Naturalisation as a UK citizen gives you the right to live and work in the UK. Unlike ILR, it can not be lost by being absent, even for decades.
Most people become eligible for naturalisation 1 year after settlement.
If you are interested, please get in touch.
Naturalisation as a British Citizen
There are several paths to naturalisation. Get in touch to explore your eligibility
Obtaining British Citizenship is the first step to getting a British passport. Once you have Citizenship, you can apply for a passport, just as most British citizens do, at the Post Office, or online.
If you have obtained Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain / Permanent Residence) in a route taking at least 5 years, then you will probably become eligible to apply for naturalisation 12 months later. The extra quick routes to Settlement (eg Investor investing £5m or £10m, Global Talent visa, Innovator who 'ticks the boxes' within 3 years) do not accelerate naturalisation. You will still have to wait at least 6 years since you first began living in the UK. The main exception is for those married to a UK national.
The key hurdles are:
Living in the UK for at least 6 years (unless married to a UK national)
Physically present in the UK exactly 5 years before the date your application is received (eg if applying online on 1st January 2025, you should have been in the UK on 1st January 2020)
During the last 12 months prior to application, absences from the UK of not more than 90 days (exceptions can be made).
During the last 5 years prior to application, absences from the UK of not more than 450 days (for those married to a UK national, the hurdle is 270 days in the prior 3 years).
(exceptions can be made)
In addition, you should usually be able to prove that
Your home is in the UK.
You have employment or a business in the UK.
Your family is established in the UK (if you have a partner/children).
Naturalisation applications typically take 6+ months to consider. But we can arrange for you to keep your passport during the process.
To apply for naturalisation, please get in touch.
Spending too long out of the UK
We advise people to stick within the published limits, but can sometimes help if you have unavoidably been absent for longer.
Final year absences: (should be under 90 days). If you have exceeded by no more than 10 days (absences of not more than 100 days), the prospects are good. Absences of more than 100 days, up to 180 days may be forgiven where there are compelling reasons for doing so: Have you established your home in the UK? Were the absences caused by family considerations (eg an ill relative abroad), or by your UK employer sending you on multiple trips abroad. Over 180 days absence, there is still a chance as long as the residence requirement across the whole qualifying period (usually 5 years) is met.
Qualifying period (usually 5 years) absences (should be under 450 days in 5yrs, or, if married to a UK national, 270 days in 3 yrs): Discretion will only be exercised in exceptional circumstances. You must be able to show that you have made the UK your home, and provide exceptional reasons for the excess absences.
Children born in the UK to expats (MN1)
If a child was born in the UK, and their parents were not settled here at the time of birth, on the parents getting settlement, the child can apply for UK nationality. Thus they can get a UK passport at least a year before their parents become eligible.
If your child was born in the UK, and you now have settlement, please get in touch.