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BRITISH CITIZENSHIP

There are few ways of acquiring British citizenship; and it is also important to note that although British citizenship can be acquired by birth, not all children born in the UK are British citizens. Some people may also have to either "register" as British or ''naturalize'' to become British.

British citizenship can, therefore, be acquired in the following ways:

BY BIRTH

The legal sources of British Citizenship are contained in the British Nationality Act of 1981 which abolished citizenship by birth in the UK. Children born in the UK after commencement of this Act, will only become British citizens if at least one of the their parents is British or settled in the UK. From 1st July 2006, children can become British through their father even if he is not married to their mother.

BY REGISTRATION

Registration as of right will apply to:
A child born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, who is not British citizen at birth but one of whose parent(s) later becomes a British citizen or becomes settled in the UK.
A child born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 who is not a British citizen at birth, but who lived continuously in the UK for 10 years with an absence of not more that 90 days in any year (if any).
A child born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 by parents who are themselves British citizen by descent.
Other applicants:
There are other categories of applicants, information and criteria for which can be found on the Home Office web site.

BY NATURALIZATION SPOUSE OF A BRITISH CITIZEN
An applicant under this category must:
  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • be of a sound mind;
  • be of a good character;
  • be married to a British citizen up until the date of application;
  • at the date of application, be resident in the UK and should not be subject to any time limit;
  • meet the “ 3 year residence” requirement;
  • pass Life in the UK test
OTHER APPLICANTS:
  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • be of a sound mind;
  • be of a good character;
  • intend to live in the UK;
  • not be subject to any time limit on his leave in the UK in the last 12 months prior to the date of application;
  • meet the “ 5 year residence” requirement;
  • pass Life in the UK test;
IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE
Good Character Requirement: There should be two British referees to confirm that they know the applicant for the past 3 years and one of them should be a professional; i.e. Solicitor, Doctor, Dentist, Architect, Teacher, etc. Criminal Records Generally: a person who has been convicted of a criminal offence cannot be regarded as a person of good character; therefore, all applicants must give full details of all criminal convictions, except those which may be regarded as “spent”. Bad Associates: Applicants with no convictions, but who are strongly suspected of engaging in crime or are known associates of criminals, will normally be refused. Although financial irresponsibility, serious insolvency or bankruptcy, commercial malpractice, etc. might bring about a refusal; financial incompetence, unemployment or receipt of social security benefits, defects of temperament, etc. are not in themselves sufficient to justify a refusal.
Others:
Please note that numerous parking tickets and some other minor issues may count against you, so ensure your legal representatives are up to date on this point, otherwise you stand to be refused and lose the application fee.

This firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA: 400072
Branch office: 637 Green Lanes, London, N8 0RE, SRA: 400075