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Applying for British Citizenship

If you are not an automatic British citizen you may still be eligible to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation through your residence in the UK, see how our British citizenship lawyers can assist you.

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British Citizenship for adults

Naturalisation as a British citizen

To naturalise as a British citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are over 18 years old.

  • You are of sound mind.

  • You have either indefinite leave to remain or settled status for at least 12 months.

  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an appropriate level (B1 CEFR level).

  • You have passed the Life in the UK Test.

  • You intend to continue to live in the UK.

  • You meet the good character requirement.

Furthermore, you should not have:

  • Spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years before your application.
  • Spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months.
  • Broken any UK immigration laws (for example living illegally in the UK).
  • You must have been physically present in the UK exactly 5 years before the Home Office receives your application.


British citizenship for children

Not everyone who is born in the UK automatically qualifies for British citizenship. To qualify for British citizenship from birth, at least one parent must either be a British citizen or hold settled status.

If a child is born in the UK to parents who do not hold British citizenship or settled status, then they may be able to be registered as a British citizen.

Registration as a British citizen

If you were born in the UK, but you are not automatically a British citizen, then you may apply to register as a British citizen.

If you are not automatically a British citizen, then you must be under 18 years old and meet one of the following eligibility requirements to register as a British citizen:

  • You were born on or after 1 January 1983 and since your birth one of you parents have become a British citizen or got permission to stay in the UK permanently.
  • You were born on or after 1 January 1983 and you lived in the UK until you were 10 or older.
  • Since you were born one of your parents has either become a British citizen, gained indefinite leave to remain, got settled status, got indefinite leave to enter, or got permanent residence status.

There are several provisions in the British Nationality Act 1981 which give minors in certain circumstances an entitlement to registration as British citizens.

For a full, in-depth and updated insight to the current regulations regarding British citizenship, please follow the link here to the UK Home Office website.

How can Paragon Law help?

When you make a British citizenship application it is important that it is coherent and contains all the evidence which is required. Our British citizenship lawyers are experienced in assisting individuals to apply for British citizenship. So whether you need assistance to make a British citizenship application, or if you want an expert to check an application you have put together, why not get in touch with us?

Speak to an immigration lawyer

If you would like to know more about naturalising or registering as a British citizen then get in touch with us today to claim your free consultation and speak to an expert immigration lawyer!

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Why choose Paragon Law?

  • Well-regarded. Our personal and family immigration lawyers have received national acclaim for their work.
  • Top-tier. The Legal 500 deemed us as a top-tier law firm, meaning that we are one of the highest rated immigration law firms in the UK.
  • Knowledgeable in UK immigration, our legal experts are able to quickly identify what needs to be done to secure the desired outcome.
  • Dedicated to dealing with matters of immigration, our immigration lawyers are able to assist individuals with a range of enquiries related to settling in the UK.

I can highly recommend the professional services that this outstanding firm offers. The entire team are industry-leading and knowledgeable in their respective specialisms. I wouldn't hesitate to refer clients looking for a positive outcome and a friendly, informative service.

Meet Emma Okenyi

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Emma Okenyi

Emma Okenyi

Director and Solicitor, Personal Immigration

Emma Okenyi is a director and solicitor in Paragon Law’s Personal and Family Immigration department.

Emma is able to advise individuals on all aspects of UK immigration law and nationality, but she has particular expertise in helping families to navigate the requirements of family visas and assisting individuals with applications for naturalisation.

Meet Maaria Mahmood

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Maaria Mahmood

Maaria Mahmood

Senior Caseworker, Personal Immigration

Maaria Mahmood is a senior caseworker working in Paragon Law’s Personal and Family Immigration department. Prior to her current role, Maaria specialised in cases of deportation and detention.

Meet Elliott Dipper

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Elliott Dipper

Elliott Dipper

Senior Caseworker, Personal Immigration

Elliott Dipper is a senior caseworker in Paragon Law's Personal and Family Immigration department. Elliott can assist individuals with a wide range of UK immigration enquiries, however, he has particular expertise with Domestic Violence applications, EU Settlement Scheme applications, and Article 8 applications.

I was looking for a good immigration lawyer and was left feeling lost by many other initial consultations with other companies but happened to chance upon Paragon Law through a friend and I was blown away by the services provided.

British Citizenship Fees

Our fees reflect the service required and the complexities of the case. For a tailored quote please consult one of our immigration lawyers. As an immigration law firm, we offer our clients an initial consultation with an immigration lawyer in order to get more detail about your case.

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Price Guide
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British Citizenship: FAQs

How long does a British citizenship application take to process?

The Home Office attempts to make a final decision on applications within 6-months of submitting an application and attendance of a biometric appointment.

Correct at time of writing - 13 May 2024.

What is the British citizenship ceremony?

To finalise the process of becoming a British citizen, individuals must attend a British citizenship ceremony whereby you will make an oath of allegiance and make a promise to respect the rights, freedoms, and laws of the UK.

Usually, you must attend the British citizenship ceremony within three months of receiving the invitation from the UK Home Office.

Can I travel whilst awaiting a decision?

Yes, individuals are able to travel whilst your British citizenship application is pending.

Can I have dual citizenship in the UK?

Yes, when applying for British citizenship you do not have to renounce your previous nationalities. However, every country has its own rules relating to dual nationality and therefore, it is essential to check with the Embassy of your current country of nationality to see if you can have dual citizenship.

Do you deal with discretionary applications?

Yes, our immigration lawyers deal with discretionary applications and are able to identify scenarios where the UK Home Office should expect to register a child as a British citizen.

What happens if I am absent from the UK?

To make a successful application for British citizenship, you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 90 days in the 12 months leading up to making an application for British citizenship. 

Additionally, if you are not married to a British citizen then you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days in the 5 years leading up to applying for citizenship. However, if you are married to a British citizen then you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days in the 3 years leading up to applying for citizenship.

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Martina Ignatova - Our People Imagery Paragon Law (Feb 2024)

Enquire now about British Citizenship

Our expert immigration lawyers are able to assist you at any stage of your British citizenship application. To find out more about how we can help you, fill out the form below and one of our immigration advisors will get back to you shortly.

  • British Citizenship Referees

    British Citizenship Referees

    To be eligible to apply for British Citizenship, you will be required to provide two referees who can confirm your identity. Read our article to learn more about referees for British Citizenship.

    Learn more
  • Life in the UK Test

    Life in the UK Test

    To be eligible to apply for British Citizenship, you may be required to pass the Life in the UK Test which will test your knowledge on British custom, traditions, laws and political system.

    Learn more
  • Good character requirement

    Good character requirement

    To be eligible to apply for British Citizenship, you will be required to prove that you are of ‘good character’. Read our article to learn more about satisfying the good character requirement.

    Learn more