30 May How can a EU national apply for a British passport?
As a European citizen, you are deemed to automatically acquire Permanent Residence or ‘Settled’ status after completing 5 lawful years in the UK under the EEA Regulations 2016 or the EU Settlement Scheme.
Applying for Permanent Residence or ‘Settled’ status is a mandatory step prior to submitting a British Citizenship application.
Once you are in possession of a permanent residence card or a ‘Settled’ status for 12 months, as a EU citizen, you will be able to apply for British citizenship. There are exceptions to this, for instance, if you are married or the civil partner of a British citizen.
How to naturalise as a British citizen?
To naturalise as a British citizen, the migrant has to:
- Meet the residency requirements, including an assessment of absences from the UK and where he/she intends to live after making the application;
- Pass the Life in the UK Test if between the ages of 18-65 (This costs £50 and it can be booked online at least three days in advance);
- Meet the English language requirement Level B1– or have an qualified degree from /be a national of a majority English speaking country;
- Meet the “Good Character” guidance (for example, no recent or serious criminal convictions, bankruptcy or association with individuals of “bad character”)
Please note that of the requirements also apply to family members of European Union nationals.
How much does naturalisation cost?
The fees for naturalisation are £1330.
British citizenship ceremony
Migrants who apply for British citizenship must book the ceremony within 21 working days from the date listed on the citizenship ceremony invitation letter issued by the Home Office. This ceremony will be organised by the local council and is usually done in groups. However, migrant can ask for a private ceremony if he/she preferred.
Applicants have to book the citizenship ceremony with the local council via the website:
Migrants must take the invitation letter when they go to the ceremony, and they are also allowed to take 2 guests.
How much does the citizenship ceremony cost?
It costs £80 to attend a group ceremony. Please note that the private ceremonies normally cost more, and the applicants need to check the fee with the relevant local council.
During the ceremony
Applicants have to take an oath of allegiance (or an affirmation if they prefer) and a pledge. This means that the migrants promise to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the United Kingdom.
At the end of the ceremony, the participants will be presented with their certificate of British citizenship and a welcome pack. Some local councils sell photographs or videos of the event.
Applying for a British passport
Once the applicant meets all the requirements for naturalisation and obtains a naturalisation certificate, he/she will then be able to make an application for a British passport.
Candidates can apply either by submitting online from the GOV.UK website: www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport, or filling in the application from and posting it with the supporting documents to the UKVI address.
Please note that the passport fee depends on the type of application you are making, how you apply and how quickly you want your passport. Applications for Naturalisation are governed by the British Nationality Act 1981; as such, there are no separate rules for EU and non-EU citizens as regards applying to naturalise as a British citizen. All applicants have to meet the same requirements regardless of their nationality.
Contact Our Immigration Team
For expert advice regarding any aspect of British passport application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.