Obtaining British citizenship is a goal for many people around the world. British citizenship has many benefits, including freedom of movement to other parts of the British Commonwealth, such as Australia, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa and New Zealand, as no visa is required. Outside the Commonwealth, there are also some countries where you can travel with a U.K. passport.
The benefits of having British Citizenship are
The right to live permanently in the United Kingdom
You can freely move to the U.K. and enjoy the benefits of citizenship, including the ability to purchase property work, open a bank account and marry in the UK.
No travel restrictions
People who hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residence in the UK are not usually permitted to spend more than two continuous years outside the UK. British Citizens have no restrictions on how much time they can spend outside the UK.
No work restrictions
UK Citizens are free to work without a work permit and similar restrictions. Citizens can also access government unemployment benefits and job search services.
Free medical care to British Citizens
The UK National Health Service (or NHS) began in 1948 and is one of the largest organisations in Europe. Another benefit of British Citizenship is that the NHS provides all UK Citizens with free healthcare and treatment.
Right to vote
All UK-born and naturalised citizens have full civic rights, including voting in a parliamentary, local or European election. This gives you a voice in the governing of the country. To vote, you must have your name on the register of electors, known as the electoral register.
Stable society and economy
The Pound is a fairly strong and reliable currency. The UK economy is quite resilient even during a world financial crisis. The UK has a stable government and a moderate population, where discrimination and sexual harassment for example, are illegal.
Easy entry to the UK
Once you get British citizenship, you can apply for a UK passport. That means you will no longer be subject to immigration controls. Most UK airports have ePassport gates where British Citizens can enter using automated machines rather than dealing with a live agent.
Standing for public office
Most British citizens aged 18 or over can stand for public office. There are some exceptions, and these include members of the armed forces, civil servants and people found guilty of certain criminal offences.
Another great benefit of British Citizenship is that British Citizens pay considerably less for their higher education in the UK. Generally, a student must be a UK resident for at least three years to avoid paying higher international rates. And British Citizens will have access to UK student loans.
Diplomatic Offices worldwide
There are 280 British Embassies and Consulates in more than 170 countries. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) leads efforts to promote and protect UK values and interests overseas. In doing so, the FCO operates globally and has the following foreign policy priorities: Britain’s national security, Britain’s prosperity, and Supporting British citizens overseas.
UK Dual citizenship
More than 40 countries allow dual citizenship, including the United States and Great Britain. According to the U.K. government, those who are already British citizens can apply for foreign citizenship without forfeiting their UK status. However, many countries do not accept dual citizenship. Check with the country’s consulate or embassy in the UK to find out about that country’s laws on dual nationality.
There are also disadvantages to holding citizenships in two or more countries that should be considered. These include the possibility of double taxation, limited consular help in some situations, and often not being eligible for special security clearances required for specific government jobs.
As a dual national, you cannot get diplomatic help from the British government when you are in another country where you hold citizenship. For example, if you hold both British and Chinese citizenship, you cannot get diplomatic help from the UK when you’re in China.
Bear in mind that if you apply for British citizenship and you need to give up your current nationality and passport. You might need a visa to visit your home country, not be allowed to own property there or not be allowed to move back.
How Can We Help
Nationality law is a complex area. Our experienced team can assist you in acquiring British Citizenship if you have been residing in the UK or are married to a British Citizen. Call us if you wish to discuss your application on 02087575751 or use our contact form.
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Frequently asked questions
Usually, you can apply for British Citizenship after lawfully residing in the UK for 3 or 6 years, depending on your circumstances.
Unfortunately, you do not automatically become British when you marry a UK citizen. You need to apply for naturalisation based on your marriage. If your children are born in the UK, they’ll automatically be British citizens if you have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or permanent residence when they’re born – you don’t need to be a British citizen.
The Home Office can take up to 6 months to give a decision. Our applications are usually granted in 1-3 months.