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Coronavirus and British Citizenship: Guidance For Prospective Applicants

Coronavirus and British Citizenship: Guidance For Prospective Applicants

Important information regarding the impact of Coronavirus on British Citizenship applications.

With the COVID-19 pandemic constituting the most significant public health crisis in decades, it is fair to say we are living in hugely unprecedented times. For many, the actual magnitude of what is happening is yet to sink in, as the impact of Coronavirus grows greater each day. 

For overseas nationals in the UK, things are particularly insecure. Borders have closed and flights have been cancelled, leaving many unsure about their immigration status.

In an attempt to quell some of this uncertainty, the government has announced free visa extensions for all visas due to expire between the 24th of January and the 31st of May. This means that individuals who have overstayed their visa for Coronavirus-related reasons will not be punished.

Despite this, Coronavirus will still have significant permutations for a lot of visa types. For example, what will happen to holders of a Tier 2 Visa who have lost their job due to the pandemic?

Another important question concerns those applying for British citizenship– with so many things subject to change at the moment, will Coronavirus prevent people from naturalising in the UK?

Have British Citizenship Applications Been Affected By Coronavirus?

Fortunately, British citizenship applications are one of the few processes largely unaffected by the virus. Eligibility for naturalisation revolves around a person’s continuous and lawful residence in the UK, something that COVID-19 does not stand in the way of.

As long as all of the requirements are satisfied, applications can proceed as normal. In fact, lockdown measures may provide you with the perfect opportunity to commence your application, with more time at home to get prepared. IAS are here to help you with this- get in touch today on 0203 411 1966.

Fortunately, British citizenship applications are one of the few processes largely unaffected by the virus. Eligibility for naturalisation revolves around a person’s continuous and lawful residence in the UK, something that COVID-19 does not stand in the way of.

As long as all of the requirements are satisfied, applications can proceed as normal. In fact, lockdown measures may provide you with the perfect opportunity to commence your application, with more time at home to get prepared. IAS are here to help you with this- get in touch today on 0203 411 1966.

Am I Eligible For British Citizenship?

If you have decided that the lockdown presents the perfect opportunity to apply for British citizenship, your starting point should be to check that you are eligible. There are a number of criteria that must first be satisfied before the process of naturalisation can be completed. Whilst you may have been resident in the UK for the relevant qualifying period, if you have not passed the ‘Life in the UK Test’ your application will be denied.

The full list of eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have been continuously resident in the UK for a minimum of five years, with no more than 450 days of absence
  • Have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for at least one year
  • Meet the B1 CEFR English language requirements and pass the Life in the UK Test
  • Not have been in breach of any immigration rules

Regardless of how much time you have on your hands, assessing all of this yourself can prove quite difficult. That’s where our team of expert lawyers come in- at IAS, we remove the stress and difficulty from proceedings, ensuring your application goes as smoothly as possible.

What Documents Will I Need?

Once you have established that you are eligible for British citizenship, you can then begin to compile your supporting evidence portfolio. In order to maximise your chances of citizenship being granted, it is hugely important that you are able to submit all of the necessary paperwork to the Home Office.

Not only this, but ensuring that your documents are both correct and well-organised will maximise your chances of receiving a prompt decision. Failing to submit all of the required documents will inevitably lead to a delayed response, as there will be an increased additional burden on the person assessing your application.

When applying for British citizenship, you will need the following:

  • Proof that you have been a continuous lawful resident throughout the qualifying period
  • Proof of identification and permanent residence status
  • Travel details relating to time spent outside of the UK
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or proof that you hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
  • Evidence of your previous immigration status
  • Proof of your English language ability and knowledge of life in the UK
  • Proof that you have exercised your Treaty Rights

Making sure that all of this is in place can prove one of the most time-consuming parts of the application process. However, with government’s lockdown restrictions stressing the importance of staying in the house, now is the ideal time to get organised.

How Can IAS Help?

With British citizenship applications unaffected by Coronavirus, IAS are still on hand to guide you through the process. We see it as our job to remove the burden from your shoulders, and ensure you get the outcome you desire.

Our talented legal team have a wealth of experience in assisting with citizenship applications, so if you choose our services, you can rest assured you are in good hands. We understand the impact that Coronavirus is having on people’s lives. We know the future is uncertain. Therefore, we want you to feel certain that your citizenship application will be approved. In such unprecedented times, naturalising as a Briton will give you some much-needed reassurance that your future in this country is secure.

If you opt for our services, we will:

  • Check through your supporting documents to make sure they are correct
  • Prepare a Letter of Representation that outlines the strengths of your application
  • Complete your application form to the highest possible standard
  • Ensure that you are fully prepared for the Life in the UK test and English language test
  • Check that you are eligible for British citizenship