The Nationality Act 1981 governs all UK nationality issues since its coming into force on 01/01/1983. There are various ways in which people may obtain a British citizenship. This could be through an application for registration or naturalisation as a British citizen. The most common ways are naturalisation for adults and registration of minors (people under the age of 18).

Requirements for Naturalisation:

  • Residence 3 years (if married to a British citizen or 5 years (in other cases) residence in the UK (as appropriate);
  • No absence of more than 270 days in the last 3 years (if married to a British citizen) or 450 days in the last 5 years (in other cases), 90 days in the last 12 months preceding the application;
  • No breach of the immigration laws (exception in legacy policy- concession);
  • Good character and spent sentences;
  • Two references who have known you for a minimum of three years; referees must not be related to you and one referee must be a professional and a British citizen
  • Knowledge of Life in the UK

For guidance and application forms click here

Supporting Documents for Adults:

  • Completed and signed AN form (currently Sept 2010 version)
  • Passport
  • Immigration Status Paper
  • Evidence of meeting Knowledge of Life in the UK (see below)
  • Birth certificate
  • Letter from jobcentre if you are unemployed and receiving benefits
  • Two photos (passport size); and
  • Application fees £780.00 each for adults.

Knowledge of language and life in the UK

You can demonstrate your knowledge of language and life in the UK in three ways:

  • By taking and passing the 'Life in the UK test'.
  • By taking and passing an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course in English and citizenship.
  • If you passed the Life in the UK test or completed an ESOL course to meet the 'knowledge of language and life' requirement when you applied for settlement, you will not need to show that you meet this requirement again.

For further details about meeting Knowledge of language and life in the UK, click here.

Citizenship Ceremonies

If your application is successful you will need to attend a public ceremony and you will be required to take the Oath of Allegiance (there is an affirmation to be used by people of different religions) following which you will be issued a naturalization certificate.