Radical changes to the way newcomers are able to earn their stay in Britain were proposed by the Government today.
International Work Permit's qualified consultants will assist foreign nationals who have completed the period of continuous residency in the UK to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain followed by British Citizenship and ultimately a British passport. Continuous residence periods required are three years in cases where permanent residence was acquired through marriage or five years in all other instances.
The measures being announced follow consultation with people from across the UK and set the stage for a new Bill to implement these proposals.
The public was clear that people who want to make Britain their home should speak English, pay their way, obey the law and give something back to their community.
The Green Paper: 'The path to citizenship' proposes:
- a three stage route to citizenship, including a new probationary period of citizenship, requiring new migrants to demonstrate their contribution to the UK at every stage or leave the country;
- full access to benefits being delayed until migrants have completed the probationary period;
- migrants having to improve their command of English to pass probation;
- anyone committing an offence resulting in prison being barred from becoming a citizen;
- those committing minor offences being required to spend longer in the new probationary period of citizenship;
- migrants contributing to a new fund for managing the transitional impacts of migration, providing extra financial help to communities experiencing change from migration; and
- migrants getting involved in their communities through volunteering being able to graduate to British citizenship more quickly.
If you are settled (have Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR or, in the case of European nationals, permanent residence) in the UK then you can stay here without any time limit, whatever your nationality. You do not have to become a British Citizen. However, this is something many people who have made the UK their permanent home do wish to consider.
Other people may wish to know whether they are, or can become, a British Citizen because of their family or personal history.
There are now three main ways to become a British Citizen. The first is to be born one. The second is to be registered as one and the third is to be naturalised as one. In addition there are circumstances in which a person who was not born a British Citizen automatically becomes one, without the need to be registered or naturalised. For example, this can happen where a child is adopted by British Citizen parents.
Whether or not you were born a British Citizen depends on a combination of where and when you were born and the nationality of your parents. British nationality law is one of the most complicated in the world, in part because of Britain’s history and historical relationship with other countries in the world. In some cases it will be necessary to go back several generations to identify whether you are a British Citizen or are entitled to British Citizenship.
Naturalisation is the most common way for adults who were not born British to become British. People who have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR ) can, subject to fulfilling residence requirements, apply to naturalise as British Citizens. It is necessary to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the language, and of life in the UK, and to be good character. This can be done by taking a test or undertaking a course of study. Naturalisation takes place at a public ceremony.
Registration is the only way in which children can become British and is also used for adults in special circumstances. It is necessary for those over ten years old to be of good character, but it is not necessary to demonstrate knowledge of the language or of life in the UK. One example of the use of registration is to address problems created by discrimination in the past. For example it is now possible for people born to certain British mothers between 7 February 1961 and 1 January 1983 to register as British. At the time when they were born, only British fathers could pass on their nationality to children born abroad. This discrimination was removed in 1983, but the effects of the historic different treatment remained, as indeed they still remain for people born abroad to British mothers before 7 February 1961.
Different British Nationalities
To complicate matters further, there any many forms of British nationality, in addition to British Citizenship. For example, British Overseas Territories Citizenship, or the status of being a British Subject or a British National (Overseas). Unlike British Citizenship, these other forms of British nationality will not normally give you a right to live in the UK, although they may be a step on the road to becoming a British Citizen and also give you a wider range of opportunities to make immigration applications.
Please contact one of our nationality specialists in our UK department in order to guide you through UK's nationality laws and establish whether or not you are eligible for naturalisation as a UK national on (0)207 866 8170 or complete our FREE, no obligation online form . For such applications we ONLY charge on approval!