For an adult, the process of applying to become a British citizen is called naturalisation while the process for children below the age of 18 is called registration. However, in specific circumstances, an adult may also apply for British nationality through registration.

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Registration category is not only open for children under 18 years but also for people who are British overseas or Overseas Territory nationals, those who gave up British citizenship previously, or if you are a stateless person. Every category has different requirements.

What are the Requirements for Citizenship in the UK?

There are 5 basic requirements to apply for British citizenship through naturalisation that most candidates must meet.

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be of “good character”. Generally, this means not having committed any serious crimes or immigration fraud.
  • Be currently living in the UK
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Pass the “Life in the UK” test

These are the general requirements for naturalisation, but most applicants must also have:

  • Lived in the UK for at least 5 years, without an absence longer than 450 days
  • Travelled outside of the UK for no more than 90 days in the last year
  • UK permanent residence (for EEA nationals) or been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (you must have had this for at least 1 year)

Spouses and civil partners of British citizens may have different requirements

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