• 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.
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 UK citizens experience as part and parcel of life in the UK, with its Immigration
hostile environment policies.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.