Nationality and citizenship

Help and Advice on how to become a British Citizen

There are many different ways in which you can become a British citizen.  The most common way is by 'naturalisation', through a period of qualifying residence in the UK.  

In some cases you can be registered as a British citizen, if you have a family connection with the UK or if you have some other form of British nationality.

Whatever your situation, we can help you to get your British passport. 


You can apply for naturalisation after you have had Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK for one year.

If you are married to a British citizen you can apply for naturalisation as soon as you have ILR.

Time outside the UK

You must have spent no more than 450 days outside the UK in the five years leading up to your application.   If you are married to a British citizen that becomes no more than 270 days in the three years leading up to your application.  

In both cases you should have spent no more than 90 days in the last 12 months before your application outside the UK.

The Home Office will overlook a small number of extra days outside the UK.

Good character requirements

There is much more to the good character requirements that just being free of criminal convictions.  The Home Office will also look other issuing, including (but not limited to):

  • Bankruptcy 
  • County Court judgments (CCJs)
  • Whether or not you are up to date with your tax returns and tax payments
  • Immigration offences such as overstaying a visa or working illegally
  • Serious traffic offences, such as driving without insurance or drink driving
  • Fines and cautions

You should seek professional advice if you think that any of these apply to you.

EU citizens

EU citizens need to have Settled Status for a year before they can apply for naturalisation.

If you are married to a British citizen you can apply for naturalisation as soon as you have Settled Status.

You will need to pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK test, and, unless you are from Ireland or Malta, and English language test (unless you have a degree from a UK university).


Your children who are born in the UK will only be automatically British if you or their other parent is British or settled in the UK (ILR or Settled Status).  If you become settled after your child is born in the UK, that child will be entitled to be registered as British.

Any child who is born in the UK and lives here for the first 10 years of his or her life is also entitled to be registered as British.

Commonwealth citizens

Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK before 1973 may be eligible for citizenship under the Windrush Scheme. You need to have lived in the UK and not been away from it for more than two years.

If your parent arrived in the UK before 1973, you need to have either been born in the UK, or else arrived here before you were 18.

Registration as a British citizen

You may be able to be registered as a British citizen if your mother was a British citizen but your father wasn't, or if your father was a British citizen but your parents weren't married.  The parent you are relying on must have been born in the UK, or in Ireland before 1916.

Other types of British nationality

If you are a British overseas citizen, a British protected person, a British subject or a British national (overseas), you may be eligible to apply for full British citizenship.  This is a complex area of law - please contact us for help with your application.

This option is not open to British overseas territories citizens.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony, generally held at your local council, where you will take your oath of allegiance to The Queen.  You will receive your certificate of naturalisation at the ceremony, and can apply for your British passport after that.

From the first call I knew they would be hands-on, responsive and available to answer my questions

UK Visas Online were very thorough and kept me informed throughout the whole process. I found it super easy to interact with Asha, ask any questions and get the response immediately. The quality of work was impeccable – it truly speaks for itself!  

Cristian Ungureanu - EU citizen applying for naturalisation

Looking for support with your application?


Too busy to prepare your application yourself?  Worried about making sure that it is done correctly?

Our full representation service takes over management of your case, leaving you able to relax in the confidence that your application will be professionally prepared by an experienced immigration lawyer.

  • Detailed advice tailored to your situation
  • A comprehensive list of the documents you need to get together
  • A full review of your documents to ensure they are appropriate
  • Completing the application form for you to check
  • Drafting detailed legal representations supporting your case
  • Submitting your application and liaising with the Home Office
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Prefer to submit your application yourself, but want to make sure that there are no mistakes in it?

Our document guide and checking service offer you the best of both worlds.  You save on legal fees, while still having the confidence that your application has been correctly prepared.  It's like having a DIY lawyer in a box.

  • Detailed advice tailored to your situation
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  • You prepare your application, and we check your form and supporting documents before you submit it
  • You make any recommended changes and submit your application 

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Realistic and Practical Advice

You'll only ever get the truth from us, no matter how harsh it is.

Having been in the field for so long, we have dealt with thousands of cases over pretty much every visa category. This means that as well as knowing what the Immigration Rules say, we are familiar with how the Home Office apply the rules. We know what they expect to see and what they will disregard, and in what circumstances they will use discretion to grant an application even when all the requirements of the Immigration Rules aren’t met.

So – if, after our initial chat with you, we think that your application won’t succeed no matter what we do, we will tell you.  This may not be what you want to hear, but not only will this save you the expense of a hopeless application, it will also prevent you from damaging your immigration history (and thus making future applications more difficult) by making applications that have no merit and are bound to fail.

If your circumstances change after you have instructed us and we believe that your application will not succeed, we will tell you. You can then decide to ask us to keep the file open until you meet the requirements again, or ask us to close the file, or decide to carry on – but whatever you decide, it will be with full knowledge and control of the application.

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We charge a fixed fee for all our services.  This is reviewed on an annual basis and is approved by the OISC, who regulate us, and consider it is a fair fee for the expertise and the value we bring to an application.

You can call us as many times as you like, arrange as many Zoom meetings as you need to, and ask any question that pops into your head without worrying that your bill is increasing. 


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You don’t need to worry about what you tell us finding its way back to the Home Office - everything you tell us remains between you and us, and we won’t discuss your business with anyone.  This includes with your family, unless you give us permission to speak to them.

The only exception to this is if we are required by law to disclose something to a government agency.

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You'll never again need to wonder if your lawyer is working on your case.

When you first instruct us we will explain all your options to you clearly and in writing, so that you know exactly what to expect. Once we take on your case you can log into the client portal at any time, to see exactly what comes next, what has been done and what still needs doing, and by when, so that you always know exactly what stage your application is at.

Of course you can phone us during our normal working hours as well if you have any questions or need to discuss anything.

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