Here at ATASS we are very aware of the difficulties of coming in to the UK. Though we truly believe that it’s worth all the effort that is involved in getting all the paperwork processed. So therefore we have set out some ideas and some brief information to be able to give you a small but valuable insight in to the rules and regulations of British Citizenship, however we also are able to provide further information for you from within the centre, so all you would have to do is to come down and register with us and we will do all we can to help you in securing citizenship be this through life in the UK test, or English with citizenship, whichever is the most appropriate.
In this section we will be discussing many options of becoming and obtaining citizenship for the UK.
Standard requirements for Naturalisation; (This is NOT the information you need if you are married or a civil partner of a British Citizen, for this you will need to read the information on this page: Spouses & Civil Partners).
There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:
- You must be aged 18 or over.
- You must be of sound mind.
- You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.
- You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable & understandable degree.
- You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
- You must be of good character.
- You must meet the residential requirements (see below).
To demonstrate the residential requirements for naturalisation, you must have:
- Been resident in the UK for at least five years (this is known as the residential qualifying period); and
- Been present in the UK five years before the date of your application; and
- Not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the five-year period; and
- Not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of the five-year period; and
- Not been in breach of the Immigration Rules at any stage during the five-year period.
There are of course exceptions, for example if you are part of the EEA:
The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK.
European Economic Area nationals and Swiss nationals
If you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, or you are the family member of such a person, you will automatically have permanent residence status if you have exercised EEA free-movement rights in the UK for a continuous five-year period ending on or after 30 April 2006. You do not need to apply forleave to remain. You should have held permanent residence status for 12 months before you apply for naturalisation.
If you have been outside the UK for six months or more in any one of the five years of the residence period, you will have broken your residence. This does not apply if:
- the absence was due to military service; or
- all absences were for under 12 months and were for important reasons such as pregnancy, childcare, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.
If you leave the UK for a continuous period of two years or more, you will lose your permanent residence status.
If you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK, you will be considered to be settled here provided that you have not been away for two years or more since you received ILR.