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How Soon After ILR Can You Apply for British Citizenship?

If you've lived in the UK for a while and have been given Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you may be thinking about moving on with your...

How Soon After ILR Can You Apply for British Citizenship?

If you’ve lived in the UK for a while and have been given Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you may be thinking about moving on with your immigration procedure by applying to become a citizen of the UK.  Being a citizen of the UK has several benefits, including the freedom to vote, access to government jobs, and the ease of traveling abroad with a British passport. But how soon after receiving ILR can you apply for British citizenship? This blog will provide a detailed step-by-step guide on the application process.

Understanding the Basics

Let’s establish what ILR means before we continue. You can live and work in the UK with no restrictions if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, a sort of residency. As it provides them with a sense of security and stability in the country they now call home, it is a significant turning point for many immigrants.

The Waiting Period

Now let’s talk about the crucial issue of when you can apply for British citizenship following ILR. The minimal residence requirement is an important consideration here. Generally speaking, you cannot apply for British citizenship until you have lived in the country for at least five years. The “residency qualifying period” is a term that is frequently used to describe these five years.


There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship after just three years of residence in the UK. The “spouse or civil partner route” is a faster route to citizenship.

Meeting the Eligibility Criteria

  • In addition to the residency requirement, you must also fulfill the following criteria to apply for British citizenship.

  • Candidates must be at least 18 years old to apply. Children’s citizenship applications are handled differently.

  • The ‘Life in the UK’ test must also be passed before moving on to the next level of the application procedure. Your understanding of British traditions, history, and values will be measured through the exam.

Need any assistance regarding the ILR?

The Application Process

You can start the application process as soon as you satisfy the eligibility requirements. Here is a quick rundown of the procedures:


How to Complete the Form: Accurately fill out the citizenship application form (Form AN). Make sure you offer all the required data and documents.

Obtaining Documents: Gather any necessary paperwork, including your passport, your ILR confirmation, and any further proof that may be required to demonstrate your eligibility.

Paying Fees: The application fee must be paid. Check the current prices to see how much it will cost you because it may change depending on your situation.

Biometric Appointment: You must appear at a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and a photo. Verifying your identification is done using this information.

Waiting for a Decision

The waiting game starts once your application has been filed. The processing of a British citizenship application could take some time. In general, it will take several months to evaluate your application and do all the essential checks and verifications.


Rarely, candidates could be required to participate in an interview as part of the selection process. Do not be startled if you are requested to participate in an interview; this is typical practice. When their applications are granted, the chosen candidates will also have the chance to take part in a naturalization ceremony. This ceremony serves as the official induction of a British citizen and includes the Pledge of Allegiance and the presentation of a certificate.


ILR to British citizenship is a significant trip that involves careful planning, adherence to the requirements, and compliance with the application process. Even though there are some general guidelines, it’s important to keep in mind that every person’s situation is different.

Remember that acquiring British citizenship symbolizes your dedication to assimilating into British society and embracing its values and way of life. It is not only about completing paperwork. So, whether you choose the expedited spouse or civil partner route or the conventional five-year course, the result is the same: you want to become a happy British citizen.

Take the next step toward obtaining British citizenship now that you are more knowledgeable about the procedure!


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