Naturalisation Statistics UK 2008-17 and Reasons for Refusal

Naturalisation and British Citizenship Refused Good CharacterThis relates to Naturalisation Statistics UK & British Citizenship by Registration 2008-17. Apparently, during the period 1,625,058 applicants granted British Citizenship and the average refusal rate was 5.10%. Perhaps, the highest number of grants (843,579) made under naturalisation based on residence. Most noteworthy: the single most significant reason for British Citizenship Application Refusal is “not of good character”. Moreover, the post also provides naturalisation statistics by the previous nationality from 1990 to 2016. This relates to British Citizenship Grants during 1990-2016 in the light of the Official Statistics.

Naturalisation Statistics UK & British Citizenship by Reg 2008-17

During 2008-2017 a total of 1,712,397 Decisions made on the 1,721,877 Applications relating to British Citizenship. 1,625,058 applicants granted British Citizenship and 87,339 applications refused or withdrawn. Accordingly, during 2008-17 the average refusal rate was 5.10%.

Applications for British Citizenship 2008-17

Year Applications Of which: Applications for British 
citizenship
Grants Refused or Withdrawn
Refused or withdrawn as a % of total decisions
2008 159,864 156,016 129,377 9,086 6.56%
2009 197,955 193,810 203,789 10,251 4.79%
2010 202,819 199,767 195,094 7,974 3.93%
2011 210,470 207,797 177,934 6,884 3.72%
2012 184,365 181,410 194,370 6,878 3.42%
2013 235,256 232,262 208,095 7,269 3.38%
2014 130,937 127,259 125,754 6,174 4.68%
2015 154,579 150,767 118,109 11,083 8.58%
2016 134,672 130,995 149,421 13,308 8.18%
2017 145,399 141,794 123,115 8,432 6.41%
Total 1,756,316 1,721,877 1,625,058 87,339 5.10%

Naturalisation Statistics UK: British Citizenship by Registration

The 1,625,058 grants for British Citizenship during 2008-17 made in four main broad categories. Perhaps, the highest number of grants (843,579) made under naturalisation based on residence. Moreover, the 345,724 grants made under naturalisation based on marriage. Therefore, total naturalisation grants (1,189,303) accounts for 73.19% British Citizenship grants during 2008-17. The remaining 26.81% of British Citizenship grants made on the basis of Entitlement to registration and discretion. 

British Citizenship Grants by Broad Categories 2008-17

Year Naturalisation based on residence Naturalisation based on marriage Registration of minor children related to a British citizen or on a discretionary basis
Registration on other 
grounds
2008 65,713 29,075 30,832 3,757
2009 99,474 52,627 47,814 3,874
2010 93,681 47,028 48,659 5,726
2011 94,660 35,616 42,142 5,516
2012 107,102 39,122 43,125 5,021
2013 113,339 46,301 44,381 4,074
2014 62,511 26,185 32,399 4,659
2015 60,755 24,427 28,796 4,131
2016 77,587 26,760 36,941 8,133
2017 68,757 18,583 28,615 7,160
Total 843,579 345,724 383,704 52,051

British Citizenship Registration of Minor Children 2008-17

The registration of minor children related to a British citizen or on a discretionary basis accounts for 383,704citizenship grants during 2008-17. Moreover, 188,053 grants made under entitlement to registration as a child and 195,651 on a discretionary basis.

Registration of Minor Children – British Citizenship Grants 2008-17

Year Entitlement to registration as a child
Discretionary registration as a child
2008 11,894 18,938
2009 18,986 28,828
2010 21,528 27,131
2011 20,356 21,786
2012 20,862 22,263
2013 21,036 23,345
2014 18,265 14,134
2015 16,422 12,374
2016 21,831 15,110
2017 16,873 11,742
Total 188,053 195,651

British Citizenship by Registration on other Grounds

The British Citizenship by Registration on other grounds accounts for 52,051 grants. Perhaps, the most significant subcategory is the entitlement to registration on other grounds which accounts for 45,893 citizenship grants.

