Becoming a British Citizen

There are numerous paths one can take in order to become eligible for British citizenship. However, choosing the right path all depends on the individual’s circumstances, skills and connection to the UK. The four most common types of immigration are family-based, employment-based, humanitarian-based and formal study. An immigrant must first enter the country on the appropriate visa and then apply for citizenship after he/she has gained permanent residence. To gain permanent residence (ILR), the individual will need proof that they have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time.  

Family based immigration is based on immigrating to live with an immediate relative or a close family member. Family-based migrants are expected to settle long-term in the UK more than other types of immigrants such as workers or students. Even though family-based migration makes up a smaller portion of total immigration into the UK, they make up a larger portion of the migrant population living in the UK because they are more likely to settle long term. 

Employment or economic based immigration is the movement of an individual or family who aim to benefit from economic opportunities in the receiving country. This is often to flee poverty, get a better paid job or even just to obtain a more secure economic future for them or their children. Employment has been the most common type of migration to the UK since 2013. These figures are now expected to change over the coming years following Brexit and the UK’s new, stringent point based system for skilled workers. 

Humanitarian based- immigration is for individuals who are facing dire circumstances in their homeland, of which they cannot return to. These individuals are often in need of refuge or asylum as they face persecution in their home country due to their religion, political opinion, nationality, race or other reasons. Nevertheless, asylum & refugee migration has been the smallest portion of the four immigration categories into the UK over the last several years.  

Formal study immigration counts for a large proportion of immigrants that have come to the UK over the last several years. This counts for all foreigners who move to the UK for long term formal study. The UK education standards are highly regarded and its university rankings are very high internationally. British institutions have many experts on a wide range of academic topics and the British higher education system has always been a benchmark for education standards all over the world. This has attracted an average of 200,000 foreigners every year who come to make use of this exceptional service the UK has to offer. Many of which choose to remain in the UK for a significant amount of time, even after their studies are over. 

Irrespective of what your reason to immigrate to the UK is, you will become eligible for UK citizenship by applying for naturalisation having met all the criteria. This criteria is made up of several requirements; you have spent at least 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK for at least one year, you meet the English language requirements, you have passed the Life in the UK test, not have breached any immigration rules, are over 18 years old and you have demonstrated that you meet the Good Character requirement. The requirements slightly differ for those who are stateless and are consequently not recognized as a citizen of any country, and for those who came to the UK to join a spouse or a partner. 

Applying for British nationality is very time-consuming and stressful. It is highly recommended that you ask advice from a team of immigration lawyers uk to ensure that each part of your application process is reviewed by an expert. This is to avoid a rejection situation down the line and the sooner you work with a specialist, the more time you will have to build your case and it is even better yet that you work with a specialist before you make any submission to your immigration application.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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