Changes to British Nationality Law from January 2010

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12 September 2009

The UK Border Agency in August 2009 announced changes to British Nationality Law under the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. Some of these changes will take place in January 2010.

The most significant change will be the introduction of "earned citizenship"; This will not come into force until the Summer of 2011. From January 2010 changes will take place which will make it easier for people in a limited number of cases to gain UK citizenship:

It is yet to be decided what the requirements will be for "earned citizenship". Probably there will be a probationary period during which time you will have to show that you will be a "good citizen". If you meet the requirements for UK citizenship it may be worth considering making an application sometime in the next twelve months. If you already have a pending application with the Home Office you will be considered under the current rules. You will not come under the new rules.

If you qualify for indefinite leave to remain you should apply sooner rather than later. Those with indefinite leave to remain have until July 2013 in which to apply for UK citizenship under the existing criteria.

You will also find further details of the changes in our previous report on UK citizenship.