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Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 68520

Citizenship & Appeals

Citizenship

Citizenship may be acquired in a variety of ways; either by birth, descent, registration or naturalisation.

Naturalisation is a discretionary award of citizenship and the Secretary of State may grant a Certificate of Naturalisation to a person of full age and capacity if he satisfies certain conditions.

Applicant not married to a British citizen

One category of person who can apply for naturalisation is someone who has been resident in the UK for at least five years. For this type of application, the individual will need to show that they:

  • were in the UK on the date five years prior to the date of the application;
  • have not been absent for more than 450 days in that period;
  • have not been absent for more than 90 days during the last 12 months of that period;
  • have held indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK for the last 12 months;
  • have not been in breach of immigration laws in the last 5 years; and
  • have not been absent for more than 450 days in that period;
  • intend to make either their home or their principal home in the UK.

Applications are submitted to the Nationality Division of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and are currently taking approximately 12-18 months to process.

Applicant married to a British citizen

An individual wishing to obtain British citizenship by virtue of marriage would need to show that they:

  • were in the UK on the date three years prior to the date of the application;
  • have not been absent for more than 270 days in that period;
  • have not been absent for more than 90 days during the last 12 months of that period;
  • have held indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK for the last 12 months;
  • have not been in breach of immigration laws in the last 5 years; and
  • intend to make either their home or their principal home in the UK.

Registration - children

Children born in the UK can apply to register as British citizens if their parents subsequently hold indefinite leave to remain.

Children who have spent the first ten years of their lives in the UK can also register as British citizens where they have not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in any of those ten years.

Children born overseas to a parent who is a British citizen by descent can apply to register as a British citizen within a year of their birth (or six years where there are special circumstances).

Registration adults

There is limited provision for certain British Overseas Citizens, British Protected Persons, British subjects and British Nationals (Overseas) to register as British citizens. We recommend expert advice is sought in this regard.

Appeals

If you have the right of appeal, the ECO will give you three documents.

  • The written Notice of Refusal (this tells you why the ECO has refused your visa).
  • The Notice of Appeal form AIT2 (you must fill this in to explain why you think the ECO was wrong to refuse you a visa).
  • A leaflet explaining how to fill in the Notice of Appeal form.

You can lodge your appeal directly with the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) in the UK or you can send your appeal form to the overseas visa section where your visa was refused. The visa section will then forward it to the AIT in the UK.