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What Happens to Your Indefinite Leave to Remain if your British Citizenship Application is Refused?

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Taking the decision to apply for British citizenship is a major step and one that most people take after very careful consideration to make sure that British citizenship is the best option for them. Once the decision has been made that you want to be a British citizen, the next step is to check that you meet the eligibility criteria to make a British naturalisation application. In this article we take a look at what happens to your indefinite leave to remain if your British citizenship application is refused by the Home Office and what you can do if your British citizenship application is not successful.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Indefinite Leave to Remain Lawyers

For advice on indefinite leave to remain, British citizenship and UK immigration law call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Do I have to make a British citizenship application?

You do not have to make a British citizenship application if you do not want to do so as once you have secured indefinite leave to remain your indefinite leave to remain status does not have an end date or expiry point.

If you are concerned about making a British citizenship application because you do not want to lose your nationality of origin your immigration solicitor can look into the option of dual nationality so you can retain your current nationality as well as take on British citizenship. Not all countries of origin will allow you to be a dual national so this is the first point to check. Depending on your country of origin and your travel and other plans it is best to speak to a British citizenship solicitor about whether dual nationality is the right option for you and for your family.

If you fear that your British citizenship application will be refused it is best to get specialist legal advice from indefinite leave to remain lawyers on your best option before you submit your naturalisation application to the Home Office. The immigration solicitor may either be able to reassure you about your British citizenship application, advise you on the timing of your naturalisation application or let you know what supporting paperwork you need to produce to make sure that your British citizenship application is successful.

What happens if my British citizenship application is refused?

If you make a naturalisation application and it is refused then the Home Office will need to give written reasons to explain why they refused your British citizenship application. It is important to take urgent immigration law advice if your application is refused. That is because although there is no right of appeal to argue against the decision to refuse you British citizenship, you do have four options:

  • Apply for a judicial review of the decision.
  • Ask the Home Office to review their decision by submitting an application for a reconsideration.
  • Apply for British citizenship again by making a fresh application to the Home Office.
  • Continue to live in the UK with your indefinite leave to remain status. If you do not secure British citizenship and remain with indefinite leave to remain status then you need to be mindful that if you leave the UK for two or more years when you have indefinite leave to remain status you may need to apply for a returning resident visa if you want to come back to the UK. It is best to take legal advice before you spend extended time out of the UK if you are intending to retain your indefinite leave to remain status.

Judicial review proceedings can be complicated and costly. In addition, if you decide to apply for a judicial review you will need to follow a pre-action protocol before you can start the court proceedings.

The option of asking for a Home Office reconsideration is simpler and quicker than a judicial review court application. If you ask for a reconsideration a different Home Office official looks at your British citizenship application. However, there is a Home Office fee payable if you decide to apply for a reconsideration. That is why it is best to take specialist British citizenship legal advice before you make an application for judicial review or a reconsideration to check that the application has a prospect of success and that your judicial review or reconsideration application is addressing all relevant points.

If you decide to apply for British citizenship again, you may be advised to wait before doing so because of the reasons for the refusal.

All applicants who have had their British citizenship application turned down do have the option of doing nothing as when you make a naturalisation application you do not lose your indefinite leave to remain status.

With indefinite leave to remain you can remain in the UK on a none time limited basis. Understandably, many people do not want to ‘stop at indefinite leave to remain’ and if that sentiment applies to you then it is best to get expert immigration legal advice before you submit your naturalisation application to give it the best chance of success. If your British citizenship application is refused then it is best to get some independent but specialist legal advice on where you should go from here – stick with indefinite leave to remain for the time being or make a reconsideration application or a fresh naturalisation application. The answer will depend on the reasons why your British citizenship application was refused and your personal and family circumstances.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Indefinite Leave to Remain Lawyers

For advice on your British citizenship application, appealing the refusal of British citizenship or any aspect of immigration law call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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