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British citizenship and naturalisation

Our expert solicitors have helped people from around the world settle in the UK as British citizens. If you have you have been a legal UK resident for over five years, and are thinking of becoming a British citizen, our immigration team are here to help.

We know British immigration law can be overwhelming, which is why we provide the detailed expert guidance you need to complete the process of becoming a British citizen.

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Can you apply for British citizenship?

Indefinite leave to remain

If you are a foreign national who has been living in the UK for at least five years, then you may first of all want to apply for permission to settle here permanently. This is known as applying for permanent settlement, more often called indefinite leave to remain.

After you have been granted your indefinite leave to remain and you have been living in the UK for at least one year since, you will likely be able to apply for British Citizenship.

To be eligible for citizenship you must meet a number of requirements and you need to be considered ‘of good character’. The application process is complex and lengthy, but you don’t need to worry. With AWH, your solicitor will be by your side every step of the way.

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Starting your British citizenship application

There are many requirements you must meet before you start your citizenship application.

You will meet the minimum requirements if:

  • You are 18 or over
  • You are of good character – e.g. you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record; you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years etc
  • You will continue to live in the UK
  • You have met the knowledge of English and Life in the UK requirements
  • You meet the residency requirement

Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you get in touch with our team, we can ask you the questions you need answering to tell you if you’re eligible for British citizenship at this stage in your life.

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What you will need to prove

As well as meeting the above requirements, you usually also have to prove that you:

  • Lived in the UK for at least the five years before the date of your application
  • Spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those five years
  • Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • Have been settled with ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK for the last 12 months (if you’re from outside the EEA)
  • Have held permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document
  • Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

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Applying for British citizenship if your spouse is a British citizen

General requirements

There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen and you can apply on behalf of a child under 18 if they are eligible.

If your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen then you can apply for citizenship, so long as you are:

  • 18 or over
  • You are of sound mind, you are able to think and make decisions for yourself
  • You are of good character (for example you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record)
  • You have met the knowledge of English and Life in the UK requirements
  • You’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK, or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national
  • You meet the residency requirement

Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:

  • Lived in the UK for at least the three years before applying
  • Spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those three years
  • Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

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How to apply for British citizenship

There are three ways to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation:

  • Make an individual application
  • Use the Nationality Checking Service (NCS)
  • Use an agent or representative

Making an individual application

To make an individual application, you need to fill in Form AN – application for naturalisation as a British citizen.

Applying using the NCS

The NCS is run by local councils and they can help you make your application on your behalf.

Apply through an agent or representative

An agent or representative is a private company or individual that can help you with your application and give you advice.

Check if an agent or representative is registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

You can also use solicitors or barristers that aren’t registered with the OISC. These include:

  • General Council of the Bar
  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • Faculty of Advocates
  • Law Society of Scotland
  • General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland
  • Law Society of Northern Ireland

The application fee for citizenship is £1,282.

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Documents you need to provide

To apply for British citizenship you need to provide evidence of:

  • Your identity
  • Your knowledge of language and life in the UK
  • Your lawful residence in the UK
  • Your employment in the UK
  • Your marriage or civil partnership, if you’re making a joint application
  • Your biometric information

You must provide the biometric information itself, including fingerprints and a photo. This can be done at your local Post Office, and costs £19.20.

The Home Office will tell you when you need to provide your biometric information and it will only be held until you’ve attended your citizenship ceremony.

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After you have applied

After you have applied you will get a confirmation letter. This can take up to four weeks. A decision about your application will usually be made within six months, however some applications may take longer.

You will be told if you need to provide more information to help with your application.

You should also contact UK Visas and Immigration if your situation changes during your application, for instance if you change address or get married.

You might be asked to attend an interview where you will need to speak without an interpreter.

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Citizenship ceremonies

If your application is successful – and you’re over 18 – you will be invited to book a place at a citizenship ceremony. You’re usually allowed to take up to two guests. Please note, you need to take the invitation with you when you go to the ceremony.

You also need to pay a ceremony fee of £80.

What you need to do after your citizenship ceremony

Once you’ve got your certificate of British citizenship, you need to send your biometric residence permit back to the Home Office.

You need to do this within five working days of either:

  • Going to your citizenship ceremony
  • Getting your certificate of British citizenship

Cut your biometric residence permit (BRP) into four pieces and put it in a windowless envelope. Include a note saying you are returning your permit because you have become a citizen.

The note needs to include your name, date of birth and the document number, located on the front of the card.

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How we can help you

Our expert solicitors have managed many applications for British citizenship. We have completed and submitted a large variety of applications, with successful outcomes as a result.

Want to find out more about how you can become a citizen of the UK? Get in touch with our immigration team today or request a call back.

