british citizenship

Register as a British citizen

Contents

Overview

There are different ways of becoming a British citizen. Some people can ‘register’ as one.

Registering as a British citizen is usually simpler than becoming naturalised, but you must be eligible.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

You may be eligible if:

As well as belonging to one of these groups there are other eligibility rules for each category.

The rules are different if you’ve previously renounced your British citizenship.

British nationals

You may be able to register as a British citizen if you’re a British national.

There’s a different way to register if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years or have worked in the Crown service.

You’re a British national and don’t have any other citizenship or nationality

To apply to register, you must be one of the following:

You’ll get British citizenship if your application is successful. Your children won’t automatically become British citizens if they were born outside the UK.

When you can’t apply

You can’t register as a British citizen if you’re a British overseas territories citizen (BOTC) and one of the following applies:

  • you’ve previously given up British citizenship
  • your BOTC status is in connection only with the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia

How to apply

Fill in:

Application Cost
Each adult £1,163
Each child £973
If child turns 18 during application process £80 each child (for citizenship ceremony)

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to form B(OS) before applying.

You’ve lived in the UK for 5 years or worked in the Crown service

You may be able to register as a British citizen if you hold any form of British nationality and either:

  • you’ve lived in the UK for at least 5 years - and spent no more than 450 days abroad during that time, and no more than 90 days abroad in the last 12 months
  • you’ve worked in the Crown service at any time

You’ll get citizenship ‘otherwise than by descent’ if your application is successful. Your children can also be British citizens.

How to apply

Fill in:

Application Cost
Each adult £1,163
Each child £973
If child turns 18 during application process £80 each child (for citizenship ceremony)

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to form B(OTA) before applying.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Born before 1983 to a British mother

You can register as a British citizen if you fulfil all of the criteria:

  • you would have automatically become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if women had been able to pass this citizenship on to their children in the same way as men at the time of your birth
  • you would have had the right of abode in the UK and have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983 if you had become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies
  • you’re of ‘good character’ - see the guidance to form UKM for details

Your children won’t automatically become British if born outside the UK.

You may be able to apply for naturalisation instead if you’re already resident in the UK.

How to apply

You need to:

Send the completed application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Born before 1 July 2006 to a British father

You can register as a British citizen if you:

  • were born before 1 July 2006
  • would have become a British citizen automatically if your parents had been married
  • are of ‘good character’ - see the guidance to form UKF for details

Your children won’t automatically become British if born outside the UK.

You may be able to apply for naturalisation instead if you’re already resident in the UK.

How to apply

You need to:

Send the completed application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Born in the UK after 1983

You’re automatically a British citizen if you were born in the UK after 1 January 1983 and one of your parents was a British citizen or settled here at that time. You don’t need to register.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

Your parent has become a British citizen or settled since your birth

You can register to become a British citizen if you fulfil all of the criteria:

  • you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983
  • you’re under 18 when you apply
  • one of your parents has become a British citizen or settled in the UK since you were born

How to apply

Application Cost
Each child £973
If child turns 18 during application process £80 each child (for citizenship ceremony)

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to application form MN1 before applying.

You lived in the UK until you were 10

You can register to become a British citizen if you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and neither of your parents was a British citizen or settled at that time.

You must:

  • be 10 or older
  • and have lived in the UK until you were 10 or older

You must also normally have spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in each of the first 10 years of your life.

If you spent more time than this outside the UK but there are special reasons for this, you’ll need to explain them on the form.

How to apply

Application Cost
Each adult £1,163
Each child £973
If child turns 18 during application process £80 each child (for citizenship ceremony)

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to application form T before applying.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Children born outside the UK

You may be able to apply for your child (under 18 years of age) to be registered as a British citizen, for example if you’re a British citizen but your child was born or adopted outside the UK.

The application must be received when your child is under 18.

There’s a different way to apply if your child:

How to apply

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to form MN1 before applying.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Gibraltar or Hong Kong

Gibraltar

You probably became a British citizen automatically if you were registered as a British overseas territories citizen in Gibraltar before 21 May 2002.

You can register as a British citizen if you were either:

  • naturalised in Gibraltar as a British overseas territories citizen after 21 May 2002
  • registered in Gibraltar as a minor after 21 May 2002

Get an application form from the Civil Status and Registration office.

Civil Status and Registration office
Email: csro@gibraltar.gov.gi
Telephone: +00 350 2005 1726

Hong Kong

You can apply if you’re ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the date of your application and were a resident there on 3 February 1997.

Children born after this date must be ordinarily resident at the time of their birth.

Ordinarily resident means:

  • you live in Hong Kong full-time
  • you’re not breaking any immigration rules
  • you’ve moved to Hong Kong voluntarily with the intention of settling there

Nationality

You must have been a British national on 3 February 1997 and you mustn’t have held another citizenship or nationality at the time or since then.

You can apply if you became a British national after 3 February 1997, unless you hold another nationality.

