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Unlocking British Citizenship Residence Requirements

Are You Eligible for British Citizenship? Check the Residence Requirements

Aspiring applicants of British citizenship are required to fulfill various requirements to submit an application successfully. The residence requirements hold great significance, which often confuses applicants.


According to the existing British Nationality Act 1981, the residence requirements you must fulfill to submit your application depends on if you are applying as the spouse of an existing British citizen.


Let’s look at everything you have to prove to apply as the spouse of a British citizen.

  • You must be settled in the UK at the time of submitting your application.
  • You must have finished a minimum of three years of lawful residence in the UK before applying.
  • You must not have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days during the 3-year period mentioned earlier. You should not have more than 90 days of absence in the last 12 months of the 3-year period.


What if you are not applying as a spouse? In that case, here are the residence requirements you have to fulfill.

  • You must have been settled in the UK for a minimum of 12 months at the time of applying.
  • You should have finished at least 5 years of lawful residence in the UK before applying.
  • Your absences from the UK during the 5-year period must not have exceeded 450 days. You also need to be wary of the condition of no more than 90 days of absence in the last 12 months of the 5-year period.


Sometimes, the Home Office exercises discretion while processing citizenship applications, especially for cases in which absences from the UK are above the thresholds. Remember, such discretionary applications demand cautious measures.


We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on UK immigration.


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