British Citizenship

A migrant can have permanent residence in the UK by two ways, either British citizenship or leave to remain. The UK border agency has strict restrictions governing eligibility for each category. If a migrant was given indefinite leave in the UK they can apply for British citizenship. All adults must become naturalize before applying for citizenship.

Citizenship Requirements

A spouse of a British national must be living in the UK for more than three years and must have indefinite leave in order to apply for citizenship. If the applicant is absent for 270 days or more during the three years he or she becomes ineligible to apply for citizenship. The applicants must be able to demonstrate adequate knowledge they can communicate good in English, Welsh and Gaelic. They must also prove that they are of genuine character and must pass the test for life in the UK.

The unmarried applicants applying for citizenship must be residing in the UK for at least five years and the final year must be in the category of indefinite leave to stay. The applicant must not be absent over 90 days over that last year of application or 450 days of the five years. They must also prove that they are of genuine character and must pass the test for life in the UK in order to have permanent resident in the UK.

Applicants with British mothers who were born from 1961 to 1983 are eligible immediately to become British citizens.

Indefinite Leave

The next way to permanent residency in the UK is Leave to remain indefinite. This is granted for migrants who show their commitment while they are on a temporary visa. The applicant must be residing in the UK legally for a number of years before application, usually two to ten years and it also depends on the reason for staying.

Illegal immigrants are also allowed to apply and must be residing in the UK for fourteen years upon application. Person having work permits, artiste and those setting up business among others are required to be in the UK for at least five years before they apply for leave to remain.


The type of visa an applicant has when applying for leave to remain will determine the time frame for a decision on their application. A great knowledge of the English Language and the test for life in the UK is vital for the success of the applicant unless they are over the age of 65 or less than 18 years old. A criterion for applicant’s eligibility can be found on the web site of the UK border Agency. Also, applicants can seek assistants from immigration layers in pursuit of their application.


The fees charged by the authorities are a bit high. The fee that a British citizenship application might cost you is £655 which has recently being increased in addition to £80 which goes towards the ceremony. The decision process can take up to six months to be finalized. The cost for Leave to remain increased to £972 and the decision time process varies.