It’s not a secret. If you read my blog regularly, you know that one of my goals for 2017 is to become a UK citizen. I’ve shared the New Years resolution as a pinned tweet on my Twitter profile as well. Finally, I’ve taken the first out of four steps towards the application but it’s not an easy process so I thought I’d share how to go about it in this post. I know there are others out there who are as confused by the UK governments website on how to apply as I am so hopefully this guide will be useful.
As mentioned, there are four steps to take to become a UK citizen*. First you need a Permanent Citizen Card which will allow you to take the citizenship test and once you’ve passed that you can apply for citizenship. I’ve so far filled in and sent the application for Permanent Citizenship Card.
1. Apply for Permanent Recidence Card – £65
You can now apply for this online which makes things easier. You still have to print out the form and send in together with copies of documents to proof your answers, along with passport and passport pictures. All of this is stated at the end of the application as the documents will differ slightly depending on if you can show P60s for all the five years, if you’re unemplyed, a student, etc.
Once logged in, you can go back and forth between your answers as many times as you want. You have 4 weeks in total to complete the form before everything is deleted. Once you’ve sent it in and printed everything, you have ten days before all the papers need to reach the Home Office.
The application can take up to 6 months to be verified so don’t send off your original passport if you’re planning to leave the country. You can have it legally copied at your local register office. I payed £15 for mine. DON’T MAKE YOUR OWN COPY AS IT WILL BE TURNED DOWN AND YOULL HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS AGAIN. The local register office will also send everything to the home office so it’s not that much money considering sending first class and signed for will most likely come to £8 or so anyway. If you’re unsure what documents to send in, they help with that too but that’s another £90 extra.
2. Take the Life in the UK Test – £76
Once you can show that you’re a permanent resident (Residency Card) you can book in to take the citizenship test. It costs £76 to take and you can retake it as many times as you want until passing. To pass you need to score 75% correct answers out of 24 multiple choice questions. You have 45 minutes in total to take it.
There are two official books to help you study (a text book and a mock up tests book). You can buy them from the Government site but also on Amazon which I did. I’ve answered a couple of the questions already and some are laughable easy whilst other s are more tricky. Who knows why we need to know these things but I guess it’s to show we’re taking an interest to the UK culture and lifestyle. There are mock up test flying about online as well but I think I’ll study the book first to be sure I only have to take the test once (I’m not made of money).
3. Apply for Citizenship – around £1,000
This is the final step of becoming a UK citizen. The application form can be found here. It also includes a guide with all the information of what needs filling in and what documents you need as proof. I know that you’ll also be asked to have your finger prints and photo taken for an extra £19.20.
4. Citizenship Ceremony – £80
You’ll get invited to the ceremony once your application has been confirmed. You can bring two witnesses to this where they’ll listen to you taking the oath to respect the UK laws and rights. There’s a fee to attend and at the end you’ll be given a certificate and welcome pack.
Are you thinking of becoming an UK citizen? Have you gone through the process already? If so, let me know if I’ve missed anything out or if you have any tips.
*Note that this is guide is if you are allowed dual citizenship. If not, you also need to neutralise yourself which you can read about here.