Registration on other grounds for British Citizenship 2008-17

Year Entitlement to registration as an adult Entitlement to registration on other grounds Entitlement to registration under section 5 Discretionary registration as an adult
Discretionary registration on other grounds
2008 148 3,200 67 3 339
2009 113 3,371 85 1 304
2010 79 5,214 118 6 309
2011 66 4,989 152 4 305
2012 63 4,335 231 1 391
2013 71 3,261 411 1 330
2014 92 3,852 412 6 297
2015 58 3,730 108 4 231
2016 126 7,395 168 7 437
2017 85 6,546 203 4 322
Total 901 45,893 1,955 37 3,265

Main Reasons for British Citizenship Applications Refused 2015-17

The Table below provides the main reasons for the refusal of British Citizenship applications during the preceding three years. Perhaps, the single most significant reason for British Citizenship Application Refusal is “not of good character” which nearly affects 40-42% of the totals refusals. Therefore, it is very important to have a good character for getting British Citizenship!

Refusals of Application for British Citizenship by Main Reason 2015-17

Reason for refusal 2015 2016 2017
Incomplete applications 254 128 52
Parent not a British citizen 749 931 300
Not of good character 4,524 5,525 3,119
Delay in replying to enquiries from UKVI 1,254 1,698 1,319
Residence 2,825 2,632 1,659
Oath not taken in time 14 9 1
Insufficient Knowledge of English and KOL 531 673 720
Other 495 996 544
Total refusals 10,646 12,592 7,714
British already 312 496 598
Withdrawn 125 220 120
Total refused or withdrawn 11,083 13,308 8,432

Naturalisation Statistics UK and British Citizenship Grants

All in all, during 1990-2016, a total of 3,031,133 British Citizenship were Granted to Nationals from 218 Countries, Terrorities, Principalities, Islands and States, along with British Overseas Citizenship, Stateless, Refugees, Other and Unknown. The lowest number of citizenship grants (37,010) were made in 1997 and the highest number of grants (208,095) during 2013.

Region-Wise Breakup- British Citizenship Grants

Region-Wise details indicate that most British Citizenship grants (908,278) constituting 29.96% of the total grants during the period were made to the Nationals from South Asia721,925 grants (23.82% of the total grants)were made to the nationals from Africa Sub-Saharan Countries. Therefore, more than 50% of British Citizenship grants were made to the Nationals from South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

A region-wise breakup, in descending order, of the British Citizenship grants to nationals from other geographic regions is a follows: Europe Other 218,863 Citizenship Grants (7.22% of the Total Grants)Middle East 185,822 (6.13%)Asia South East 176,762 (5.83%)America Central and South 148,039 (4.88%)Asia East 105,061 (3.47%)Other 86,592 (2.86%)America North 84,433 (2.79%)Africa North 83,149 (2.74%)Oceania 78,468 (2.59%), EU 14 67,869 (2.24%)Asia Central 63,629 (2.10%)EU 8 54,736 (1.81%)EU 2 31,629 (1.04%) and EU Other 15,878 (0.52%).

Nationals of 7 Countries Received More Than 100,000 Citizenship

Nationals of 7 Countries Received more than 100,000 British Citizenship Grants during 1990-2016. In total nationals from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, South Africa, Somalia and the Philippines received 1,245,041British Citizenship Grants, constituting 41.08% of the Total Citizenships Grants with the following breakup:

  1. India- 373,318 British Citizenship Grants (12.32% of the Total Grants)
  2. Pakistan- 288,128 (9.51%)
  3. Nigeria- 139,145 (4.59%)
  4. Bangladesh- 121,759 (4.02%)
  5. South Africa- 109,282 (3.61%)
  6. Somalia- 109,167 (3.60%)
  7. Philippines- 104,242 (3.44%)

Nationals of 10 Countries Received 50,000 to 100,000 Citizenship

Nationals of 10 Countries and British Overseas Citizens received more than 50,000 but less than 100,000 British Citizenship Grants during 1990-2016.

