Bishop & Sewell Established 40 years

What is it?

Those who have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, or in the case of EEA nationals and their family members hold evidence that they have acquired permanent residence, may be eligible to apply to naturalise as a British citizen.

What are the main requirements?

Applicants for naturalisation as a British citizen must demonstrate that:

  • they are over 18 years old;
  • they are of good character and sound mind;
  • they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test;
  • they have not broken any immigration laws whilst in the UK;
  • they intend to make the UK their principal home;
  • they have spent less than 90 days outside of the UK in the last 12 months; and
  • they have been free from immigration controls for at least 12 months (unless married to a British citizen).

Applicants must also meet the residency requirement by demonstrating that:

  • they have lived in the UK for at least five years before the date of application; and
  • they have spent less than 450 days outside the UK during the five year period.

If an applicant is married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, then the residency requirement is reduced. In this case, the applicant must demonstrate that:

  • they have lived in the UK for at least three years before the date of application; and
  • they have spent less than 270 days outside the UK during the three years.

In certain cases, it is possible for applicants who have been absent from the UK for longer periods of time to qualify.

How we can help?

The requirements of naturalisation are highly prescriptive and the Home Office routinely refuse applications that do not fully comply with the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981 and guidance. Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers will assist in preparing and submitting your application to achieve the best possible outcome.

If you’d like to discuss matters further, please email our Immigration team on or complete the online enquiry form on this page.

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