Naturalisation UK

Naturalisation gives you full rights as a British citizen.

A quick look

With naturalisation, you can stay in the UK as long as you want, as you have full citizenship.

Applications usually take six months to be accepted, though they can take longer.

Naturalisation UK

If you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status, you can apply for UK naturalisation. This is the final step for those who want British citizenship. 

You must have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting ILR, before you can apply for citizenship.


For a successful UK naturalisation application, you must:

  • Be of good character
  • Passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test
  • Lived in the UK lawfully for five years; indefinite leave to remain gives you this
  • Make the UK your home
  • Show you have adequate knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic. You may have already done this in your ILR application
  • Been present in the UK on the first day of your qualifying period, which would have been five years exactly before you applied for citizenship
  • Get your application endorsed by two referees who you know; their information must be included in the application

How to apply for UK naturalisation

First, you will need to fill in an online application form. Here, you will have to upload any relevant documents. 

It is also possible to apply for UK naturalisation through the post, but it will take longer. If you need your documents back by a certain date, it may be best to apply online.

Then, you will need to book an appointment with the UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) to give them your biometric information, such as your photos and fingerprints.

At your UKVCAS meeting, your documents can be scanned, instead of you sending them online.

Choosing your referees

On your application, you must provide your referees’ information. One must be a professional person of any nationality, such as a civil servant. The other must hold British citizenship and be a professional person over 25. 

Referees cannot be related to you or each other. Also, they cannot be someone representing you, and they cannot be employed by the Home office.

Applying for naturalisation UK as a spouse

If you are the spouse or civil partner of a British national, your path to citizenship is shorter. The requirements are roughly the same, however, there are some differences.

Instead of having to be in the UK for five years to get ILR, you only need to be here for three years. This three year requirement applies to any aforementioned requirements that mention being in the UK for five years.

You also do not have the requirement of making the UK your future home. 

Other information

  • You may be asked to go to an interview without an interpreter
  • If any of your circumstances change, such as if you move house or get arrested, you will need to inform UK Visas and Immigration
  • All of your documents must be translated into English or Welsh by a sworn translator.
The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on

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