Citizenship FAQs

Contents

01   How long does an application for Citizenship take to be processed? Can I get a fast-track?

The UKVI website states that ‘you will usually get a decision within 6 months’. If you require a faster response on your application due to an upcoming deployment, you should speak to your Unit who should contact the non-UK team at Regional Command by emailing RC-Pers-FamSp-0Mailbox@mod.gov.uk. If you are a family member or a soldier on discharge and you require a faster decision, please be aware that there is no formal fast-track process, but it may be possible for the caseworkers to expedite the applications in certain exceptional/compassionate circumstances if external security checks (which are out of the control of caseworkers) have already been completed.

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02   Can I apply for British Citizenship if my home country passport has expired?

Yes but you will need to submit another form of ID, the guidance suggests the following:

  • Your passport* or
  • National identity* card or
  • Home Office travel document* or
  • Home Office entitlement card* or
  • Home Office ARC letter* or
  • Your birth certificate or
  • Your photo driving licence* or
  • A bank, building society or credit card statement issued to you within the last 6 months

* If you used one of these documents when you took the Knowledge of Life in the UK test you will be expected to use it again by providing it with your naturalisation application.

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03   Can my child get Citizenship once the soldier is British?

No, it is usually necessary for the child to have ILR and for both parents to have ILR or Citizenship first. There may be circumstances in which UKVI will grant Citizenship to your children exceptionally because they have discretion to do so, but you should not assume that just because one parent has become British that your child will be eligible.

See the children section on the citizenship page then select ‘Citizenship for children born outside the UK, (but not during an overseas assignment) and to parents who are not British or settled’ from the list.

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04   Does the fee waiver include Citizenship applications?

No, only ILR applications for serving personnel who have served 6 years or medically discharged with an attributable condition/injury.

For further information see ‘Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on/after discharge’ on the Discharge page.

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05   Can I apply for Citizenship once the soldier is British and I have been in the UK for 3 years, even if I don’t have ILR?

NO! You must hold indefinite leave/settled status before you can apply for Citizenship, even if you already meet the residence requirements. If you apply without holding ILR your application for Citizenship will be refused, the money will not be refunded and you are likely to become an overstayer.

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06   Do I have to take the Life in UK test to apply for Citizenship?

Yes! All applicants over 18 have to take this test, regardless of how long you have been in the UK or how long you have served for. Visit gov.uk/life-in-the-uk-test to book. It is possible to get an exemption for medical reasons in certain circumstances, see GOV.UK – Knowledge of language and Life in the UK Test exemption: long term physical or mental condition for more information.

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07   Do I have to take an English language test?

This depends on your nationality and whether you already have a degree taught in English. See the main requirements on the Citizenship page for further information. It is possible to get an exemption for medical reasons in certain circumstances, see GOV.UK – Knowledge of language and Life in the UK Test exemption: long term physical or mental condition for more information.

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08   How much does an application cost?

See our Forms & Prices page for the current fees.

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09   Do I have to have my biometrics taken?

Yes, all applicants over 6 years of age are required to have both fingerprints and digital photos taken. You will make a biometric appointment after you have submitted your application.

Booking your biometrics appointment

The UKVCAS website allows you to book an appointment up to 4 weeks in advance.

If you would like a free appointment, they are released at 9am each morning and are booked 28 days in advance. You will have to scroll through to the latest available date to find one free of charge.

These appointments are taken quickly so you will need to be logged in for 9am to be able to get a free one. If not, try again the next day or look under a different nearby Visa Application Centre (VAC) location.

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10   Can I make a joint application with my family?

No, each person applying has to complete a separate application, children apply on different forms. You can all apply together, but only if you all meet the eligibility requirements.

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11   What do I do if I change address after submitting my application?

You will need to inform UKVI of the change of address as soon as possible, complete the form at GOV.UK: UKVI – Change your address or your legal representative’s details – When to use the form

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