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UK Permanent Residence

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Citizenship and Naturalisation

Once a person has had indefinite leave to remain for a year they may apply for naturalisation as a British citizen.

Once a candidate has been physically resident in the UK for a year as a permanent resident, they may apply to become a naturalised British citizen. Unfortunately, naturalisation applications are likely to take one to one and half years to be processed. Those who seek naturalisation other than by marriage to an UK Citizen must meet the requirements outlined below:

General Requirements:

  • They must be aged 18 or over and are not of unsound mind.
  • They must be of good character.
  • They should have a sufficient knowledge of the English language (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic). There are exemptions to this requirement, for example if one is old or mentally handicapped.
  • They should intend to live in the UK or in Crown Service abroad (working directly for an UK Government organisation), or be employed by an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or be employed by a company or association established in the United Kingdom.


In addition the candidate should have fulfilled the five year requirement as detailed below. The five year period is measured from the five years the date the application reaches the home office.

  • The candidate must have been in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 5 year period; and
  • In the 5 year period the candidate must not have been outside the United Kingdom for more than 450 days; and
  • In the last 12 months of the five year period the candidate must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days; and
  • In the last 12 months of the five year period the candidate's stay in the United Kingdom must have been not subject to any time limit under the immigration laws; and
  • The candidate must not have been in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws at any time in the 5-year period.

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