Form AN: How to apply for British citizenship

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For many people, being a citizen of the country where they live is a fundamental part of belonging to their community and nation. Foreign nationals living in the United Kingdom cannot immediately become British citizens through any immigration route. Rather, you must live in the United Kingdom, obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), and then apply for naturalisation as a British citizen. The process of becoming a British citizen is by no means a short or inexpensive journey, but for many it is worth the effort. If you are an adult over the age of 18 who wants to become a British citizen, you will use Form AN to submit an application for naturalisation.

This article will outline the concept of naturalsation in the United Kingdom and explain the benefits of becoming a British citizen. It will explain Form AN and the requirements and eligibility criteria to submit this application. Then, the article will walk you through how to fill out Form AN and submit the necessary supporting evidence. Finally, it will tell you how to complete the naturalisation process and answer commonly asked questions by applicants.

 

What is naturalisation?

Naturalisation is the legal process by which a foreign national individual becomes officially recognised as belonging to and being represented by another country. It bestows rights and obligations on individuals that they previously did not possess, such as citizenship and the right to hold the passport of the new country of nationality.

There are many benefits of becoming a British citizen. You will attain the indefinite and complete right of abode in the United Kingdom, including the ‘right to return’, if you were to leave the country for more than 2-years at a time and protection against deportation, if you are convicted of a criminal offence in the future. You gain the right to all public UK education, including universities with access to student funding and loans, and access to full medical care without the requirement to ever again pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. You will get the right to vote in all UK elections and to run for public office. You also gain the right to apply for a British passport and the right to pass down your British nationality to your children.

You may also simply want to become a British citizen to formalise your sense of belonging to the United Kingdom as your home country.

 

What is Form AN?

Form AN is the specific online application form used that some people can use for naturalisation as a British citizen. It is used for adults over the age of 18 who are currently nationals of a different country and seek to become British citizens due to their ongoing and subsisting connection with and residence in the United Kingdom. Form AN is the most common online form for naturalisation applications. If you are under the age of 18, you will use a different form to become British through a different process known as ‘registration of British nationality’.

 

Requirements to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen using Form AN

There are many key requirements to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN. The requirements will depend on the route you are using to become a British citizen.

If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you can apply for naturalisation as a British citizen as soon as you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme. You must have also lived in the United Kingdom for the past three years in a row at the point of application.

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can apply for naturalisation as a British citizen once you have held ILR for at least 12 months at the point of application. You must have been living in the United Kingdom for those 12 months.

If you have Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can apply for naturalisation as a British citizen once you have held Settled Status for at least 12 months. You must have been living in the United Kingdom for those 12 months.

For all routes under Form AN, you will need to be over the age of 18. If you are under the age of 18, you will use a different form. You will also need to meet all of the general eligibility criteria.

 

What are the eligibility criteria for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN?

Before submitting your application for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN, you will need to meet all of the eligibility criteria.

You must hold Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and have held this status for the past 12 months – please note that individuals who are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen are eligible for naturalisation as a British citizen immediately after receiving Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status

You must not have been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 90 days in the past 12 months, nor 450 days in total in the past 5 years – please note that individuals who are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen are exempt from this requirement. Certain individuals on business-oriented visas and the UK Ancestry Visa are also exempt from this requirement

You must have passed the Life in the UK Test, demonstrating your knowledge of UK history, civics, politics, culture, and values – please note that individuals over the age of 65 are exempt from this requirement, as are individuals with significant physical and mental health diagnoses

You must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the English language and/or Welsh and Scottish Gaelic. For the English language, you can do this by taking a certified language test, being a national of an English majority country, or having a degree from a recognised English language university – please note that individuals over the age of 65 are exempt from this requirement, as are individuals with significant physical and mental health diagnoses

You must meet the ‘good character requirements’, as outlined by the Home Office. This means that you have a limited criminal background and have not engaged in international crimes such as war crimes and terrorism. You also must disclose if you have ever filed for bankruptcy and be generally financially sound. You must not have been dishonest in dealings with government and local politics, nor breached any UK immigration law throughout your time in the United Kingdom

You must obtain two character references from individuals that you have known for at least three years. One of these referees must be a person of any nationality who has professional standing in their community, as outlined on a list by the Home Office. The other referee must be a British citizen over the age of 25. Neither of these referees can be related to you. You will need to have both referees sign a declaration form

You must be able to prove that you were in the United Kingdom precisely 3 years before the point of application submission. This must be precise to the very date of application

If you do not meet all of the eligibility criteria, your application will be rejected by the Home Office. You should wait until you are certain that you meet all

 

Can I become a dual citizen?

