Need Help Understanding How To Apply For British Citizenship ?
By Najma Ali of OTS Solicitors
British naturalisation is a process in which you can become a British citizen thus allowing you to work and live in the UK without any restrictions. One of the main requirements surrounding naturalisation applications is for the Applicant to have held ILR for 12months at the time of submitting the application.
Following the result of the referendum on 24th June 2016 which confirmed that the UK will be leaving the European Union, there has been an increased uncertainty for some as to their rights in the UK following the departure from the European Union. The doubt that this has cast over EEA nationals has increased rapidly since Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was triggered on 29th March 2017. It is vital to note that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty provides countries within the EEA the right to leave the European Union unilaterally.
Although the process for leaving the European Union will likely take 2 years, the terms of the deal to depart remains unclear and perplexing especially for the EEA nationals currently residing in the UK. There is currently no guarantee that EEA nationals residing in the UK will be safe from the implication of Brexit. We strongly advise that action is taken immediately by submitting the appropriate application to ensure that your legal status is not revoked.
How to Secure Your Status As An EEA National
One of the ways in which an EEA national can secure their status is by applying for permanent residency, if they have been a Qualified Person in the UK for the last 5 years. A Qualified Person is defined as someone who is a worker, self-employed, job-seeker, self-sufficient person or a student. permanent residency applications require the Applicant not to have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period.
The number of permitted days of absence in naturalisation applications, is that within the 5 years of permanent residency, it is not permitted to have spent more than 450 days outside the UK. Additionally, the Applicant must not have spent more than 90 days outside the UK within the last 12 months.
Good Character Requirement
The naturalisation process also requires the Applicant to evidence that they hold good character. It is important to note that UKVI has not provided a definition of good character and as such it is vital that correct legal advice is obtained from an experienced Immigration Solicitor who will be able to ascertain this point for the Applicant. The UKVI have only provided a list of undesirable behaviours in addition to the current complex rules on convictions and any adverse Immigration history which are highly likely to impact the success of an application.
Life in the UK and English Language Test
Additionally, the Applicant will need to undertake the Life in the UK test as well as obtaining an English Language certificate for at least Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference. In contrast to this, the EEA Regulations currently do not require Applications to pass an English Language test when applying for permanent residency.
How to Prepare a Successful naturalisation Application
Although some argue that the application form for naturalisation and permanent residency is straight forward, the actual documents required and the information provided relating to the Applicant, especially in relation to the importance of the number of absences permitted, must be completely correct. If the incorrect information or documents are provided to UKVI, the application can be delayed significantly and even refused as the UKVI are extremely specific and have provided extensive guidelines to ensure applications are made correctly. Thus if an incorrect application is submitted, they are not lenient and in some cases UKVI can allege that you have provided dishonest information which can be detrimental for your legal status in the UK.
How We Can Help You
It is extremely important that the correct advice and guidance is sought from experienced Immigration solicitors. Here at OTS Solicitors, our Solicitors have extensive:
experience and knowledge in the law relating to naturalisation and permanent residency whilst also having the insight in ensuring that the application is not only made competently on your behalf but also promptly. Please give us a call for a free initial assessment of your matter.