Like all other countries of the world, the United Kingdom too offers a variety of options to become naturalized citizens of the country. This route of citizenship can be applied for if the individual meets a certain number of requirements of the United Kingdom government. These requirements are generally fairly simple but vary from case to case. The requirements generally include a certain minimum time period that a person must have stayed in the United Kingdom for prior to their application. It also has certain other conditions like working in the United Kingdom, studying in the United Kingdom, etc. An important fact is that being born in the United Kingdom does not automatically award you British citizenship. For all children born in the United Kingdom on or after January 1, 1983, they can become citizens only if they have lived the first ten years of their lives in the United Kingdom.
The ultimate power to grant citizenship lies with the Home Secretary. Currently, this office is held by Theresa May. The Home Secretary may accept or refuse your application. Typically, a majority of applications for naturalized citizenship are accepted if all the requirements are met, many can also be rejected despite meeting the requirements. It is absolutely at the discretion of the Home Secretary. They however, don’t normally reject applications on a whim. The decision to reject an application is taken if there is already a large immigrant population living in the country or based on the political party’s political outlook. For instance, Theresa May has been a hardliner against immigration and has used her power as Home Secretary to strip nearly thirty individuals of their British citizenship! This has been brought about due to her personal feelings about immigration and her political party’s firm stance against immigration.
The procedure is pretty simple and straight – forward. You need to fill out various forms and provide a multitude of supporting documents. If all these are in order, your application moves forward. Make sure to provide original documents and do not lie on any of the forms. Detailed background checks are carried out and forgeries and lies are always caught. If this happens, you can be assured that your application will be rejected and you may even face legal prosecution. Remember the individuals performing background checks have been doing so for many years, and even if you think that a lie you have made up is amazing, they would have definitely heard it a dozen times before! The minimum time you must have lived in the United Kingdom prior to applying for naturalized citizenship is 3 years. You must also be entitled to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom while your application is being processed. This can be by way of Irish citizenship, visa arrangements or any other right of abode. Make sure you are eligible before you apply. At the time of application, you need to pay an application fee depending on your application type. This application fee will not be refunded.