Whether or not you can become a dual citizen depends on the nationality rules of your current country of nationality. Whilst the United Kingdom permits dual citizenship of its nationals, many countries around the world do not permit this. You should consult the Embassy of your current country of nationality to determine if you are permitted to become a dual citizen in the United Kingdom. If you are determined to become a British citizen and your current country of nationality does not permit dual citizenship, you may be required to renounce your current citizenship to become British. This is a life-changing process so you will need to consider if this is the correct path for you and your family.

 

How do I fill out Form AN for naturalisation as a British citizen?

You will need to carefully draft your Form AN application for naturalisation as a British citizen, as any mistakes could invalidate your application or lead to a rejection by the Home Office.

First, you will first need to select the Form AN application from the Home Office website. You will need to enter personal details, including an email address, home address, phone number, and passport number. If you have any children or a partner applying with you, you will need to include their personal details as well. You will also need to include information about your current nationality and details regarding your own parents.

Next, you will need to include information about the eligibility requirements for your relevant route to British citizenship. You will need to include details about your residence in the United Kingdom, the ‘good character requirements’, knowledge of English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic, and proof of having passed the Life in the UK Test.

You will then need to provide all details about your two referees. You will need to give their contact details, nationality details, addresses, and occupations. Importantly, you will need to provide consent for the Home Office to contact your two referees, if required.

At the end of Form AN, you will need to confirm the details of your application, consent to providing all necessary supporting documentation, and pay the application fee for naturalisation as a British citizen. After paying the fee, you will need to upload all required supporting documentation. You will also need to either use the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application or schedule to attend a biometrics enrolment appointment at a local UK Visa and Citizen Application Services (UKVCAS) service centre. Once you have submitted all supporting documentation and provided your biometric information, your application is fully submitted to the Home Office. The Home Office states that Form AN applications generally take 6 months to process, but it could be longer than this at times.

 

What supporting documentation do I need to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN?

Once you have submitted and paid for your Form AN application for naturalisation as a British citizen, you will need to provide ample supporting documentation. The type and amount of supporting documentation that you need to provide will differ depending on your circumstances. You may be required to provide documents such as the following:

  • Your current Biometric Residence Permit identifying that you do not have time constraints on your current immigration permission in the United Kingdom
  • Your valid international passport or Home Office Travel Document
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your national identity card
  • Your UK driving licence
  • Information about any absences from the United Kingdom within the past five years
  • Documentation proving that you have passed the Life in the UK Test
  • Documentation proving that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • Your marriage certificate, if relevant
  • Two signed and dated referee declaration forms from your referees, each with a recent passport-sized photograph of you attached

 

You will need to provide all of your documents in English, Scottish Gaelic, or Welsh. If your documents are not originally in one of these three languages, you will need to provide official and authorised translations of the documents alongside the original documents.

You can find all of the required documents for your personal circumstances on your customised Document Checklist. The Document Checklist is provided once you have submitted and paid for your Form AN application. You must bring the Document Checklist with you to your biometrics enrolment appointment if required.

 

What is the application fee for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN?

The application fee for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN currently stands at £1,330 per person. You will need to pay this fee in full at the end of the Form AN online application form. It is not possible to request a Fee Waiver for British citizenship applications. It is also not possible to pay for expedited processing of your British citizenship application. The standard application processing standard is around 6 months.

 

What happens after my application naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN is approved?

Once your application for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN is approved, you will receive an email or letter in the post. This email or letter will invite you to attend a citizenship ceremony in your local area. These ceremonies are organised by your local authority. At your citizenship ceremony, you will make an oath of allegiance or an affirmation of allegiance to the United Kingdom and recite a pledge to respect the laws, rights, and freedoms of citizens in the UK. You will then be given your naturalisation certificate and a welcome pack to celebrate this important day in your life as a new British citizen.

 

What happens if my application for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN is rejected?

If your application for naturalisation as a British citizen with Form AN is rejected, you should consult a specialist immigration solicitor who is knowledgeable about British nationality law.

 

Form AN FAQs

What is Form AN?

Form AN is the online form used for adults who want to naturalise as British citizens. It is found on the Home Office website. You can also submit your Form AN application in the post, but it will take longer to process.

Who can use Form AN?

Adults over the age of 18 who seek to naturalise as British citizens can use Form AN. You should not use Form AN if you are under the age of 18 or if you do not meet the eligibility requirements.

How long does it take to get my naturalisation certificate in the UK?

After submitting Form AN for naturalisation as a British citizen, you should receive a decision on your application within 6 months. If your application is granted, you will receive an invitation to attend a citizenship ceremony. You will be given your naturalisation certificate at the ceremony.

Which form do I use to apply for British citizenship?

If you are over the age of 18, you will use Form AN to apply for British citizenship. If you are under the age of 18, there are several different forms that you can use per your personal circumstances and immigration history.

 

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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