Applying for British Citizenship

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Eligibility Check

  • Before applying for British citizenship, individuals should thoroughly assess their eligibility. Factors to consider include residency status, immigration history, family ties, and any criminal convictions.
  • Various routes to citizenship exist, such as naturalisation, registration, and citizenship by descent. Each route has specific eligibility criteria that applicants must meet.

Application Cost

  • Applicants should be aware of the financial costs associated with the citizenship application process. This includes the application fee (please see table below), additional fees for tests (such as the Life in the UK Test and English language proficiency test), and any costs for legal advice or assistance.
  • It’s essential to budget for these expenses and ensure the availability of funds to cover them.

Fee Waivers

  • Individuals facing financial hardship may be eligible for fee waivers, which exempt them from paying the citizenship application fee.
  • To qualify for a fee waiver, applicants must provide evidence of their financial situation, including income, savings, and essential living expenses.

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Application Preparation

  • Thorough preparation is crucial before submitting the citizenship application. This includes gathering all required documents, such as proof of identity, residency, English proficiency, and good character.
  • Applicants should ensure that all documents are accurate, up-to-date, and in the required format. Any discrepancies or missing information could delay or jeopardize the application.

Application for Children

  • If applying for British citizenship on behalf of a child under the age of 18, separate application procedures apply.
  • Requirements for child applicants may differ from those for adults, including exemptions from certain tests or criteria. Parents or legal guardians must provide all necessary documentation and meet specific eligibility criteria for their child’s application.

Residency Requirement

  • Applicants must meet residency requirements, which typically involve proving a specified period of lawful residence in the UK.
  • The length of residency required varies depending on the immigration status of the applicant, such as whether they are married to a British citizen or have indefinite leave to remain.

Life in the UK Test

  • Adult applicants are required to pass the Life in the UK Test, which assesses their knowledge of British history, culture, and society.
  • Preparation for the test may involve studying official study guides, taking practice tests, and attending preparation courses if necessary.

English Proficiency

  • Proficiency in the English language is a requirement for British citizenship, unless exempted based on specific criteria (such as nationality, age, or medical conditions).
  • Applicants must demonstrate their English proficiency through a speaking and listening test administered by approved language test providers.

Good Character

  • Applicants must demonstrate ‘good character’ as part of the citizenship application process. This includes disclosing any criminal convictions, outstanding debts, or other relevant information.
  • The Home Office assesses each applicant’s character on a case-by-case basis, considering factors such as rehabilitation and the seriousness of any offenses.


  • Applicants are required to provide details of two referees who can vouch for their identity and character.
  • Referees must meet specific eligibility criteria and should not be family members or legal representatives. They should have known the applicant for a minimum period and be willing to provide accurate information to support the application.

Application Submission

  • Citizenship applications can be submitted online or by post, depending on the applicant’s preference and circumstances.
  • Applicants should ensure that all required documents and information are included with the application and that the application form is completed accurately and truthfully.

Biometric Appointment

  • Upon submission of the application, applicants may be required to attend a biometric appointment to provide fingerprints and photographs for identity verification.
  • This appointment is a mandatory part of the application process and must be completed within a specified timeframe.

Waiting Period

  • The Home Office aims to process citizenship applications within a reasonable timeframe, typically within six months.
  • However, processing times may vary depending on the volume of applications, complexity of cases, and other factors. Applicants should be prepared for possible delays and regularly check the status of their application.

Citizenship Ceremony

  • Successful applicants are required to attend a citizenship ceremony, where they pledge allegiance to the UK and receive their citizenship certificate.
  • The ceremony is a significant milestone in the naturalization process and symbolizes the individual’s commitment to their new status as a British citizen.


  • After obtaining British citizenship, individuals can enjoy various rights and privileges, including the ability to apply for a British passport and vote in UK elections.
  • It’s essential to update personal details with relevant authorities, such as the passport office and electoral register, and comply with all legal obligations as a British citizen.

In the event of an unsuccessful application, applicants have the right to appeal the decision or reapply at a later date. Overall, careful preparation, attention to detail, and adherence to the application guidelines are key to a successful citizenship application and hence the reason why you should obtain specialist advice. Please contact us today in respect of your British citizenship application. 


Application typeFee from 10 April 2024
Naturalisation (British citizenship)£1,500
Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens£1,000
Nationality registration as a British citizen – adult£1,351
Nationality registration as a British citizen – child£1,214
The arrangement of a citizenship ceremony (including the administration of a citizenship oath and pledge at the ceremony).£130
The administration of a citizenship oath, or oath and pledge where the oath, or oath and pledge, are not administered at a citizenship ceremony or by a justice of the peace.£5
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – adult£901
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – child£810
Renunciation of nationality£450
Certificate of Entitlement Nationality Right of Abode (In the UK)£550
Nationality review£450
Status Letter (Nationality)£429
Non-acquisition Letter (Nationality)£429
Nationality correction to certificate£400
Nationality – supply of a certified copy of a notice, certificate, order or declaration£400
Nationality reissued Certificate£400

Frequently Asked Questions

Before applying, assess your residency status, immigration history, family ties, and any criminal convictions.

Yes, routes include naturalisation, registration, and citizenship by descent, each with specific eligibility criteria.

Costs include the application fee, additional fees for tests (e.g., Life in the UK Test, English proficiency), and any legal advice fees.

Fee waivers are available for those facing financial hardship, requiring evidence of financial situation for eligibility.

Gather all required documents, ensuring accuracy and completeness to avoid delays or rejections.

Documents may include proof of identity, residency, English proficiency, and good character.

Yes, separate procedures apply, with requirements differing from those for adults.

Parents or legal guardians, meeting specific eligibility criteria.

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