. There is also an accelerated process if your husband or wife has died and left behind children under 18. Another option is naturalization by residence, which means living legally in another country for five continuous years with no more than six months' absence.
To qualify, you must be a legal resident of that country and meet certain criteria related to employment status, income level, and criminal record. You can only naturalize after living there for five years if you’ve spent time outside of that country during those five years; otherwise, it will take 10 continuous years of residence instead.