Naturalisation as a British Citizen

Naturalisation is the legal process by which a non-British adult becomes a British citizen. An application has to be made to the Home Office and if the criteria set out in the British Nationality Act 1981 are met then the application will be granted and the person can attend a ceremony to become a British citizen and obtain a Certificate of Naturalisation. Around 160,000 foreign nationals became British citizens in this way in 2019. The application is normally made and paid for online via the website, although a paper form, Form AN, can still be used. At the time of writing the fee was £1,330, of which only £80 (the administrative cost for the citizenship ceremony) will be refunded if the application is refused. The requirements for naturalisation include a set period of lawful residence in the United Kingdom, possession of permanent immigration status, passing the “good character” test, passing the “Life in the UK” test and taking an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen at a formal citizenship ceremony. In this blog post we’re taking a quick look through these core requirements to explain what they mean and how the good character test is interpreted by the Home Office.

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