British Citizenship: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know Before Applying

British Citizenship: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know Before Applying

You have indefinite leave to remain or ‘settled status’, and you want to apply for British Citizenship? Hang on for a few minutes.

Don’t start the application process without having a clear idea of it, like jumping into the sea without knowing how to swim and expecting to reach the shore.

Your dream of becoming a UK Citizen is no exception. While you won’t drown or anything, your goal indeed could.

So, allow us to help here and highlight six things you need to know before applying for UK Citizenship.

1. Eligibility Criteria for British Citizenship

There are five essential requirements to apply for UK citizenship through naturalisation that you must satisfy:

● Be at least 18 years old
● Be of “good character”. That is, must not be convicted of a felony
● Be currently living in the UK
● Meet English language requirements
● Pass the “Life in the UK” test

Besides these general requirements, applicants also need to have:

● Lived in the UK for at least five years before the date of your application, without being outside the UK for more than 450 days during that time, and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months.

● Had one of the following for 12 months:
• indefinite leave to remain in the UK
• ‘settled status’
• or indefinite leave to enter the UK

You do not need to wait 12 months to apply if you’re married to a British citizen.

2. What are the Benefits of British Citizenship?

There is a wide range of benefits for becoming British citizenship. Here we have highlighted some of them for you:

● The right to live permanently in the UK

You can freely move to the UK and enjoy the benefits of settlement, including the ability to purchase property, work, open a bank account, marry in the UK and more.

● Free medical care
The UK National Health Service began in 1948 and is one of the largest organisations in Europe. It provides all UK residents with free healthcare and treatment.

● No work restrictions
UK citizens do not need to apply for any work permits. They have access to all the government job search services and unemployment allowances.

● Stable society and economy
The pound is a relatively stable and reliable currency. The UK economy is quite resilient even in a period of world financial crisis. The UK has a stable government and a moderate population, where discrimination and sexual harassment, for example, are illegal.

● Receiving a British passport and unrestricted entry to the UK
Once you get British citizenship, you can apply for a UK passport. That means you will no longer be subject to immigration controls. So don’t get lured by certain agencies or websites that pretend to get you a British passport. They absolutely cannot speed up the process for you. Instead, you should apply directly to the HM Passport Office, as the process is not complicated and can be done online.

● The right to vote
All UK-born and naturalised citizens have full civic rights, including voting in a parliamentary, local or European election. This gives you a voice in the governing of the country. To vote, you must have your name on the register of electors, known as the electoral register.

● Standing for office
Most citizens of the United Kingdom aged 18 or over can stand for public office. However, some exceptions include members of the armed forces, civil servants, and people found guilty of certain criminal offences.

3. What is the Process to Apply for UK Citizenship?

Once you have gone through the eligibility requirements, you need to follow the following process:

● Prepare your application for British Citizenship
○ Submit an individual application
○ Apply yourself online
○ Apply through an agent or representative
● Pay the fee to submit your application
● Complete biometrics
● Attend a citizenship ceremony and officially become a British citizen

4. Citizenship Test – “Life in the UK”

Application for UK citizenship requires you to take the Life in the UK test and pass it. You need to book the test online with a fee of £50 and must book it at least three days before the date you wish to take the test.

The exam assesses you on your knowledge about the UK’s geography, history, civics, etc.

Note: you don’t need to take this test if:

• You are below 18 years or above 65 years of age,
• You have passed the test before while completing your settlement application,
• Suffer from a long-term physical or mental condition. However, you must present a form or letter from the doctor confirming it.

5. You Need to Prove Your English Competence

As part of applying for British Citizenship, you need to prove your English knowledge by having either:

• An English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level
• A degree taught or researched in English

6. How Can You Prepare for “Life in the UK Test?”

The first thing you need to do is get your copy of Life in the UK handbook.

The questions are based on this handbook only.

Then, start chapter-wise reading and support it with chapter tests. Once you are done with all five chapters, make sure to take a lot of simulation/mock tests.

For this, you can sign-up for an online preparation program and begin.

Now that you have the preliminary information about the British citizenship application, set your best foot forward and get started. Prepare well, and all the best for your British Citizenship! 👍

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