You can apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’ if you are 18 or over and for the past 12 months you have had either:

  • indefinite leave to remainin the UK
  • indefinite leave to enter the UK

‘Indefinite leave to enter’ is permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad – for example, on a Returning Resident visa.

You may have lost your indefinite leave to remain or enter if you have been away from the UK for more than 2 years at any time since you obtained it.

You must also:

  • prove you were in the UK exactly 5 years before the day the Home Office receives your application
  • prove yourknowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic
  • have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test
  • intend to continue living in the UK
  • be of good character

Residency requirements

You should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application.

You cannot include any time spent in the UK when you are exempt from immigration control (for example, as a diplomat or member of visiting armed forces).

You should also not have:

  • spent more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • broken any UK immigration laws (for example working illegally in the UK)

These applications can take a number of months to process. Reeds Immigration can certify your passport(s) so you are able to travel during this period.

Contact us for more information and advice.

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