Going from indefinite leave to remain to becoming a British citizen - | Hudson McKenzie

Going from indefinite leave to remain to becoming a British citizen

February 9, 2021 | Immigration, UK Government

Once you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR), what happens next?

In most circumstances, you can apply for British citizenship once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years and you have held ILR for at least 12 months. However, if you are married to a British citizen, you will not have to wait for 12 months and can apply once you have ILR. 

Along with holding ILR, there are other eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to be able to apply for citizenship. 


  • You must be over the age of 18
  • You must have been in the UK exactly 5 years before the day the Home Office receives your application and be present in the UK exactly 5 years before the date of application
  • You should prove your level of English is at the required standard if you did not evidence this in your ILR application
  • You must pass the Life in the UK test
  • You should intend to continue living in the UK
  • You must be of good character according to the rules
  • You should not have spent more than 450 days in the 5 years prior to making the application
  • You should not have spent more than 90 days outside of the UK in any 12 month period
  • There should not be a break in your “continuous residency” 

You can make the application online, after which, you will be asked to make an appointment at a UKVCAS service point. You can also apply by post, but this has been advised against by the Home Office due to large delays in processing due to Coronavirus. 

Citizenship ceremonies

As part of the application process, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony. The citizenship ceremony is where you make an oath of allegiance to promise to respect the rights and laws of the UK. This is where you are presented with a certificate of British citizenship. During the current pandemic, ceremonies may be held online. 

Dual citizenship

The UK allows dual nationality, however your home country may not allow you to have two nationalities. You will need to check this before you make your application. If it is the case that you cannot have dual nationality and you want to apply for British citizenship, you may have to give up your current nationality. 

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice.