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What Documents are Required for British Citizenship?

In this blog post we set out the information you need to know about the required documents for British Citizenship.

Providing all necessary documentation is a vital part of the application process.

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Required Information for British Citizenship Applications

If you want to apply for British citizenship, you will need to provide the Home Office with certain information and documents.

In this blog post, we take a closer look at the required documents for British citizenship.

Whilst the specific required documents are somewhat dependant on your own circumstances, there is certain information which must be provided in all applications.

river thames with big ben and parliament

What to Keep in Mind About UK Citizenship Applications

It is a good idea to gather all your necessary documents before you begin the application process. Doing so will give you the time you need to get all your documents in order.

You will need to prove how long you have lived in the UK – this is known as the residency requirement.

In most cases, you must have been in the UK for at least the last six years, including one year under Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are exceptions to this rule, such as those who have been living in the UK under an Innovator Visa or Investor Visa.

Also, those who are married to a British citizen can apply for citizenship after just four years of UK residency (including one year under ILR).

You will also need to account for any time spent outside the UK during your period of residency. Time spent outside the UK during your qualifying period is known as a period of absence.

With Indefinite Leave to Remain applications, you need to prove that you haven’t spent longer than 180 days outside the UK in a 12-month period during your UK residency.

However, if you want to apply for UK citizenship, you need to prove that you haven’t been out of the UK for any longer than 90 days in the 12 months preceding your application date.

Also, you must have been in the UK exactly five years to the date before the Home Office receives the application.

What Documents are Required for British Citizenship?

When you apply for British citizenship, you will need to provide a number of documents to prove your eligibility for citizenship.

You will need to provide information concerning your identity, knowledge of English language (unless exempt), your residency in the UK and your Life in the UK test.

The main required information and documents for British citizenship are as follows:

  • Proof of identity: This could be your passport, driving licence, birth certificate, Home Office travel document or even a credit card statement issued to you within the last six months
  • Your biometric residence permit (if you have one)
  • Evidence of your pass in the Life in the UK test
  • Proof of at least a level of B1 in English language in speaking, writing, listening and reading (unless exempt)
  • Information which demonstrates that you were lawfully resident in the UK for the required time period
  • Information relating to your periods of absence from the UK during your qualifying period
  • Proof that you currently hold Indefinite Leave to Remain status

It is vital that you provide all necessary documents in your application. Failure to do so could result in your application being rejected.

Providing Biometric Information

You may need to provide biometric information as part of the application process. This will depend on whether you have given biometric information in the past. Biometric information (fingerprints and photo) is taken as a form of identification.

Recently, the Home Office has been updating their systems and processes. As a result, it might not be necessary to provide your biometric information.

Ultimately, whether you provide biometric information or not is based on your own individual circumstances.

Evidence of English Language Ability

As mentioned above, you will need to prove that your English language ability is to at least the level of B1 in order to be eligible for British citizenship.

This can be proved through one of the following:

  • An English language test certificate number from an approved testing centre which shows that you have passed a test at B1 level
  • Through studying a course at degree level or higher which was taught in English at an approved educational establishment
  • Through your passport if you are a national of a majority English-speaking country
  • Through a degree which was taught or researched in a majority English-speaking country, with confirmation that the qualification is equivalent to a UK degree (or higher)
  • Through a degree which was taught or researched at a non-majority English-speaking country, with confirmation that that course was taught in English and the qualification is equivalent to a UK qualification

If you have already met the English language requirement through your ILR application, you will simply need to provide the same evidence demonstrating your English language ability in your citizenship application.

If you do not need to take the test due to an ongoing physical or mental condition, you will usually need to provide evidence from a doctor which explains your condition.

Evidence of Residency

In most cases, this can be proven through showing your passport, provided your passport was stamped when you entered the UK.

If your passport does not serve as sufficient evidence, you may need to provide:

  • A letter from your employer (or employers) which states when you started working for the company along with supporting documents, such as payslips or P60
  • A letter from an educational establishment which sets out your study periods in the UK
  • A letter from a government department which indicates that you have been in the UK for the required period of time

Further Required Documentation for British Citizenship by Marriage Application

You will need to provide further information if you are applying for British Citizenship on the basis of your marriage or civil partnership to a British citizen, or to a person who has held ILR for at least three years.

You will usually need to provide your spouse’s/civil partner’s current passport or naturalisation documents and your marriage/civil partnership certificate.

How Birmingham Immigration Lawyers Can Help

Birmingham Immigration Lawyers provide expert support for British citizenship applications.

With our application package, we will pair you with an immigration lawyer who is experienced in citizenship applications.

They will take the time to understand your unique individual circumstances, and will advise you on all the information which you will need to provide. They will ensure that all your evidence adheres to all necessary administrative standards.

This professional and expert guidance is invaluable, and could be the difference between your application being accepted or rejected. Indeed, insufficient documentary evidence is the most common reason for citizenship refusals. We will ensure that you get your application right the first time.

To find out more about how we can help you to naturalise as a British citizen, please call us now on 0121 667 6530.