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United Kingdom (UK) - Citizenship
The first step to the application process is to register as a British Citizen by completing the forms. The AN will need to be filled out and approved, along with specific sections that apply to an expat’s particular circumstances, such as the BOS or UKM sections. For those with family under 18 years of age, a parent must first attain citizenship before their children are granted nationality; however, there is an application for children to be filled out and sent in at the same time. An application requires proof that a person is of good character and sound mind.
Applying for Citizenship
Application forms for citizenship can be found online at the UK Border Agency. There are also other ways to apply. Visiting the National Checking Service is one option. The UK Border Agency has a list posted online of locations where the NCS can be found. Individual applications are online at:
To apply through a representative or agent, an expat needs to visit the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner online at:
Evidence is required for the application process. The person applying must show five years of information regarding address, time in the country, and salary. They must also present copies of identification to prove who they are. All information needs to be submitted at the same time as the application for the process to be completed.
Dual Citizenship Options
Each country has its own rules for citizenship. The United Kingdom does not withhold residency if an expat is unwilling to give up their homeland. However, there are many countries that will not allow a person to hold dual citizenship. An expat from one of these countries will have to give up or renounce their existing citizenship to gain UK naturalisation. If the home country allows for dual citizenships, then it is not a problem to keep both.
There are advantages to gaining a British citizenship such as protection abroad when travelling. The UK embassy would be able to help; however, they are unable to help if an expat is in their national country.
Other Considerations for Citizenship
Applying for citizenship as an expat takes great consideration given the issues that can arise should the application be denied. If the reason is not enough time in the United Kingdom before a person applied or if evidence of work, salary, and home life are missing, a new application can be sent within the next year. If an application is denied, there is typically a waiting time before a person can try again.
There are situations where a denial will lead to deportation. One reason for this is a fake marriage. If supporting evidence of a marriage is not detailed enough, or the inspector feels the marriage is for convenience and citizenship, a person can be denied naturalisation and be forced to leave the country.
Other instances of deportation may occur if there is improper information on the application. It is best to double check the application to make sure there is no missing or incorrect information. Additionally, should a person gain citizenship and subsequently commit a crime they can be deported back to their home country even if they renounced their citizenship to gain UK naturalisation.
UK Border Agency
Information for citizenship and the application process is found at the UK Border Agency Website.
Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner
Online website and citizenship office for agent-represented expats
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