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British nationality

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When you think of British nationality your thoughts might turn to cricket, the royal family and all the other things that are quintessentially British. For example, complaining about the weather or adopting a stiff upper lip in times of trouble. However, what British nationality and British Citizenship means and feels like to you can be very different depending on whether you are a British national or you are wanting to apply to naturalise as a British citizen.

British nationality solicitors

London based OTS Solicitors specialise in British nationality law and have substantial experience in successful British Citizenship applications, advising on routes to settlement in the UK and Indefinite Leave to Remain as well helping in cases of loss of British Citizenship. Their expertise is recognised by rankings in the leading legal directories, Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.
To speak to an immigration solicitor at OTS Solicitors about British citizenship and how we can help you call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online form.

British nationality

You would think it would be easy to know if you or your child are British citizens but the rules on British nationality are surprising complicated. That is why a number of newspapers have recently featured stories about children living in the UK who are not automatic British citizens.

British nationality establishes a right of abode as well as a right to work in the UK and to hold a UK passport. You might be a British citizen depending on where and when you were born and your parents’ circumstances when you were born.
Immigration solicitors say that the important thing to be aware of is just because a person was born in the UK this does not mean that they are a British citizen. If you have any doubts about your British Citizenship, or that of your child, it is best to check with an Immigration solicitor.

British nationality and becoming a British citizen

If you are not a British citizen, you may be eligible to either:

• Register as a British citizen; or

• Apply for naturalisation to become a British citizen.

naturalisation as a British citizen

naturalisation as a British citizen sounds rather an odd phrase but London immigration solicitors say that naturalisation is the route to British Citizenship for those who want to live in the UK free from Immigration control and with all the rights that British nationality confers.

British Citizenship and dual nationality

A successful applicant for naturalisation becomes a British citizen. Not everyone who wants to live and work in the UK wants to lose their nationality of origin to acquire British Citizenship because our nationality can be an integral part of who we are and who and what we identify with.
For those who do not want to lose their nationality of origin to acquire British nationality there may be the option of dual nationality. UK British nationality law allows British citizens to hold dual nationality. Dual nationality means an applicant for naturalisation does not have to sever all legal links with their country of origin. However, although the UK allows dual citizenship many other countries do not do so. Therefore your country of origin may require you to relinquish your nationality of origin when naturalising as a British citizen.
If you feel strongly about retaining your nationality of origin it is best to speak to an Immigration solicitor to see if it is possible to do when applying for naturalisation as a British citizen. If the answer is no, an Immigration solicitor can advise you on advantages of an application for naturalisation and look at the alternative Immigration options that best meet your needs.
For example, the option of Indefinite Leave to Remain Immigration status may be the best Immigration solution for you if you want to live and work in the UK free from Immigration control but are not concerned about acquiring a British passport and have no intention of leaving the UK for a period in excess of two years. Alternatively, if you are an EEA national an Immigration solicitor can discuss whether an application for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme is the best route for you, depending on your priorities and plans.

British nationality and naturalisation criteria

The law on British nationality and the naturalisation criteria are considered rather complicated by many as the rules on eligibility to apply for British naturalisation say that a person can apply for British naturalisation if:

• They have lived in the UK for the past five years; and

• They have had Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least twelve months; or

• They are an EEA national and have had permanent residence status for the last twelve months; or

• They are the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen and have lived in the UK for the last three years and if a non-EEA citizen they have Indefinite Leave to Remain status and if an EEA citizen they have permanent residence status; or

• They have a British parent; or

• They have another type of British nationality, for example from an overseas territory.

British nationality legal advice

The route to British nationality requires careful and early legal advice on your visa options as not all UK visas provide a route to settlement in the UK. You may also need advice on the timing of an application for permanent residence or an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain as this in turn will impact on the timing of a British nationality application.
Families are as complicated as Home Office Immigration Rules and British nationality law. Take the royal family who most would describe as a British foundation. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were of German heritage. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born in Corfu and was originally a prince of Greece and Denmark until he became a British national on his marriage to the queen. Fast forward to 2019, and Prince Philip is great grandfather to Archie, a dual citizen of the USA and UK. So a family that most of us think stands for tradition and all things British is as rich in cultural heritage as many other London families.
If you are interested in applying for British nationality then it may help to realise that being British and embracing British nationality is a journey that can start on day one of your settlement in the UK with early Immigration law advice on your UK settlement options looking at what Immigration solutions work best for you and your family.

British nationality solicitors

If you are considering applying to naturalise as a British citizen it is best to take expert Immigration law advice on your Immigration and citizenship options before making the decision about applying for naturalisation as a British citizen.
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law and British nationality. The firm is recommended for Immigration law in the leading law directories, Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and the Legal 500. OTS Solicitors also have Law Society accredited solicitor status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
For information on naturalisation as a British citizen and help with applying to become a British citizen call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors or complete our online enquiry form.

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