Shakespeare, rolling countryside, red phone boxes and the Queen. If all the charms of the UK have made you think about moving there, you should wise up on the immigration procedure before you apply. Think about whether you want to be a full citizen or go for one of the alternative forms of nationality. Consider the fact that being a citizen means you’ll not only have the right to live and work in the UK, but you’ll also be expected to abide by all the laws of the land.
When you’re planning your application, take some time to get to know who can apply as this varies between cases. Some general requirements include the need to be of ‘good character’ if you are over the age of 10 and also the need to be of sound mind. Also, if you have been living in the UK for over 5 years and are over 18, then the process you go through will be one of ‘naturalization’ to become a full citizen and the application is different.
When it comes to making your application, you need to find out if there are any specific requirements relating to your particular situation.
For example, if you are a citizen of the Commonwealth or EU, there are different processes you need to go through. Similarly, if you are a British national but not yet a citizen, or lived in the UK for a period as a child, this will affect the type of application you make. There are also separate processes for registering children.
Once you have ascertained the type of application you need to make, there are three ways of applying. The first is through the Nationality Checking Service, which is provided by local authorities in the UK. This method was introduced in 2005 and there’s only a 2% refusal rate.
The second way is through a representative, who you should make sure is registered with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner. You can also apply as an individual, without any professional support.After you’ve applied, settle in for the wait. The time it takes will vary, but 95% of people hear back within 6 months. If you’re successful, you will receive an invite to a citizenship ceremony. You will have to apply again if you do not accept the invite and attend a ceremony within 3 months. At the ceremony, you will pledge your commitment to the country’s freedoms, rights and laws and make an oath of allegiance. Children under 18 are not required to take part in the ceremony.