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Last Update: 20th April 2011

British Citizenship Applications British citizenship applications can be granted in a number of ways to those who have a right to live in the United Kingdom. Firstly, is it can be granted through naturalisation whereby the person needs to be over the age of 18 and has been living in the United Kingdom for the last five years and not on a student visa during that period.

Secondly, British citizenship can be granted to those who have been issued a spouse visa which enables a husband, wife, or civil partner to apply for leave to enter, or leave in the United Kingdom on the grounds that they are married to a person settled in Britain.

The requirements for a spouse visa is that the partners need to be of legal age to get married, they are legally married to each other, plan to live together, able o support themselves without recourse to public funds, and have adequate accommodation. If the couple have children under the age of 18 years, they will be granted entry to the United Kingdom as dependants. After the two year spouse visa, the partner can than apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, which is permanent residency.

Thirdly, British citizenship applications can be based on ancestry whereby a person who is a commonwealth citizen can immigrate to the United Kingdom based on their ancestral ties to the UK. The requirements are that applicant must be over the age of 17 years, the applicant must be a commonwealth citizen, and the applicant must have a grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. The applicant must provide documentary evidence of a birth certificate, full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent of whose ancestry is based on, marriage certificates of the parents and grandparents.

An immigration lawyer can assist the applicant with the British citizenship applications and the forms and many have a wealth of experience in immigration law, and some have dealt with very crucial and complex matters especially with settlement of persons in foreign countries. They usually assist with the filling in the correct application form for the client, getting the relevant and correct paperwork and any other essential documents that are needed to make the whole immigration process smoother.

The cost for an immigration lawyer will vary usually according to the law firm, the complexity of the immigration case at hand, and if the lawyer offers legal aid. There are other organizations which assist people with their immigration enquiries and British citizenship applications such as law centres, which usually do a financial income related assessment and based on that, the client could be entitled to legal aid.

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©Smita Nagi Ciasa

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