A J Immigration Services | Nationality Law
1420
page-template-default,page,page-id-1420,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,hide_top_bar_on_mobile_header,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-theme-ver-9.1.3,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive
 

Nationality Law

Find Out About Nationality Law

If you are settled (have Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR or, in the case of European (EU) nationals, permanent residence) in the UK then you can stay here without any time limit, whatever your nationality.

You do not have to become a British citizen. However, many people who have made the UK their permanent home wish to apply for British citizenship.

British Citizen by birth

If you were born a British citizen depends on a combination of where and when you were born and the nationality of your parents. British nationality law is one of the most complicated in the world and at A J Immigration Services we try to simplify this area of law.

From 1 January 1983, a child born in the UK to a parent who is a British citizen or ‘settled’ in the UK is automatically a British citizen by birth.

Since 13 January 2010, a child born to a parent who is a member of the British Armed Forces  at the time of birth also automatically acquires British citizenship if he or she was born in the UK or a qualified British Overseas Territory.

  • Only one parent needs to meet this requirement.
  • Settled” status usually means the parent is resident in the UK or a British Overseas Territory and has the right of abode (or similar status), or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), or is the citizen of an EU/EEA country and has permanent residence, or otherwise unrestricted by immigration laws to remain in the UK or that Overseas Territory. Irish citizens in the UK are deemed settled for this purpose.
  • To qualify under the armed forces provision, the parent must be a member of the armed forces at the time of the child’s birth.
  • Special rules exist for cases where a parent of a child is a citizen of a European Union or European Economic Area member state, or Switzerland. The law in this respect was changed on 2 October 2000 and 30 April 2006.
  • For children born before 1 July 2006, if only the father meets this requirement the parents must be married. Marriage after the birth is normally enough to confer British citizenship from that point.
  • Where the father is not married to the mother, the Home Office usually registers the child as British provided an application is made and the child would have been British otherwise. The child must be under 18 on the date of application.
  • Where a parent subsequently acquires British citizenship or “settled” status, the child can be registered as British provided he or she is aged under 18.
  • If the child lives in the UK until age 10 there is a lifetime entitlement to register as a British citizen. The immigration status of the child and his/her parents is irrelevant.
  • Special provisions may apply for the child to acquire British citizenship if a parent is a British Overseas citizen or British subject, or if the child is stateless.

Even if a child born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 does not acquire British citizenship, he/she is considered a lawful resident in the UK and is not required to apply for leave to remain or leave to enter. However, he /she is subject to immigration control and needs to obtain limited leave to enter or remain, if neither parent is holding ILR, in order to return to the UK.

Applying for Naturalisation as a British Citizen based on residence

Naturalisation is the most common way for adults who were not born British to become British. If you have been granted ILR(Indefinite Leave to Remain) or PR( permanent residency)  you can, subject to fulfilling residence requirements, apply for naturalisation to become a British citizen.

You must meet all the requirements.

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’re of good character, for example, you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
  • you’ll continue to live in the UK
  • you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • you meet the residency requirement

And you must usually have:

  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • had permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document
  • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

Applying for Naturalisation as the spouse / civil partner of a British Citizen

If you’re married to, or the civil partner of, a British citizen, you can apply for citizenship if:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’re of sound mind, you’re able to think and make decisions for yourself
  • you’re of good character, for example you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record
  • met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • you’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave) or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national (and you have a permanent residence card or document that shows you have permanent residence)
  • you meet the residency requirement

Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:

  • lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received
  • spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

Registration of children as British Citizens

Registration is the only way in which children can become British and is also used for adults in special circumstances when applying for British Citizenship.

For children over the ten years old it is important to demonstrate that they are of good character but there is not necessary to meet the requirement of life in the UK and English test.

Registration is a simpler method of acquiring citizenship than naturalisation, but only certain people are eligible.

  • Children born in the UK where a parent obtains British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain after the child is born
  • Children born in the UK who live in the UK until age 10
  • Children born in the UK or on a qualified British Overseas Territory to a parent who became a member of the armed forces after the child’s birth, if he or she was born on or after 13 January 2010
  • Children born outside the UK or a qualified British Overseas Territory to a parent who was a member of the armed forces at the time of the child’s birth and stationed outside the UK or a qualified BOT, if he or she was born on or after 13 January 2010
  • Children born to a British father who is not married to the mother
  • British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons who have no other nationality
  • Certain British nationals from Hong Kong who meet the requirements of the Hong Kong (War Wives and Widows) Act 1996 or the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997
  • British Nationals (Overseas) who do not hold any other citizenship or nationality before 19 March 2009
  • Persons born outside the UK to a British born or naturalized mother.
  • Certain children born outside the UK to a British citizen by descent
  • Certain children born in the UK who are stateless
  • Persons who acquire British Overseas Territories citizenship after 21 May 2002 (except those connected solely with the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus)
  • Children under 18 who are adopted outside the UK by British citizens
  • Former British citizens who renounced British citizenship
Translate »