British nationality or Indefinite Leave to Remain?

 

It is a tricky question to ask if you need British Citizenship if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. It is a question many Immigration clients ask their London immigration solicitors as they want to know whether British Citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain is the best option for them. There is not a right or wrong answer to the question “is British Nationality or Indefinite Leave to Remain best?” as the reply from an Immigration law specialist will depend on your personal circumstances.

 

Indefinite Leave to Remain solicitors 

 
OTS Solicitors are specialists in British Nationality and Indefinite Leave to Remain applications and are recommended for Immigration law in the two leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.
 
For advice on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Nationality please call us on 0203 959 9123 to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors or complete our online enquiry form.
 

The difference between British Nationality and Indefinite Leave to Remain 

 
It is understandable that Immigration clients get confused about the differences between British Nationality and Indefinite Leave to Remain as the status of both British Citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain gives you the right to live and work in the UK.
 
There are however crucial differences between British Nationality and Indefinite Leave to Remain:
 

• With naturalisation or British Citizenship you become British (or you can acquire dual citizenship if your country of origin offers the option of dual citizenship and you decide not to lose your citizenship of origin);

• A British citizen can only lose their British Citizenship in very limited circumstances;

• A British citizen by naturalisation has almost the same rights as a British citizen by birth. For example, a naturalised British citizen has the right to vote in UK elections; 

• A British citizen can enter and leave the UK without being subject to ongoing Immigration control and there are no rules about the length of time they can spend overseas;

• With Indefinite Leave to Remain you retain your nationality. All that Indefinite Leave to Remain Immigration status provides is permission to live and work in the UK on an unlimited time basis. The status of a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain is a mid-way point. It is more secure than a person living and working in the UK on a visa and subject to Immigration control but it is not as secure as a person who has gained British Citizenship through naturalisation;

• If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain you will lose your Immigration status if you are absent from the UK, Ireland or the crown dependents for a period in excess of two years. If your Indefinite Leave to Remain status ends then you will have to apply to re-enter the UK as a returning resident. It is essential that you understand the visa rules on returning residents if you do not want to apply for British Citizenship and plan to leave the UK for over two years whilst you have Indefinite Leave to Remain  Immigration status in the UK ;

• If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain then as you remain a national of your home country you will remain subject to the laws of your country of citizenship, for example laws on army conscription.      

 
The difference between British Citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain can appear subtle but the distinction in Immigration status can be life changing. That is why it is best to take legal advice before ruling out applying for British Citizenship or deciding to apply to naturalise as a British citizen.
 

The definition of Indefinite Leave to Remain 

 
Indefinite Leave to Remain gives an applicant the right to live and work in the UK, free from most aspects of Immigration control and visa restrictions and visa time limits. A successful application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be liberating as it removes many of the pressures many none UK citizens experience as part and parcel of life in the UK, with its Immigration hostile environment policies.
 

Indefinite Leave to Remain and applying for British Citizenship 

 

Many Immigration clients assume that as they have applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain they should continue with their Immigration journey and apply for British Citizenship. Immigration solicitors say that an application for naturalisation as a British citizen is not necessarily the right route for all Immigration clients to take and that legal advice should be taken to ensure that you chose the Immigration application that best suits your needs and requirements, and those of your family. 
 
For example, if you chose to apply for British Citizenship and your country of origin does not allow for dual citizenship you will lose your legal links and legal status in your country of origin. This may not just affect you. Depending on your country of origin or where you hold nationality, it may also prevent, or make it harder, for your children to apply for nationality or move to live permanently in your country of origin.
 

Obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain

   
You may think that if you have lived in the UK for say five or ten years then you will automatically receive Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, the UK Immigration Rules do not work that way.
 
An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain has to be made to the Home Office and a UK Visas and Immigration caseworker will assess your eligibility to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain against strict Home Office criteria. 
 

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain   

 
An Immigration solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and the best supporting evidence that you can produce to assist your application.
 
You will be eligible to make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided that:
 

• You are a non-EEA national;

• You have been lawfully resident in the UK or, in other words , have had permission to be in the UK for the relevant qualifying period;

• You have a UK Immigration visa that allows you to apply for settlement in the UK. Not all visas allow you to settle in the UK. For example, the Investor Visa allows you to settle in the UK but the Start-up visa does not do so. There are routes to settlement in the UK after arrival on a Start-up visa but it is vital that you take specialist Immigration legal advice on the best route to UK settlement that caters for your individual and family circumstances.

 

How can Indefinite Leave to Remain solicitors help?

 
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters and have vast experience in making applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain and applications for naturalisation as a British citizen. 
 
London based OTS Solicitors are recommended for Immigration law in the two leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
 
For more information about applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or naturalisation as a British citizen or any other aspect of personal or business immigration law, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to speak to one of our friendly and approachable  immigration solicitors who will be happy to help you.
 

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For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

 

We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of Immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.

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