Joint Application For British Citizenship
If you are looking to become a British citizen then you may want to do it at the same time as another family member. In this article, we will look at the options that are available to those who want to apply jointly for British citizenship and look at the best ways of achieving it. We will also look at the wider issues surrounding British citizenship: eligibility and the application process.
Can we apply for joint British citizenship?
Yes, as long as you both have gained Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) by being in the UK for a long enough period and have remained in the UK for a further 12 months then you will be entitled to make a joint application. The process is much the same as applying individually and you will need to return the application with the fee applicable.
If you need help with a joint British citizenship application then please get in touch and we can help to guide you in the right direction.
What are the benefits of applying for joint British citizenship?
The largest potential benefit was taken away, this was a reduction in the fees applicable for the application. Without this, the main benefit would be that you would both become British citizens at the same time and this could make applying for passports easier. After the removal of the fee reduction, the benefits mostly became negligible.
Indeed in some situations it may be more beneficial to apply individually as we lay out in the next section. If you are unsure of how best to proceed then please get in touch and we can take a look at your situation in more detail and help to guide you in the right direction.
Are there benefits to not applying for joint British citizenship?
Potentially yes. If one of you has a riskier application than the other then you could get the citizenship for one and apply for the other as a spouse of a British citizen and get the citizenship that way. Many people will opt for this option if there is any question over their eligibility.
If you are unsure about the best way to proceed with an application for British citizenship - whether a joint one or individual, then please get in touch and we'll be happy to help you.
Can I apply for a British passport at the same time as applying for British citizenship?
There used to be an option to do this at the same time but has since been withdrawn by UKVI. Local councils used to be able to offer this service in one appointment but this is now no longer the case. The method of doing this is now slightly different and is unfortunately a moving picture. If you wish to discuss the possibility of applying for a passport at the same time as making a British citizenship application get in touch and we'll be happy to guide you through the process.
Unless you need a British passport in a hurry, it may be better to wait until your British citizenship application is sorted before applying for a passport. UKVI is inundated with applications and is suffering under the strain currently. This means that your application may take longer than anticipated and you should plan accordingly.
What is the eligibility criteria for British citizenship?
You will need to ensure that match the eligibility criteria for British citizenship before making your application. The criteria is laid out below:
- You must be 18 years of age or over
- Be of good character - No serious or recent criminal record and have had no immigration offences in the last 10 years
- Have sufficient English language skill (proof required)
- Passed the "life in the UK" test
- Continue to live in the UK
- You were in the UK exactly 5 years before the day your application is received
- Lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application
- "Settled" in the UK (gained Indefinite Leave to Remain" for at least the last 12 months) if from outside of the EEA
- Had "Permanent Residence" (PR) if you are from an EEA country (will need to provide a PR certificate)
- Spent no more than 450 days outside of the UK in the last 5 years and spent no more than 90 days outside of the UK in the last 12 months.
As long as you match all of this criteria as laid out by the Home Office, you will be entitled to apply for British citizenship and will need to apply to UKVI with the application fee that is applicable.
What can prevent you gaining British citizenship?
In essence anything that is contrary to what is in the section above. Usually any immigration irregularities will cause your application to be refused. You will also likely gain a refusal if you have a recent or serious criminal record. UKVI will also check their records to ensure that you have kept to the conditions of your visa and that you have not been outside of the country for longer than the times allowed as laid out in the section above. As long as you have kept to all of the rules laid out then applying should be no problem.
If you are worried about your eligibility criteria for British citizenship then please get in touch and we'll be happy to help by looking at your case and trying to help you to decide whether an application is appropriate at this time.
Where can I get more help?
For more help with British citizenship or any other immigration query then please get in touch. Our immigration solicitors are on hand to provide expert advice and support and can help with any and all immigration queries. So please don't suffer in silence - get in touch and let us help you with your immigration query.