Naturalisation as a British citizen: caseworker guidance

Immigration staff guidance on how to consider applications for naturalisation as a British citizen.



UK Visas and Immigration guidance for staff explaining the specific requirements an applicant must meet in order to naturalise as a British citizen and how to process applications. It includes information on:

  • full capacity requirement

  • residence requirement for naturalisation

  • applicants exempt from immigration control

  • future intentions requirement

  • Crown, designated and armed forces service

Published 27 July 2017
Last updated 23 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated to clarify the Home Secretary’s power and discretion to grant or refuse naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981.

  2. Changes have been made to reflect the introduction if the Illegal Migration Act 2023. Guidance has also been updated to reflect that applicants holding a Withdrawal Agreement right to reside in the UK permanently on the basis of qualifying activity for the relevant period, should be considered free from immigration time restrictions. The section on ‘breaches of immigration law in the qualifying period’ has also been updated to confirm that pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) does not expire.

  3. Added accessible HTML version of the guidance.

  4. Information under section ‘Comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI)’ on page 49 has been updated to reflect a recent judgement about EEA nationals and comprehensive sickness insurance.

  5. Updated list to include current and former members of the armed forces.

  6. This guidance has been amended following changes made by the Nationality and Borders Act 2022. The sections on presence at the start of the qualifying period and breaches of immigration law have been amended. We have also removed some sections on EEA nationals to reflect the current position.

  7. The absences section has been updated where the absence exceeds as a result of Crown Service overseas.

  8. Updated guidance with changes to the sections on EEA and Swiss nationals to reflect the end of the grace period on 30 June 2021. These include the sub-sections on freedom from immigration time restrictions, lawful residence and discretion to waive immigration breaches.

  9. Updated guidance with changes to the sections on EEA nationals, for applications made during the 'Grace Period'.

  10. Updated guidance.

  11. Updated to make changes to the section on immigration breaches.

  12. Updated version of guidance document published.

  13. New guidance document uploaded.

  14. Guidance updated.

  15. First published.