Citizenship is the next step for many individuals after gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), allowing holders to live in the UK permanently without restrictions.

There are many ways to qualify for Citizenship, the main ones are listed below. However, the law in this area is complicated and if you do not fit in the exact categories below it is advisable to get legal advice to explore whether you qualify through other routes.

Adults will usually qualify through Naturalisation, whereas most children will gain citizenship through Registration.

Applicants, over 18 ,  must have been resident in the UK for the last 5 years (3 years if married to a British Citizen)

UK absences must have been limited to 450 days in the 5 year period (270 days in 3 years if married to a British Citizen) and 90 days in the last 12 months

Applicants should have no criminal convictions and be of good character

Applicants must satisfy the Knowledge of Language and Life requirement

Applicants must have two referees who will endorse the citizenship application. One of the referees must be a professional, the second must be both a British Citizen and either a professional or over the age of 25. The referees must know the applicant personally.

Children who were born in the UK where at least one parent is a British Citizen, or has ILR at the time of the child’s birth, will have automatic acquisition of British Citizenship. A child in this situation can apply directly for a British Passport.

Children born outside the UK where at least one parent is a British Citizen “otherwise than by descent” at the time of their birth have automatic acquisition of Citizenship.

Children born in the UK who do not qualify through automatic acquisition at the time of birth are entitled to register as British Citizens where at least one parent gains ILR (PR for children of EEA nationals) after their birth. These children are not required to gain ILR before making this application.