You can be a national of a country even if you’ve never had a passport from there - make sure this isn’t the case before applying for British citizenship.

You might be a Chinese national if you became a British national through your Hong Kong connections but are ethnically Chinese. Contact the immigration department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region before applying.

How to apply

Application Cost
Each adult £1,163
Each child £973
If child turns 18 during application process £80 each child (for citizenship ceremony)

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to form EM before applying.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Stateless people

You may be able to register as a British citizen if you’re not recognised as a citizen of any country - that is, if you’re a ‘stateless person’.

To register all of the following must apply:

  • you’ve lived in the UK or an overseas territory for 3 years or more
  • one of your parents is a British citizen, subject or protected person
  • you were born outside the UK and qualifying territories on or after 1 January 1983
Qualifying territories are all the British overseas territories, except sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (in Cyprus).

If you become a British citizen and you have children, they may automatically become British citizens but this depends on your circumstances. For example, if you’re a British citizen by descent you won’t be able to pass on British citizenship to your children.

Born before 1 January 1983

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

You’re probably already a British citizen if you were born in the UK before 1 January 1983.

Born on or after 1 January 1983

Fill in the application form and payment slip (make sure you fill in the correct registration fee).

  • if you were born in the UK or a qualifying British overseas territory, use application form S3 - read the guidance notes before you apply

  • if you were born outside the UK or the British overseas territories, use application form S2 - read the guidance notes before you apply

Application Cost
Each adult £1,163
Each child £973
If child turns 18 during application process £80 each child (for citizenship ceremony)

Send the application form and payslip to the correct address for the country you’re in.

In most cases you won’t get a refund if your application is refused. Read the guidance to your application form before applying.

After you apply

You’ll also need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be sent a letter explaining how. It costs £19.20.

Where to send your application

Where you should send your application depends on which country you’re currently in.

Make sure you send all the correct documents and correct fee with your form. Your application could be delayed or refused without a refund if you don’t.

England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

Send your application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Department 1
UK Visas and Immigration
The Capital Building
New Hall Place
Liverpool
L3 9PP

Channel Islands or Isle of Man

Send your application to the Lieutenant Governor.

British overseas territories

Send your application to the Governor of the territory.

Anywhere else (including Commonwealth countries)

Send your application to UK Visas and Immigration.

Department 1
UK Visas and Immigration
The Capital Building
New Hall Place
Liverpool
L3 9PP

Returning your documents

Enclose a pre-paid self-addressed Royal Mail envelope if you want your documents to be sent back to you by recorded or special delivery. The envelope needs to be big and strong enough to carry all your documents.

Otherwise your documents will be sent back using standard 2nd class post.

Further information

The rules on registering for British citizenship can be complicated. Contact UKVI if you’re not sure what category you are or if you might be eligible.

UKVI nationality contact centre
Nationalityenquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Prepare for the British Citizenship - Life in the UK Test

Remember, if you wanna do british citizenship firt must pass Life in the UK exam.

You can practise test on our web site totally for free or download intuitive scripts to learn with ready answers and explanations - only for £11.99

1.This is the only official government service for booking the Life in the UK Test. You need to take the test as part of your application for British citizenship or settlement in the UK. You must book your Life in the UK Test online at least 3 days in advance. It costs £50.

There are around 60 test centres in the UK - choose one of the 5 closest to where you live.

If the centre isn’t close to where you live, you won’t be allowed to sit the test and you won’t get a refund. You must bring proof of your address to the test.

2. What happens at the test, what you have bring and what happend if you fail test?

You’ll be tested on information in the official Life in the UK Test - you should study this Life in the United Kingdom - download questions and explanation pdf format to prepare for the official test.

You’ll have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs.

3. If you fail the test You must wait 7 days before taking the test again, but you can take the test as many times as you need to. You need to book and pay again each time.

Different ways to apply for British citizenship

There are different ways to apply for British citizenship based on your circumstances.

Apply for citizenship if you're from the EEA

You should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application.

Marriages and civil partnerships in the UK

Civil partnerships and marriages in the UK

UK residence for EU citizens

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until 2021. You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK after June 2021. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

Countries in the EU and EEA

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 28 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.

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How to apply for British citizenship if you're married to, or in a civil partnership with, a British citizen - who's eligible, fees and where to send your application

Prepare for the British Citizenship - Life in the UK Test

Remember, if you wanna do british citizenship firt must pass Life in the UK exam.

Life in the UK Test

Use this official service for booking a Life in the UK Test as part of your application for citizenship or settlement

Become a British citizen

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Prove you have right of abode in the UK

Having right of abode means you're allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions - apply for a certificate of entitlement to prove you have it

Apply to become a British citizen by naturalisation

Use form AN to apply for citizenship by naturalisation if you are living in the UK.

Apply online for a UK passport

You can apply for, update, renew or replace a passport online

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british citizenship

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Prepare for the British Citizenship - Life in the UK Test

Remember, if you wanna do british citizenship firt must pass Life in the UK exam.