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Our Fees

Due to the large amount of services and the complexity of each case we cannot provide any standardised fees without knowing a little bit more about your situation.

However, if you get in touch with us we can discuss in detail what charges you can suspect and what fees we will charge.

Full transparency at all times

We aspire to be completely transparent on pricing from the beginning, so none of our clients will ever be surprised at the end of the process.

Furthermore, we believe advice and support from our team of solicitors should be affordable to those in need.

This is why we provide competitive prices across our range of services.

Immigration solicitor fees
30 minute initial consultation £60 + VAT
Additional 30 minutes where consultation runs over £60 + VAT
Initial consultation + advice letter £300 + VAT
Visa checking service(no drafting) £250 + VAT
Extension applications settlement From £1,000 + VAT

Entry clearance fees - out of country
Visit Visa £600 + VAT
Spouse Visa Sponsor Employed £700 + VAT
Spouse Visa Sponsor Self Employed £800 + VAT
Dependants (Parent/Relatives) From £800 + VAT

What is included:

  • Advice on procedures and law
  • Completion of the paper and on line application form
  • Advice on all documents required to submit with application
  • Consider the contents of all documents supplied to submit to the British Embassy and follow up
  • Advice on strengths and weaknesses of the case
  • Preparation of the covering letter
  • Attendances and follow up

In country applications (extensions)
Extension applications for:

  • Spouse visa
  • Tier 4 student
  • Application for discretionary leave/humanitarian protection
  • Applications for long residence
  • EEA Applications
  • Domestic violence applications
Services include:

  • Attendance and advice on procedure and legal procedure
  • Advice and completion of forms
  • Advice on documents required
  • Preparation of covering letter
  • Submission to Home Office
From £800 + VAT
Points based system - applications and extensions applications
  • Extension applications
  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 4
All cases are individually assessed and if additional dependants are placed on application they will be charged seperately.

From £900 + VAT

Other Immigration applications
Application for transfer of visa into biometrics card £400 + VAT
Travel document application £400 + VAT
Entry clearance forms (completion only) £70 + VAT
Home Office Forms (completion only) £200 + VAT
Asylum From £2,000 + VAT
Asylum - fresh claim £1,200 -£1,500 + VAT

British Citizenship
Application for British citizenship/children registration £500 + VAT

Corporate fees
Employers licence for businesses (online) From £1,000 + VAT
Tier 1 entry clearance (Entrepreneur) From £2,000 + VAT
Tier 1 extension application(Entrepreneur) From £2,000 + VAT
Business audit services Price available upon request

Appeals
Lodge appeal only £400 + VAT
Lodge appeal and representation £1,200 - £1,500 + VAT
Asylum appeal £1,500 - £2,000 + VAT
Bail application and representation at hearing From £1,000 + VAT
Application for permission to appeal to upper tribunal From £900 + VAT
Review of decision and counsels opinion £350 + VAT

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Our Promise to You

  • Friendly, personal legal services Friendly, personal legal services

    We promise that our approachable solicitors will provide you with a genuinely personal service that puts your needs first. Our team of experts are always on hand to give you support when you need it.

  • Award-winning service in our fields of expertise Award-winning service in our fields of expertise

    We pride ourselves in offering the highest standards of service across each of our legal departments. Regardless of your situation, we promise to provide you with the very best legal advice.

  • Advice tailored to your needs Advice tailored to your needs

    We promise to listen to your needs and offer the right guidance for your situation.

    There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution in any area of the law. Every case requires a tailored approach and you deserve a solicitor who understands this.

  • Outstanding customer service and care Outstanding customer service and care

    Our excellent reputation is built on our exceptional level of client care.

    Every case is handled with the highest level of respect and many of our clients go on to recommend us after building an invaluable relationship with our solicitors.

  • Transparent fees and processes Transparent fees and processes

    Transparency is very important to us. We promise to provide you with total Transparencyrency on fees, so you know exactly what you are paying for. We’ll also make sure you’re kept updated on the progress of your case every step of the way.

  • Approachable and friendly solicitors

What our clients are saying about us

9.1/10
We received an average 9.1 out 10 based on 224 reviews.
Stacey, Trustpilot

Very pleased with how fast my claim was settled. Very nice people always at the end of the phone when i wanted to ask questions on my.claim. would deffo use this company again. Matthew was brill very friendly and reliable.

Lloyd, Trustpilot

Very pleased with the service I have received, communication has been maintained throughout. Happy with the outcome of my case.

Sandip, Trustpilot

It's always been a pleasant experience using their services. I felt highly comfortable and confident whenever they dealt with my cases in terms of correspondence, communication and performance. I highly regard their services.

Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!

  • Contact us Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
  • Meet an expert Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
  • Authorise Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
  • We get to work We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
We’re with you, every step of the way