Eligibility and fees
You can apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’ if you’re 18 or over, and for the past 12 months you’ve had either:
- indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- indefinite leave to enter the UK
‘Indefinite leave to enter’ is permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad - for example, on a Returning Resident visa.
You may have lost your indefinite leave to remain or enter if you’ve been away from the UK for more than 2 years at any time since you got it.
You must also:
- 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
- have passed the life in the UK test
- intend to continue living in the UK
- be of good character - read Naturalisation booklet AN
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 working illegally in the UK)
This is one way to apply for British citizenship. Check if you’re eligible another way, for example if your spouse is a British citizen.
How much it costs
It costs £1,330 to apply.
If you send the wrong fee your application will not be processed and you’ll have to apply again.
After you’ve applied you must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be sent a letter explaining what to do.