In total, British Overseas Citizens and nationals from Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ghana, China, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Iran, Afghanistan, United States and Jamaica received 773,560 British Citizenship Grants, constituting 25.52% of the Total (3,031,133) British Citizenships Grants with the following breakup:

  1. Sri Lanka- 92,608 British Citizenship Grants (3.06% of the Total Grants)
  2. Turkey- 89,814 (2.96%)
  3. British Overseas Citizens- 74,000 (2.44%)
  4. Ghana- 73,852 (2.44%)
  5. China- 73,582 (2.43%)
  6. Iraq- 69,325 (2.29%)
  7. Zimbabwe- 63,591 (2.10%)
  8. Iran- 62,154 (2.05%)
  9. Afghanistan- 59,621 (1.97%)
  10. United States- 58,417 (1.93%)
  11. Jamaica- 56,596 (1.87%)

Nationals of 33 Countries Received 10,000 to 50,000 Citizenship

Nationals of 33 Countries received more than 10,000 but less than 50,000 British Citizenship Grants during 1990-2016. These nationals received 671,537 British Citizenship Grants, constituting 22.15% of the Total (3,031,133) British Citizenships Grants with the following breakup:

  1. Australia- 48,381 British Citizenship Grants (1.60% of the Total Grants)
  2. Poland- 35,553 (1.17%)
  3. Serbia and Montenegro- 35,231 (1.16%)
  4. Kenya- 32,017 (1.06%)
  5. Nepal- 31,938 (1.05%)
  6. Russia- 27,854 (0.92%)
  7. New Zealand- 27,163 (0.90%)
  8. Thailand- 26,323 (0.87%)
  9. Canada- 26,012 (0.86%)
  10. Democratic Republic of Congo- 22,043 (0.73%)
  11. Vietnam- 20,654 (0.68%)
  12. Algeria- 20,366 (0.67%)
  13. Uganda- 20,211 (0.67%)
  14. Sierra Leone- 20,173 (0.67%)
  15. Eritrea- 19,501 (0.64%)
  16. Colombia- 18,016 (0.59%)
  17. Mauritius- 17,875 (0.59%)
  18. Sudan- 17,658 (0.58%)
  19. Morocco- 17,431 (0.58%)
  20. Hong Kong- 16,289 (0.54%)
  21. Bulgaria 16,287 (0.54%)
  22. Egypt- 15,739 (0.52%)
  23. Romania- 15,342 (0.51%)
  24. Ukraine- 14,740 (0.49%)
  25. Malaysia- 14,475 (0.48%)
  26. Brazil- 13,451 (0.44%)
  27. Lebanon- 13,222 (0.44%)
  28. Ethiopia- 12,515 (0.41%)
  29. Trinidad and Tobago- 11,961 (0.39%)
  30. Albania- 11,551 (0.38%)
  31. France- 10,843 (0.36%)
  32. Israel- 10,622 (0.35%)
  33. Tanzania- 10,100 (0.33%)

Nationals of 75 Countries Received 1,000 to 10,000 Citizenship

Nationals of 75 Countries, along with Stateless and Other and Unknown, received more than 1,000 but less than 10,000 British Citizenship Grants during 1990-2016. These nationals received 321,171 British Citizenship Grants, constituting 10.60% of the Total (3,031,133) British Citizenships Grants with the following breakup:

