Eligibility and fees
If you or a family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you usually get ‘permanent residence’ status automatically after living in the UK for 5 years.
You need a permanent residence document that proves your status before you can apply for British citizenship.
You’ll usually need to have had permanent residence status for 12 months before you can apply for citizenship. You will not need to wait 12 months to apply if you’re married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
You may have lost your permanent residence status if you’ve been away from the UK for more than 2 years at any time since you got it.
You must also:
- be over 18
- prove you were in the UK exactly 5 years before the day the Home Office receives your application
- prove your knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic
- show you’ve passed the life in the UK test
- intend to continue living in the UK
- be of good character - read the ‘naturalisation’ guidance
This is one way to apply for British citizenship. Check if you’re eligible another way, for example if you have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme.
You should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application.
You cannot include any time spent in the UK when you’re exempt from immigration control (for example, as a diplomat or member of visiting armed forces).
You should also not have:
- spent more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
- spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
- broken any UK immigration laws (for example living illegally in the UK)
How much it costs
It costs £1,330 to apply. You must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be told how to do this after you’ve applied.
How long it takes
You’ll usually get a decision within 6 months - some applications can take longer.
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.