Naturalization is one of the legal process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. In the UK it is by Statute an application will need to be made to the Home Office. To decide to become a British citizen is a significant life changing event. The key advantages are that it allows the applicant to apply for a British citizen passport, British citizenship also have the right of abode. It also gives you the opportunity to participate more fully in the life of your local community. In order for an application to succeed there are a number of requirements that are set out in the British Nationality law which will need to be satisfied. If the applicant currently holds another nationality and are thinking of retaining it, then they need to check whether they will be able to hold dual nationality. For some countries a person will lose their former nationality if they hold another.
The good character Requirement
This is no tightly defined. All criminal convictions including motor offices have to be declared. Fixed penalty notices (such as speeding or parking tickets) must be disclosed, although they will not normally be taken into account. Drink driving offences must be declared. If the applicant has any endorsements on their driving license they must access the DVLA website to download and print a summary of their record and send it with their application. A driving conviction may not be disregarded despite any penalty points being removed from your driving license. Applicants must give details of all civil judgments which have resulted in a court order being made against them as well as any civil penalties under the UK Immigration Acts. If the applicant has been declared bankrupt at any time they must give details of the bankruptcy proceedings. Applications are unlikely to succeed if the applicants is an undischarged bankrupt. It is important to make a full and frank disclosure, all cautions warnings must be disclosed even if they are spent. The laws regarding spent convictions have tightened recently, so it is important to check.
In order to calculate whether an applicant meets the residence requirement enter the day you first arrived with a view to staying in the UK on a long-term basis. If this is less than 5 years before the date the application is submitted or less than 3 years (if you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen) then an applicant might not meet the residence requirement. It is also important to check and ensure that the applicant was physically present in the UK 5 years (3 years if you are married to or in civil partnership with a British citizen) before the date that the application will be received by the Home Office. If this is not met then it is unlikely to be successful, unless they were in the UK armed forces at that time.
To satisfy the residence requirement the applicant must not have been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months. The total number of day’s absence for the whole 5 year period should not exceed 450. If you are married to, or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, the total number of day’s absence for the whole 3 year period should not exceed 270. There is discretion to disregard absences in excess of these limits. So all may not be lost here but it’s important to check before applying.
Sufficient Knowledge of language and life in the UK
Under Schedule 1 of the BNA 1981 applicants must t show knowledge of English or Scottish Gaelic and sufficient knowledge about life in the UK. To pass English language they will need to come from an English speaking country. . For life in the UK the applicant must have passed this test, although it is possible to apply for an exemption. Usually on medical health grounds.
With over 20 years’ combined immigration experience our Immigration advisers have established a brand our clients can trust. We at First Precedent & Visa Services have helped numerous clients qualify for British Citizenship. We know the common mistakes & pitfalls made by applicants and will ensure that this is avoided in your application.
Don’t leave your application to guess work consult the professionals. Our Immigration Advisers are fully regulated by the OISC to level 3 the highest level. The OISC is responsible for regulating the advice provided by immigration organizations and advisers must only act according to, and within, their authorization.If you have any queries about making an application for British Citizenship or registration please call on (+44) 0208 7691750, or send us an email to: [email protected] and we will send a timely response the next working day.