  1. Angola- 9,825 British Citizenship Grants (0.32% of the Total Grants)
  2. Italy- 9,632 (0.32%)
  3. Zambia- 9,394 (0.31%)
  4. Portugal- 9,021 (0.30%)
  5. Yemen- 8,993 (0.30%)
  6. Germany- 8,718 (0.29%)
  7. Ireland- 8,112 (0.27%)
  8. Libya- 7,888 (0.26%)
  9. Cyprus- 7,639 (0.25%)
  10. The Gambia- 7,577 (0.25%)
  11. South Korea- 7,458 (0.25%)
  12. Greece- 7,311 (0.24%)
  13. Kosovo- 7,267 (0.24%)
  14. Cameroon- 7,229 (0.24%)
  15. Congo- 7,098 (0.23%)
  16. Stateless- 7,063 (0.23%)
  17. Syria- 6,943 (0.23%)
  18. Guyana- 6,820 (0.22%)
  19. Bosnia and Herzegovina- 6,453 (0.21%)
  20. Ecuador- 6,297 (0.21%)
  21. Jordan- 6,149 (0.20%)
  22. Hungary- 6,123 (0.20%)
  23. Ivory Coast- 6,003 (0.20%)
  24. Croatia- 5,550 (0.18%)
  25. Palestine- 4,564 (0.15%)
  26. Rwanda- 4,504 (0.15%)
  27. Burundi- 4,523 (0.15%)
  28. Spain- 4,492 (0.15%)
  29. Other and unknown– 4,426 (0.15%)
  30. Burma- 4,291 (0.14%)
  31. Serbia- 3,934 (0.13%)
  32. Tunisia- 3,850 (0.13%)
  33. Netherlands- 3,818 (0.13%)
  34. Former Yugoslavia- 3,798 (0.13%)
  35. Malawi- 3,764 (0.12%)
  36. Taiwan- 3,692 (0.12%)
  37. Mexico- 3,634 (0.12%)
  38. Peru- 3,549 (0.12%)
  39. Lithuania- 3,524 (0.12%)
  40. Switzerland- 3,428 (0.11%)
  41. Barbados- 3,324 (0.11%)
  42. Slovakia- 3,088 (0.10%)
  43. Indonesia- 2,964 (0.10%)
  44. Venezuela- 2,940 (0.10%)
  45. Belarus 2,935 (0.10%)
  46. Liberia- 2,930 (0.10%)
  47. St. Lucia- 2,893 (0.10%)
  48. Latvia- 2,884 (0.10%)
  49. Japan- 2,804 (0.09%)
  50. Malta- 2,689 (0.09%)
  51. Singapore- 2,660 (0.09%)
  52. Argentina- 2,593 (0.09%)
  53. Fiji- 2,507 (0.08%)
  54. St. Vincent and the Grenadines- 2,435 (0.08%)
  55. Chile- 2,362 (0.08%)
  56. Czech Republic- 2,291 (0.08%)
  57. Grenada- 2,222 (0.07%)
  58. Azerbaijan- 2,064 (0.07%)
  59. Georgia- 1,965 (0.06%)
  60. Macedonia- 1,866 (0.06%)
  61. Seychelles- 1,844 (0.06%)
  62. Sweden- 1,765 (0.06%)
  63. Northern Cyprus- 1,764 (0.06%)
  64. Kuwait- 1,689 (0.06%)
  65. Dominica- 1,679 (0.06%)
  66. Kazakhstan- 1,605 (0.05%)
  67. Moldova- 1,543 (0.05%)
  68. Guinea- 1,516 (0.05%)
  69. Bolivia- 1,392 (0.05%)
  70. Cuba- 1,349 (0.04%)
  71. Belgium- 1,290 (0.04%)
  72. Armenia- 1,257 (0.04%)
  73. Uzbekistan- 1,248 (0.04%)
  74. Togo- 1,177 (0.04%)
  75. Saudi Arabia- 1,173 (0.04%)
  76. Austria- 1,057 (0.03%)
  77. Denmark- 1,053 (0.03%)

Nationals of 93 Countries Received 1- 1,000 Citizenship Grants

Nationals of 93 Countries and Refugees, received more than ONE (1) but less than 1,000 British Citizenship Grantsduring 1990-2016. These nationals received 19,824 British Citizenship Grants, constituting 0.65% of the Total (3,031,133) British Citizenships Grants with the following breakup:

