British nationality law has been shaped by the UK’s colonial past and has evolved to deal with a large number of entitlements to become a British Citizen, often based on a historical connection to Britain’s former empire.
At the most straightforward level, the British Nationality Act 1981 regulates the acquisition of British nationality by birth, descent or adoption. It also provides for the acquisition of British nationality by individuals residing in the UK for a defined period, known as naturalisation. This simple summary belies the complexity of law, which also includes provisions to register individuals as British based upon certain prescribed circumstances, including provisions to retrospectively ameliorate historic gender discrimination, and allows for a number of subsidiary categories of British nationality statuses, based on colonial connections.
How Can I Apply for British Citizenship?
The most common method of achieving British Citizenship is by a process called “naturalisation”.
Generally, applicants must have lived in the UK for at least five years, although there are certain qualifications that apply to this. Eligibility to apply for citizenship by naturalisation can be complicated. Seeking early advice from expert British Citizenship Solicitors will ensure you can benefit from our considerable expertise in this area.
The basic criteria include:
- You must be at least 18.
- You must be able to demonstrate that you are of good character, for example, checks will be made to ensure you do not have a serious or written criminal record and have not broken any immigration laws.
- You must intend to continue to live in the UK.
- You must speak English.
- You must pass the life in the UK
- You must meet the residency requirement.
Whichever route you require to take, the solicitors at McGill & Co recognise the importance of British Citizenship and the benefits it provides. We regularly acquire citizenship for our clients. Often this can involve a highly technical approach, including exhaustive ancestral status tracing to establish a right to citizenship. We are adept in dealing with the Home Office and navigating the detailed “Nationality Instructions”, which their caseworkers abide by in their decision making. We have also been involved in a number of precedent setting nationality cases, using our knowledge and lateral thought to secure results when it seemed impossible.
Contact our Immigration Solicitors in Edinburgh and Glasgow
For free, initial advice on any British Citizenship matter, contact our expert British Citizenship Solicitors today. McGill & Co is ranked as a market leader in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law. With offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we cover, all areas of Scotland and throughout the UK.