Bridge Partners

British Citizenship - Naturalisation

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK in an eligible job with an employer licenced as a sponsor by the UK government.

Can I apply for the UK Skilled Worker visa?

We can help you. It’s what we do.

Overview

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK in an eligible job with an employer licenced as a sponsor by the UK government. This UK work visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. This category is for all foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce which cannot be filled by an already settled worker in the UK. There are a number of complex scenarios which should be discussed and explored in detail before you can apply.

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK in an eligible job with an employer licenced as a sponsor by the UK government. This UK work visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. This category is for all foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce which cannot be filled by an already settled worker in the UK. There are a number of complex scenarios which should be discussed and explored in detail before you can apply.

International Sportspersons visa

This category is for highly skilled sportspersons who must be recognised by a governing body as an elite sports person or a sports coach. The applicant must demonstrate that their employment in the UK will encourage the sport to become more elite and prominent in the UK.

To apply for ILR you must have spent continuous period of 5 years in the UK and must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months. You must also meet the English language requirement, pass the Life in the UK test and meet the salary threshold requirement of at least £35,800.

Indefinite leave to remain

The skilled worker visa lasts for up to five years. If you want to stay longer, you can apply to extend your, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. After five years, you may also be entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain, which gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like. You must apply to extend or update your skilled work visa UK if you change jobs or employer.

To apply for ILR you must have spent continuous period of five years in the UK and must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months. You must also meet the English language requirement, pass the Life in the UK test and meet the salary threshold requirement of at least £25,600 per year.

What is naturalisation?

If you are 18 years old and currently hold an indefinite leave to remain status or have enquired a right of permanent residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship through the process of naturalisation.  

With obtaining British citizenship, it enables you to apply for a British passport, vote, work and reside in the UK free from any immigration controls. This route is ideal if you intend on becoming a British citizen and wish to settle in the UK.  

Once you have permission for this route, you can live, work and study in the UK permanently without any immigration restrictions. Additionally, you may travel and spend time abroad without worrying about breaching any immigration laws.  

Who can apply for naturalisation?

To be eligible for the naturalisation process, there are various requirements to be met according to the Home Office guidelines. This may concern your immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions in the UK, your knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, and your good character.   

In addition to this, your requirements for British citizenship via the naturalisation route can vary depend on whether you are married to a British citizen or not. The requirements for both routes will be detailed further below.  

Moreover, if you are not married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you will be expected to wait 12 months from the date you are granted ILR before you can proceed with your naturalisation application.  

Regarding EEA/ EU nationals and their family members, they may apply for UK citizenship. They will need to demonstrate that they either hold settled status or a right of permanent residence for 12 months, prior to the date of the application. Also, EEA nationals and their family members can apply for naturalisation if they have been granted indefinite leave to remain, on another basis for 12 months prior to the date of application.  

Furthermore, if you have any previous offences and convictions, these are likely to impact your naturalisation application negatively. This includes a few factors based on your circumstances – for instance, the nature of the offence(s), whether you received a custodial sentence and whether the conviction is spent.  

What are the requirements?

To successfully qualify for naturalisation, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You must be over the age of 18. 
  • You should have spent at least 5 years continuous residence in the UK, with no longer than 450 days outside the UK. 
  • You have held indefinite leave to remain status in the UK for at least 12 months. 
  • You have met the B1 English Language level (unless exempt). 
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test.  
  • You have not breached any UK Immigration rules. 
  • Able to demonstrate the ‘good character’ requirement.  

 

There are several supporting documents that must be provided to evidence your eligibility for naturalisation. These would generally include: 

  • Original passport with information on your current nationality. 
  • IELTS certification. 
  • Proof of Life in UK test. 
  • Your BRP card. 
  • Confirmation of your residence in the UK. 
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain authorisation or proof that you are currently not subject to UK immigration restrictions. 
  • All your travel documentation from the previous five years to prove continued presence in the UK.  
  • You will also need to provide details of two referees within your application – both referees must have known you personally for at least 3 years. One of the referees must be a person with a professional standing (e.g., accountant, chemist, police officer etc) and can be of any nationality. The other referee should be a British citizen with a British passport, and either be a professional person or be aged over 25. It is crucial that both referees sign and complete the page with a passport picture of you attached.  

 

(Naturalisation if you are not a spouse of a British citizen) 

There are certain requirements to be met if you decide to apply for UK citizenship, and you are not married to a British citizen. You will need to satisfy the following: 

  • In the 12 months immediately prior to your application, you have not been outside the UK for more than 90 days.  
  • During this 12-month period, you have not been subject to any time restrictions on your stay in the UK. 
  • You were present in the UK on the exact date five years prior to making your citizenship application. 
  • During this qualifying five-year period, you have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days. 
  • During this qualifying five-year period, you did not breach any UK immigration laws. 
  • You can prove you have a good character. 
  • You have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK. 
  • You have good knowledge of the English language. 
  • You intend to make the UK your permanent home. 

