Requirements to Naturalise as a British Citizen u/s 6 of 1981 Act

This relates to Requirements to Naturalise as a British CitizenNaturalisation as a British Citizen by Discretion and explains the Requirements to Naturalise as a British Citizen, which an applicant must meet in order to naturalise as a British Citizen under Section 6(1) and 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. Therefore, grant of British Citizenship under Section 6 is NOT a fundamental Human Right of an applicant but the discretion of HM’s Government.

Requirements to Naturalise as a British Citizen

The requirements that an applicant must meet somewhat vary based on whether an applicant is married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or not.

British Nationality Act 1981

In case an applicant is married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen then the applicant is required to meet the stipulations of Section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

If the applicant is not married or in a civil partnership with a British Citizens then he/she is required to meet the stipulations of Section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

British Nationality Act 1981

Section 6 Acquisition by Naturalisation.

(1) If, on an application for naturalisation as a British citizen made by a person of full age and capacity, the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant fulfils the requirements of Schedule 1 for naturalisation as such a citizen under this subsection, he may, if he thinks fit, grant to him a certificate of naturalisation as such a citizen.

(2) If, on an application for naturalisation as a British citizen made by a person of full age and capacity who on the date of the application is married to a British citizen, [F1or is the civil partner of a British citizen] the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant fulfils the requirements of Schedule 1 for naturalisation as such a citizen under this subsection, he may, if he thinks fit, grant to him a certificate of naturalisation as such a citizen.

Requirement for Applicants Not Married to a British Citizen

A certificate of naturalisation u/s 6 (1) of the British Nationality Act is likely to be granted to an applicant if, the applicant is able to fulfil the following requirements:

  • is at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • is of full capacity and good character;
  • either meets the residence requirements or is serving outside the United Kingdom in Crown Service under the government of the UK;
  • has sufficient knowledge of:
    • English, Scottish Gaelic or Welsh language, and can provide the required evidence to support this;
    • life in the UK and provides the required evidence to support this;
  • if successful, the applicant intends to have his/her main home in the UK or enter into or continue in any of the following:
    • service under an international organisation of which the UK or the UK government is a member;
    • Crown service under the government of the UK;
    • service in the employment of a company or association established in the UK.

Requirement for Married/Civil Partners of a British Citizen

If an applicant is either married to or civil partner of a British Citizen then he/she is likely to be  granted a certificate of naturalisation u/s 6 (2) of the British Nationality Act if the applicant fulfils the following requirements:

  • is at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • is of full capacity and good character;
  • is either married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen;
  • meets the residence requirements;
  • has a sufficient knowledge of:
    • English, Scottish Gaelic or Welsh language and the applicant can provide the required evidence to support this;
    • life in the UK and can provide the required evidence to support this.

Please note: in some cases, HM’s Home Office might deem to exempt an applicant from the language and knowledge of life in the UK requirements.

Children under 18 Cannot Be Naturalised

Children under the age of 18 cannot be naturalised. Where a child is included on an application, it is considered whether the child is already a British citizen or he/she can be registered as a British citizen either because he/she has an entitlement or at the discretion of the Home Secretary.

Where a child included on an application has an automatic claim to British citizenship then the Home Office informs this in writing to the applicant.

For further guidance on how to an application from children is considered please refer Registration as a British citizen: Children Guidance.

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Posts on Naturalisation and British Citizenship:

  1. Naturalisation Residency Requirements- British Citizenship u/s 6
  2. British Citizenship Application under Section 6 of 1981 Act
  3. British Citizenship Grants by Previous Country of Nationality