  1. Estonia- 986 British Citizenship Grants
  2. Norway- 928
  3. Refugee- 856
  4. Dominican Republic- 848
  5. Mongolia- 828
  6. Finland- 711
  7. Senegal- 705
  8. Botswana- 681
  9. Kyrgyzstan- 672
  10. Cambodia- 670
  11. Belize- 550
  12. Namibia- 548
  13. Bahrain- 503
  14. The Bahamas- 475
  15. Mozambique- 449
  16. Swaziland- 406
  17. Chad- 358
  18. Bhutan- 374
  19. North Korea- 363
  20. Antigua and Barbuda- 338
  21. Lesotho- 335
  22. Uruguay- 320
  23. Laos- 309
  24. Turkmenistan- 301
  25. El Salvador- 295
  26. Slovenia- 287
  27. Montenegro- 284
  28. United Arab Emirates- 276
  29. Honduras- 266
  30. Panama- 263
  31. Guatemala- 254
  32. Benin- 251
  33. Costa Rica- 249
  34. Djibouti- 230
  35. Mauritania- 209
  36. St. Kitts and Nevis- 202
  37. Tajikistan- 182
  38. Brunei- 173
  39. Burkina- 173
  40. Gibraltar (British)- 169
  41. Guinea-Bissau- 164
  42. Nicaragua- 162
  43. Iceland- 161
  44. Maldives- 153
  45. Mali- 143
  46. Madagascar- 142
  47. Oman- 137
  48. Niger- 132
  49. Paraguay- 129
  50. Tonga- 129
  51. Gabon- 126
  52. Papua New Guinea- 94
  53. Cape Verde- 87
  54. Haiti- 78
  55. Qatar- 72
  56. Surinam- 61
  57. Central African Republic- 48
  58. Luxembourg- 46
  59. Macau- 45
  60. Solomon Islands- 42
  61. Samoa- 39
  62. Equatorial Guinea- 37
  63. Vanuatu- 31
  64. Comoros- 26
  65. Kiribati- 26
  66. Nauru- 23
  67. American Samoa- 21
  68. Montserrat (British)- 19
  69. Netherlands Antilles- 19
  70. St. Helena (British)- 18
  71. Bermuda (British)- 16
  72. Sao Tome and Principe- 15
  73. South Sudan- 12
  74. Anguilla (British)- 10
  75. French Guiana- 9
  76. Cayman Islands (British)- 8
  77. Western Sahara- 8
  78. Liechtenstein- 7
  79. Monaco- 7
  80. Tuvalu- 6
  81. Guadeloupe- 5
  82. San Marino- 5
  83. Andorra- 4
  84. Falkland Islands (British)- 4
  85. Marshall Islands- 4
  86. Puerto Rico- 4
  87. Faroe Islands- 3
  88. Virgin Islands (British)- 3
  89. Martinique- 2
  90. Cook Islands- 1
  91. East Timor- 1
  92. Palau- 1
  93. Reunion- 1
  94. St. Pierre and Miquelon- 1

Nationals of 25 Countries Received No Citizenship Grants

Nationals of the following 25 Countries, States, Principalities and Island Nations did not get any British Citizenship Grants during 1990- 016:

  1. Aruba- 0
  2. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba- 0
  3. Christmas Island- 0
  4. Cocos (Keeling) Islands- 0
  5. Curacao- 0
  6. French Polynesia- 0
  7. Greenland- 0
  8. Guam- 0
  9. Heard Island and McDonald Islands- 0
  10. Mayotte- 0
  11. Micronesia- 0
  12. New Caledonia- 0
  13. Niue- 0
  14. Norfolk Island- 0
  15. Northern Mariana Islands- 0
  16. Pitcairn Islands (British)- 0
  17. South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands- 0
  18. St. Maarten (Dutch Part)- 0
  19. St. Martin (French Part)- 0
  20. Svalbard and Jan Mayen- 0
  21. Tokelau- 0
  22. Turks and Caicos Islands (British)- 0
  23. Vatican City- 0
  24. Virgin Islands (US)- 0
  25. Wallis and Futuna- 0

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