 

(Naturalisation if you are a spouse of a British citizen) 

If you are applying for UK citizenship based on your marriage to a British citizen or a person with UK settled status, you will need to demonstrate the following: 

  • In the 12 months prior to your application, you have not been away from the UK for more than 90 days. 
  • You were present in the UK on the exact date three years prior to making your citizenship application.  
  • During this qualifying 3-year period, you have not been absent from the UK for more than 270 days.  
  • During this qualifying 3-year period, you did not breach any UK immigration laws.  
  • On the date you are making your application, you are not subject to any time restrictions on your stay in the UK. 
  • You can prove you have a good character. 
  • You have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK. 
  • You have good knowledge of the English language. 
  • You intend to make the UK your permanent home.  

What is the naturalisation processing time?

For the naturalisation application to be processed, it can take roughly 6 months. However, the more preparation put into the applications, then the quicker the decision – this can be made in as little as 3-4 months. Please note that processing times can vary based on the workload of the Home Office and any delays that may occur on their side.  

How to apply for the naturalisation process?

To commence your British citizenship application, you must apply online via the Home Office website. In majority of cases, this will be Form AN for adults who decided on naturalisation. Alongside your online application, you will be required to submit any supporting documentation and pay the relevant application fee. 

Please note, that Form AN is extensive as it is 30 pages long – therefore, it must be filled out accurately to avoid any issues with your application being processed. Our team of advisors can confidently assist you with these stages.  

In majority of cases, you will need to attend an appointment in the UK to enrol your biometric data within 45 days of submitting your application for UK Citizenship. It’s important to comply with this requirement, as failure to do so could result in your application being rejected.  

What happens once I have applied for naturalisation as a British citizen?

Once you have received a successful outcome from your application, you have been granted British citizenship. You will have 90 days to attend a citizenship ceremony in the UK, whereby you will be presented with your certificate of naturalisation. Once you have received your certificate, you can apply for your British passport.  

How much does it cost to obtain naturalisation?

The naturalisation application fee to become a British citizen is currently £1,580. You’ll also need to have your biometric information taken – there’s no fee for this, however.  

How can Bridge Partners Immigration help?

Our immigration advisors can confidently assist you with all nationality matters. Whether you are looking for guidance on the application process for naturalisation for yourself, or based on your marriage to your British spouse, we can best advise you on how to tackle the UK Citizenship process.  

At Bridge Partners, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver a friendly yet professional service that will help you achieve settlement and obtain UK Citizenship. Contact us today for an initial consultation with a member of our team.  

Frequently Asked Skilled Worker visa​ Application Questions

Someone can be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa if they have a job offer from a sponsoring company in the UK for a job that is on the list of skilled worker occupations. In addition, the skilled worker must have the required skills and experience to undergo the role in the company and have the required level of English language ability.   

The minimum salary for the Skilled Worker visa is either £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour or the “going rate” for the particular occupation code, whichever is highest. For each job on the Home Office occupation list, there is a “going rate” which details the recommended annual and hourly salary that an individual must earn for the role. The rates are based on a 39-hour week of work. Those applying for the Skilled Worker visa need 50 points to do so. These are gained from sponsorship, skill level and English language requirements. However, 20 further tradable points can be given to those that meet the minimum salary requirement. 

You cannot move to the UK without a job offer from a company that has a UK sponsor licence, unless you apply for the Global Talent visa where this is not a requirement. When you are applying for a Skilled Worker visa you must provide a certificate of sponsorship reference number which proves that you have a job offer and therefore permission to work in the UK with a registered sponsor.  

The general Skilled Worker visa requirements are that you must have a job offer from a company that is a UK-registered sponsor and have a certificate of sponsorship that confirms that you have permission to work in the UK within a specific job role. You must be paid the required minimum salary for the occupation, have the required skill level and English language ability to do the job and have enough funds to support yourself in the UK.   

Once all the correct documentation has been submitted, it takes around 3 weeks for an application for a Skilled Worker visa to be processed by the Home Office when applying outside of the UK. For applications within the UK, the standard processing time is 8 weeks, although this can take around 9 weeks on average.  

For the Skilled Worker visa, you will need to provide a valid passport and proof that you have a job in the UK with details about your job role, salary, and employer information. You will also need the reference number for your certificate of sponsorship which proves that you have an approved job offer with a registered UK sponsor. In addition, you will need to provide bank statements that show you are able to support yourself in the UK and proof of the required qualifications needed for the role such as an English language test and degree certificate.

Yes, you can study whilst on a Skilled Worker visa. There is no restriction on the number of hours you can study as long as it does not interfere with your work. Another requirement is that workers who study must first get an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for their studies and present it to the education provider.  

Skilled Workers are not allowed to run their own businesses.