The subject of British Nationality can be complicated in certain circumstances, with a number of different ways in which a person may be, or may become a British Citizen. A person can become a British Citizen either by naturalisation, or by registration. The naturalisation provisions are less complex than those for registration and the most common ways of naturalising as a British Citizen are set out below.

Naturalisation through five years residency

After holding indefinite leave to remain for 12 months a person can apply for British Citizenship providing that they can satisfy the five year residency requirements, namely that:

You were in the UK on the date 5 years prior to the date the application is received by the UK Border Agency; and
Your are aged 18 or over
You have not been absent from UK for more than the permitted days


Children under 18 are not naturalised as British Citizens, but depending on circumstances they can often become registered as such. For example, where a child was born in the UK to parents who held limited leave to remain at the time of the birth and subsequently obtained indefinite leave to remain, an application can then be made for the child to be registered as a British Citizen. Additionally, children who are born in the UK to parents who hold indefinite leave to remain are British Citizens by birth and can apply for British passports immediately.
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