Below are the different ways people have become a naturalized British citizen. The numbers to the right indicate how many people became naturalized with that particular method as a % of the total naturalizations.
The top 2 – naturalization based on residence and naturalization based on marriage are the most popular methods as these are the ones that are open to all and have been discussed in detail below.
The others options have requirements that only a select few are able to fulfill such as being born abroad to parents who are British by descent and are now living in the United Kingdom.
Naturalization Based on Residence is by far the most popular and about half of the people that get naturalized choose this method year on year (see above)
To be naturalized using this method, one must have lived in the UK for at least 6 years before the Home Office receives the application. Within that period, applicant must not have been out of the UK for more than 450 days (approx. 15 months) and not more than 90 days within the last year (approx. 3 months). The applicant should also have permanent residence and not broken the UK Immigration rules at any time.
On top of that, one must be over 18 and of sound mental disposition. Said applicant must also be of good character and able to communicate in English. Applicant should also have plans of living in the UK for 6 years or be employed by a company based or established in the UK.
Naturalization Based on Marriage is the second most popular and is almost the same as the above but within a shorter time frame.
The three year period should begin with the applicant living in the UK. The applicant must have secured permanent residency by the time the Home Office receives the application. Within this 3 year period, the applicant must not have been out of the UK for more than 270 days (approx. 9 months) and not more than 90 days in the last year (approx. 3 months). As also mentioned previously, applicant must not be in breach of UK Immigration rules.
A child being fortunate enough to have been born abroad to British parents by descent and are now living in the UK can become a citizen as long as the applicant fulfills these additional requirements. Applicant must have been living in the UK for 3 years with his / her parents. Said applicant must have not stayed outside the UK for more than 270 days (approx. 9 months) during the 3 year period and has secured consent from applicant’s parents to register as a UK citizen.
These options are not very popular not because it is difficult to fulfill, but rather because it is impossible to meet unless the applicant has British Citizens for parents. These methods are reserved for those that have British blood by “lineage”.
Almost 3 in 4 approved applications are through residency or marriage.