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  • Alastair Blair

British Citizenship and a British Passport?

In theory, it’s simple. To apply for British passport, you must first hold British nationality. However, it’s not quite that simple, because you don’t automatically get British citizenship if you were born in the UK. In addition, British citizenship does not guarantee you will be issued a British passport. Your eligibility and circumstances will be assessed as part of the application process and you could be rejected if, for example, you are subject to any bail conditions or court orders or have broken any UK immigration laws.  It’s a complicated procedure, which is why you need our advice!

In addition, you can apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’ if you:

·       are 18 or over

·       are married to, or in a civil partnership with, someone who is a British citizen

·       have lived in the UK for at least three years before the date of your application. You cannot include any time spent in the UK when you’re exempt from immigration control as one of the following: diplomat; member of a diplomat’s staff or household; member of visiting armed forces

As soon as you have one of the following you can apply:

·       indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK

·       ‘settled status’ (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’)

·       indefinite leave to enter the UK (permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad)

But, you must also:

·       prove you were in the UK exactly three years before the day the Home Office receives your application

·       prove your knowledge of English or Scottish Gaelic

·       show you’ve passed the life in the UK test

·       be of good character


There are other ways to apply for British citizenship, including through the Windrush scheme.  As you can see, there are different ways to apply for British citizenship and then get a UK passport -  which is why you need our advice!

Time you’ve spent outside the UK

To be eligible, you should not have:

·       spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the three years before your application

·       spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

You may be exempt from the residency requirements if your partner works abroad either for the UK government or an organisation closely linked to government.

When to apply

You must have been physically present in the UK exactly three years before the Home Office receives your application.

Your application may be rejected if you were not in the UK exactly three years before the Home Office received it. This depends on the reason why you were not in the UK.

The Home Office will consider if there are special circumstances, for example:

·       you were not able to live in the UK at the start of the three-year period because of health reasons or travel restrictions

·       you were told to leave the UK during the three years but this decision was later overturned

How much does it cost?

It costs £1,580 to apply.

How long it takes

You’ll usually get a decision within six months - some applications can take longer.

Children under 18

Your child is usually automatically a British citizen if they were born in the UK and their other parent was a British citizen.

If your partner has died

You cannot apply for citizenship as the partner of a British citizen if your partner has died. - for example if you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

We can help you to apply for

·       a first adult passport  

·       Get a passport for your child

·       Change your name or personal details on your passport

·       Collective group passport. 

Please contact us for further information to apply for, renew, replace or update your passport on or telephone +44 (0)7458 366 159.

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