The legal process of changing your nationality is called naturalisation. Foreign individuals who reside in the UK are able to attain British citizenship through this process. The individual who attains naturalisation is granted a document, by the Home Office, known as a naturalisation certificate. This certificate is principally British nationality and it dictates all the rights you have acquired as a British citizen as well as your duties. Essentially, the individual will be granted the same status and legal rights of a natural-born Brit. British citizenship gives the individual the right to live and work in the UK, without facing any immigration restrictions.
It is currently the most common path to citizenship, but the individual must meet the requirements set by the Home Office in order to apply. If the individual does not meet the requirements, then they will have to explore other options, ideally with the guidance of an immigration solicitor. The average time an application takes to be approved is about 3-4 months from the day it is submitted. This is taking into account that the individual has met all the requirements and the application is irreproachable.
One of the requirements for the naturalisation process is that the individual must be of good character. This essentially translates to not having committed any crime or other non-conductive activity in the past, alongside being compliant with UK Immigration requirements without failing to disclose any important information. Another indicator of good character is financial soundness, where the individual does have any debt in their name. Furthermore, if the person has been subjected to a deprivation of citizenship in the past, then this will automatically renounce the application.
The Life in the UK test is another requirement for individuals who are applying for indefinite leave to remain or naturalisation. This exam is designed to measure the individual’s knowledge of British life and proficiency in the English language. It is made up of 24 multiple choice questions covering topics such as British history, traditions and everyday life, and the candidate has 45 minutes to complete it. Once the individual has passed the exam, then it will be valid for life, meaning that they will never need to take the test again.
You may be considered for naturalisation if you are stateless. Someone who is a Stateless person is someone who is not regarded as a national by any state under the operation of its law. This person can become stateless or might even be born stateless. Some stateless individuals may become refugees but not all refugees are stateless. It can occur for many different reasons, which include being discriminated against on the basis of your ethnicity, race or religious group or the transfer of territory between states. These individuals can obtain leave to remain in the UK and are consequently eligible to apply for naturalisation.
It is often the case where an individual meets all requirements when applying for naturalisation but is consequently denied citizenship. This is most likely due to a mistake being made in the application somewhere along the way. This is why it is crucial to acquire the help of an immigration solicitor before you even begin with the application. Having guidance from an immigration lawyer will significantly increase the chances of your application being approved. Furthermore, if a problem is to arise along the way, the solicitor will be able to deal with it very effectively.
There are many reasons why the Home Office may reject an application. Failing to provide the correct documents in the correct format alongside the correct evidence is the most common obstacle individuals face when making an application. It is important to follow the advice of expert immigration solicitors and not that of friends or family members if you wish for your application to be irreproachable.