Assistance in procedures for obtaining British citizenship

Naturalisation of adults as British citizens

Naturalisation is the process by which you can become a British citizen, if you are an adult and meet the requirements of residence in the UK, knowledge of English language, of British culture and traditions, and if you are a person of good character.

Residence requirement

For a successful naturalisation application you must have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settled Status) for at least 12 months at the date of application, not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days in the 5 year period ending on the date of application and more than 90 days in the 12-month period ending with the date of application. These conditions are different if you are married to a British citizen.

Knowledge of the English language

If you want to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen, you must have sufficient knowledge of English language.

If you are a non-EU citizen and you have been granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK, you most probably have followed a route under which you have been already required to demonstrate knowledge of English language. In this case, the English language requirement for naturalisation will be met without you having to pass another approved test.

If you are an EU citizen and you have been granted Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you have not been already required to pass an assessment of your knowledge of English language. In this case, the English language requirement for naturalisation will not be met unless you pass an approved speaking and listening Secure English Language Test (SELT) at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Alternatively, you can bring evidence of having an academic degree equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above, taught in English (in UK or abroad).

You will also meet the English language requirement if you are a national of a majority English speaking country.

Life in the UK test

As part of your application to naturalise as a British citizen, if you are between 18 and 65 years old, and you do not have a long-term physical or mental condition confirmed by a doctor, you must demonstrate knowledge of life in the UK.

To meet this requirement, you must successfully complete the Life in the UK test, which must be booked through Gov.UK website, here. It costs £50 and can be taken in one of the 30+ test centres across the UK.

If you already passed the test as part of your application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), you are not required to sit it again.

You will have to answer in 45 minutes to 24 multiple choice questions based on the ‘Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents’ handbook. There are many version for sale online, but the official handbook can be bought online from here, from the official ahop of the Home Office.

The good character requirement

One of the requirements to be met when applying to naturalise as a British citizen is to be of good character. First of all, you should not have been convicted of a crime, or involved in crime. Secondly, your financial affairs should be in order. You should not have failed to pay your taxes in full or on time. You should not have accrued significant debt. You should have a history of honesty in your dealings with various departments of the UK government. Very important, overstaying your visa, not respecting the conditions attached to your leave to enter or remain (such as working when not having the right to work), breaching immigration laws in any other way, or assisting somebody else in the evasion of immigration control, all of these may affect your good character assessment and may determine the caseworker to refuse your application. Your application will be carefully considered on its own merits.

Registering children as British citizens

Children are not naturalised, because naturalisation is the procedure for adults seeking to get British citizenship. Children are registered as British citizens unless they have acquired citizenship by birth. They either have a right to be registered as British citizens, or they can be registered on discretionary basis, depending on certain circumstances, mainly their place of birth and the citizenship or immigration status of their parents.

Acquiring citizenship by birth in the UK

Copiii născuți în UK pot dobândi cetățenia britanică prin naștere doar dacă la data nașterii unul dintre părinți era cetățean britanic sau avea settled status. Pentru copiii în această situație trebuie aplicat pentru un pașaport britanic, dovada cetățeniei lor dobândite prin efectul legii, la naștere. Dacă părinții aveau la data nașterii copilului doar pre-settled status, acest lucru nu este suficient, copilul nu a dobândit cetățenia britanică la naștere și nu poate primi un pașaport britanic.

Registration as British citizens of children born in the UK

If a child was born in the UK and at the time of birth neither parent was a settled or British citizen, that child did not acquire British citizenship by birth. But if after the date of the child’s birth one of the parents receives indefinite leave to remain (or settled status), then the child has an entitlement to be registered as a British citizen while he is still a minor. Having an entitlement means that, where these conditions are met, the child’s registration as a British citizen cannot be refused.

Registration as British citizens of children born outside the UK

If a child was born outside the UK to parents who were not British citizens, that child will not have an entitlement to be registered as a British citizen. Registration is possible, however, usually when at least one parent applies at the same time for naturalisation as a British citizen. However, the child can be registered as a British citizen at the discretion of the authorities, in certain circumstances, even where when neither parent applies for naturalisation.