How to Obtain a UK Citizenship

Updated March 23, 2017

UK citizenship is one of the six forms of British nationality. Such citizenship grants one the right to apply for and receive a British passport and live legally in Britain without any special traveller's permission to do so. All members of the other five nationality categories must obtain permission to live and work in the UK. The process of becoming a UK citizen can be a long and difficult one, as there are only certain ways one may gain British citizenship.

Gain UK citizenship by descent, as it is the easiest way to become a UK citizen. Citizenship is gained by descent when one or both of your parents are UK citizens.

Incur UK citizenship through marriage to a UK citizen. This is among the easiest and most common ways of obtaining UK citizenship. You may apply for naturalisation based upon marriage once you have lived within the UK for three years. Be prepared to undergo an extensive interview and provide proof of a genuine marriage union.

Obtain UK citizenship through naturalisation. You are eligible for naturalisation if you have legally lived in the UK for the past five years, have not been outside of the UK during those five years, can communicate in English, Scottish Gaelic or Welsh, and have good character. If you meet all of these, you can apply for UK citizenship based upon naturalisation, pending that you later pass a "life in the UK" knowledge exam, testing your knowledge on living in the UK.

Get UK citizenship by registering. Registration options are those open to British nationals who are not yet citizens and are eligible to apply for citizenship. Such people include those who are protected by the British government, those who are British subjects, those who were born within the UK from a British mother before 1983, and those who were born within the UK from a British mother on or after 1983 and have lived in the UK for 10 years.

Become a citizen of any European Economic Area (EEA) such as France, Italy, Poland, Germany, the Irish Republic, Iceland and Hungary. Citizens of such European countries are practically considered UK citizens, as they are granted every privilege of a UK citizen when they live there.


Study a book about life in the UK to prep you for your exam when trying to become a naturalised citizen of the country.


Fees to apply for UK citizenship are costly and non-refundable.

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About the Author

Kayla Lowe has been a freelance writer since 2008. She writes for various online publications and is also the author of the book "Maiden's Blush," a Christian-fiction romance novel. Lowe is pursuing a degree in elementary education.