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Changes in British citizenship application rules

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 has introduced a few changes in the law and rules about acquisition of British citizenship. 

Some of the changes are restrictive but some have provided more flexibility.

The law about acquisition of British citizenship for stateless children has been tightened up. This route was particularly relevant to children with Indian parents, because of the vagaries of Indian nationality law. Previously such a child applicant who had been born in the UK at least five years ago and did not hold Indian citizenship could apply for registration as a British citizen and did not have to prove that they had tried to obtain Indian citizenship. But the child now has to show that they (or their parent or lawyer) have tried to obtain Indian citizenship but unsuccessfully. If they cannot do this the application will presumably fail. 

But on the other hand the Act has made things easier for some people. Previously, under the “good character” requirements, any breach of immigration conditions, eg overstaying, in the previous ten years would be likely to cause an application for naturalisation or registration to be refused. This rule no longer applies: if the applicant can show that they hold settlement (as most applicants will in any case) then this will be enough to satisfy the good character requirement. 

If you have any issues or questions about these areas, or indeed about anything else concerning British citizenship applications, we at GSN Immigration will be able to advise you. 


Oliver Westmoreland

Senior Immigration Lawyer