Naturalisation as a UK citizen
Naturalisation is not an entitlement and a decision can only be made to grant you citizenship if you can demonstrate that you satisfy certain requirements, both legally and discretionary. The legal requirements are:-
1. That you are aged 18 or over when you apply for Naturalisation;
2. That you are of sound mind, so that you understand the step you are taking;
3. That you intend to continue to live in the United Kingdom;
4. That you can communicate in English (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic) to an acceptable degree;
5. That you have sufficient knowledge about life in the UK;
6. That you are of good character; and
7. That you have lived in the United Kingdom for a minimum of 5 years before you apply; [or]
8. If you are applying on the basis of marriage that you have lived in the UK for 3 years.
To obtain inclusion under Naturalisation you must fulfil the residence requirements. The residence requirements for the two routes to naturalisation above [five or three qualifying period] are difference in terms of lengths of time but the concepts are similar.
Under the five year route, you must have been physically present in the United Kingdom on the day, 5 years before the application date. If you are married to a British Citizen, then you must have been physically present in the United Kingdom on the day, 3 years before the application date. The period between this and the application date is called the residential qualifying period. You should not have been in breach of immigration law [illegal] during the residential qualifying period. Persons are in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws unless:
- they have the right of above;
- they have leave to be in the United Kingdom;
- they are exercising rights of free movement within the meaning of the EEA 2000 Regulations;
- they are entitled to enter or remain in the United Kingdom as a crew member of a ship or aircraft;
- they are exempt from immigration control as diplomats, soldiers and other special cases.
- those on temporary admission may or may not be in breach of the immigration laws depending of their particular circumstances.
To obtain inclusion under Naturalisation you must also:
- Be 18 years or over at the time that you apply for Naturalisation;
- Be of sound mind when you make your application for Naturalisation;
- To demonstrate future intentions with respect to the United Kingdom;
- To demonstrate that you have not be away from the United Kingdom outside the limitations;
- That you can communicate in English and have sufficient knowledge about life in the UK;
- You must have shown respect for the rights and freedoms of the United Kingdom, observed its laws and fulfilled your duties and obligations as a resident of the United Kingdom to be of good character.