At the starting point, we should bear in mind that naturalisation is not an entitlement. The British Nationality Act of 1981 governs the law relating to the naturalisation. If you meet the fundamental conditions, only then the Home Secretary may use their discretion to grant you naturalisation. They may also take into account how far you fail to meet some standards.

What is a Form AN in the UK?

The application for naturalisation as a British citizen is known as Form AN. In order to complete the application, you will have to provide information including your biographical details, documentation of your residency, and details about your employment. You must present proof of your current immigration status if you are a citizen of the EEA, Switzerland, or if you are a UK citizen’s child, spouse, or civil partner.

Before moving forward with your application, please be aware that some countries’ citizenship regulations do not allow them to become citizens of another nation i.e. in such case, the applicant needs to renounce his/her citizenship once the application is successful. Therefore, it is advised that before making any application for naturalisation, please seek the assistance of an immigration solicitor or advisor.

Who can apply for British Naturalisation using Form AN?

Naturalization is not a right; citizenship may only be granted if you can show that you meet specific legal conditions and the Home Secretary deems it appropriate to grant the application. Depending on whether you are applying on the basis of a marriage or civil partnership with a British citizen, there are different prerequisites for naturalisation as a British citizen.

If you are civil partner or married to a citizen of the United Kingdom

Before applying, you must comply with the following legal requirements:

  • You must be 18 or older to apply.
  • On the date of application, you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
  • You are of sound mind.
  • You should be capable of communicating in English to a sufficient level (either passed an approved English test or exempted based on academic qualification or country of nationality or age).
  • You must intend to remain in the United Kingdom.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK (passed the Life in the UK test).
  • You meet thegood character requirement.
  • You meet the 3-year residence requirements prior to submitting the application.
  • Your husband, wife or civil partner is in the Crown or designated service outside of the UK.

You may also be able to submit an application for British Citizenship using Form AN if you are not married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen and if you abide by the following criteria:

  • You have to be at least 18 years old on the day of the application.
  • You are of sound mind.
  • You must intend to remain in the United Kingdom.
  • You should be capable of communicating in English to a sufficient level (either passed an approved English test or exempted based on academic qualification or country of nationality or age).
  • You meet the good character requirement.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK (passed the Life in the UK test)
  • You meet the 5-year residence requirement prior to submitting your application

Guide for Paper Applications for British Citizenship

Depending on the type of citizenship application you are making, a different application form is required. Most applications for British citizenship can be made online. You should first determine the type of citizenship application you would be making before filling out the online form. If the type of citizenship application you would be making can be made online, you would be able to make the payment of the application fee online and then you would be directed to a new site to upload supporting documents and book a biometric appointment.

Some application forms are still accessible for paper completion and postal submission. In such cases, you will need complete a payment slip in addition to the application form to make the payment. For naturalisation, the Form AN is the appropriate forum.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the sections of the Form AN:
IdentifIcation details and personal information

This section of Form AN will require the applicant to provide personal records and identification proofs, this includes:

  • Contact information
  • Knowledge of the UK’s life and language
  • Parents’ information
  • Partner/Spouse’s information
  • Information on jobs held since entering the UK

Residence requirements

Most unsuccessful applications come from those who failed to meet the residency criteria to be present in the UK for the qualifying period but submitted an application nonetheless.
This part of the Form AN will require the applicant to provide:

  • Information on all abscesses from the UK during the past five years.
  • Details of a permanent address (for EEA or Swiss nationals).

Prerequisite for good character

This section of the UK citizenship application form will require the applicant to provide information on criminal offences committed by them (if any), or if he/she is currently involved in any criminal proceedings or investigations.

Things that may cause immigration officials to suspect you are untrustworthy include (but are not limited to):

  • A criminal record
  • Deceit in interactions with immigration officials or disregard to the immigration rules
  • Financial issues such as bankruptcy, debt, unauthorised use of public money, or failure to pay council tax
  • Ill repute in the local or larger community

Crown service

This section is for the people who are working for the Crown or have partners who are working for the same.

Identities of the referees

This space is for any additional information that includes the referees. A professional of any nationality, such as a doctor or a minister of religion, must be one of the referees. Although a lawyer may act as a referee, they cannot act as a referee if he or she is representing the applicant in respect of his or her application. The second referee must be a British national, as well as older than 25. The referees must not be related to the applicant or to the other referee and must not have any imprisonable criminal conviction in the last 10 years.

Biometric identification and data

The applicant will have to enrol his/her biometric details.

Declaration

There will be a declaration section at the end of the form.

What documents you’ll need to submit along with your Form AN?

Here are the following documents that you may be required to upload in support of your application:

  • A valid identity card and your passport or other travel documents (if applicable)
  • Proof of your Indefinite Leave to Remain/Settlement
  • Proof of your English language ability
  • Proof of passing the Your Life in the UK test
  • Your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • Payslips
  • Self-employed candidates must submit self-assessment documents for each of the last six or five years

The application process can take up to 6 months, however, most applications are decided considerably sooner. Once accepted, you will get your approval letter, followed by a citizenship invitation letter. You must schedule a citizenship ceremony as soon as possible at your local council. You will only become a British citizen after attending your naturalisation ceremony and receiving your certificate of naturalisation. Once the naturalisation procedure is complete, you can apply for your first British passport.

At A Y & J Solicitors, our expert immigration lawyers will be happy to assist you with the British Citizenship application. We can help you compile all the necessary paperwork and guide you through the process.