British citizenship: the route to nationalisation


By Alessandra Vieira de Aquino

British citizenship is a complicated part of immigration law. Countries are generally restrictive with citizenship and there are usually many requirements that applicants need to fulfil. Many of the clients I speak to are relieved to hear that the process can be significantly simplified and is much more straight forward if the applicant has already lived in the UK for many years. There are several forms of citizens, which are divided into the following categories:

  • British citizens
  • British Overseas Territories citizens British Overseas citizens (BOC)
  • British subjects
  • British Nationals (Overseas)
  • British protected persons

British citizenship means that you will receive the same privileges and have the same obligations as those born in Britain. Once you are granted a British citizen status, you can get a British passport and you will be free to work in the UK without any restrictions. In association with this you will also attend a citizenship ceremony conceding you with the Right of Abode.

How do I know if I can get British citizenship?

As a case handler I stress to my clients that each application will be considered on its own merits. As such, you will benefit from getting legal advice from a specialist solicitor who can evaluate all relevant information needed for your application. It is very important to cover all the details of your case, because only then can the solicitor can fully inform you the best way to move your case forward.

You should keep in mind that British citizenship can be acquired in three different ways:

  • By naturalisation: granted after holding the Indefinite Leave to Remain for a minimum period of 12 months
  • By registration: granted If you were born between 07/02/1961 and 01/01/1983 and your mother was born in the UK
  • By adoption: granted to non-British children legally adopted by British citizens

Regardless of the type of citizenship you wish to apply for, the application process can be long and complicated when you are unfamiliar with it. Many of the clients I speak to find all the technicalities and deadlines quite distressing; to the untrained eye it can seem incomprehensible. As such, I always say that it is a must to consult an experienced immigration solicitor.

Alessandra Vieira de Aquino is one of Caven’s most knowledgeable case handlers with extensive experience in this matter from dealing with clients on a day-to-day basis.

08001 221 2299
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