Processing your application
Changes to British nationality applications made outside the UKFrom 16 July 2012 applicants outside the UK must send their application to the UK Border Agency in the UK. British Nationality regulations have changed the way applications made outside the UK are submitted and processed.
This page provides details of what you can expect from us while we are processing your application and what we expect from you.
What you can expect from us
We will acknowledge that we have received your application. This will be done as soon as possible but during busy times it may take up to 4 weeks.
If we need more documents to help us decide your application, we will write to you and ask for them. We will give you 3 weeks to respond. If you do not respond, we will decide your application on the information we already have.
We may ask you to attend an interview, which could be conducted for us by the police or other representative. Depending on the circumstances, the interview may be held in your home, or you may be invited to attend an interview at our office in Liverpool. During the interview, you will be asked to give more details about your application. You will be expected to talk without an interpreter.
If your application is unsuccessful we will write to tell you the reason. You can ask us to review our decision if you think our decision was not soundly based on current nationality law or policy. If you ask us to review our decision, we will write to you again after this has been done, giving details on how your application was decided.
What we expect from you
We expect you to respond to our enquiries or requests for documents within a reasonable time.
While we are processing your application, you should tell us if any of the information you have sent to us changes. This would include changes of:
- marital or civil partnership status; or
- address - using our Change of address form; or
- people acting on your behalf.
You also need to tell us if you become involved in a police investigation or anything that may result in criminal charges.
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.
If your application is successful and you are living in the United Kingdom, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony. You will receive a letter of invitation from us confirming the local authority you should contact to arrange your ceremony. You should arrange your ceremony within three months of receiving your invitation otherwise you will have to reapply for naturalisation and pay a further processing fee.