Ways to apply for British citizenship or nationality
This page explains how to apply for British citizenship or nationality. There are three ways to apply if you are in the United Kingdom.
On this page
Applying through the Nationality Checking Service (NCS)
The nationality checking service is provided by local authorities (for example your county council or city council). A local authority can accept and forward your application to us. They will ensure that your form is correctly completed, and they will copy your documents and return them to you. They will ensure that your application is validly submitted and that the unwaivable requirements for citizenship are met. However, they will not give you nationality advice.
This service has been very popular since its introduction in 2005 as there are a number of advantages:
- last year only 2% of applications made this way were unsuccessful. This compares with 10% refusals for other applications;
- you can keep hold of your documents (like your passport) - we can, however, request the originals if we need them.
See Where is the nationality checking service available? for a list of Local Authorities that offer the service.
Applying through an agents or representative
A representative can act on your behalf. Many representatives will be able to give you nationality advice. You should ensure that any representative is registered with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner. You should submit original documents. More complex cases tend to be submitted through agents or representatives.
You may apply directly without using the nationality checking service or a representative. You must submit either original documents, or a fully certified photocopy of your documents.
The application form and guide gives guidance on what documents need to be submitted and your application may be delayed if you do not submit the necessary documentation.
If you require your documents to be signed for on delivery you should enclose a pre-paid self-addressed royal mail special delivery (or recorded signed for delivery) envelope. The pre-paid self-addressed envelope should be the correct one to take the size and weight of your documents and be insured to the appropriate level for the value of your documents. Please see the Royal Mail's web site at www.royalmail.com for further information. If this is not enclosed your documents will be returned by Royal Mail 2nd class post.
The address to send your application form to depends on whether you are currently in or outside the United Kingdom. See Where to send your application form for details.