- What Is Dual Nationality?
- Eligibility For Dual Nationality
- Good Character requirement
- UK Residency Requirement
- How To Apply For Dual Nationality
- Life In the UK Test
- Applying For Canadian-British Dual Nationality From the UK
- Citizenship Ceremony and Certificate
- How Total Law Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Dual Nationality?
Dual nationality is a concept that means an individual is a national or citizen of two countries at the same time and has legal rights in both countries.
As a Canadian citizen, if you apply for and are granted British citizenship, you will not lose your Canadian citizenship. You will have Canadian-British Dual Nationality. That means that you will hold the passports and nationality of both Canada and the UK and you will be free to stay in either country.
Having dual citizenship or dual nationality can be beneficial for you and your immediate family members in some circumstances.
In order to achieve Canadian-British dual nationality as a Canadian citizen, you must be eligible for and apply for British citizenship. If you qualify for British citizenship in more than one way, you can choose on which basis you would like to apply.
Eligible By Birth:
If you were born in the UK prior to the year 1983 then you will be granted British Citizenship by birth. Being born in the Uk will also give you the right to pass British Nationality to your children under these circumstances.
It is important to ensure that the year you were born matches this requirement as being born in the UK after the qualifying year does not give you eligibility by birth. However, in the event that you were born in the UK and you do not have automatic citizenship, you may still be able to apply for dual Canadian-British Nationality by qualifying through other factors.
Eligible By Adoption:
If you were a child under the age of 18 when the adoption order was made by a court in the UK, then you may be eligible for Dual Canadian-British Nationality. You will need paperwork that proves the parents hold citizenship status if you were born abroad.
Eligible By Naturalisation:
If you are currently living in the UK on another valid visa with the intention of going through the naturalisation process then you may be eligible for Dual Canadian-British Nationality.
Eligible By Marriage:
If you are married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen and you have also resided in the UK for at least three years under an Indefinite Leave To Remain Visa or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme then you may have immediate eligibility to apply for Canadian-British Dual Nationality.
Eligible By Birth Abroad:
If you have a parent who was naturalised in the UK prior to your birth or a parent who was born in the UK prior to the year 1983 then you may be eligible for Canadian-British Dual Nationality.
Eligible By Descent:
If you are under 18 years old and you have a grandparent who was born in the UK then you may be eligible for the Canadian-British Dual Nationality.
Indefinite Leave To Remain Status:
If you have Indefinite Leave To Remain status in the UK you may choose to apply for Canadian-British dual citizenship if you have resided in the UK for 12 months on ILR status.
You can apply for Canadian-British dual citizenship if you have resided in the UK for 12 months on settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Good Character requirement
If you are applying for Canadian-British Dual Nationality, you will be required to provide documentation proving that you are of good character and mental ability.
The UK Visas and Immigration Office will investigate your financial and criminal records as well as other areas of your background. It is important to thoroughly fill out all information required as well as submit sufficient evidence to prove you meet this requirement so that your application is not delayed or rejected on this basis.
UK Residency Requirement
You must meet the residency requirement in order to be eligible for Canadian-British Dual Nationality. Typically you will need to prove that you have been present in the UK for the five years prior to your application without leaving for more than the specified amount of time – 450 days in the last five years or 90 days in the last year.
In the event that you are the foreign spouse of a British citizen, you may be eligible to apply for dual citizenship after just three years of residence in the UK.
If you would like assistance in putting together your application package for Canadian-British Dual Nationality, contact Total Law for assistance with your application. Speak to one of our expert immigration advisers today. Call +1 844 290 631 or use the online contact form to get in touch.
How To Apply For Dual Nationality
When you apply for British citizenship as a Canadian citizen you will gain Dual Nationality automatically. You will need to carefully complete a number of steps in the application process to ensure your application has the best chances of being approved.
You will need to ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements prior to applying to ensure your application has the best chance of being approved.
Also, you will need to pay the non-refundable fee for the processing of your application. This fee is typically between £1,012 and £1,130 per applicant, which normally includes the cost for the citizenship ceremony. If your application is rejected you may be able to receive a refund of the citizenship ceremony fee.
Typically applying online at gov.uk is the fastest way to submit your application. The application will ask you varying identification questions as well as proof you meet the eligibility requirements. You will need to refer to your documents in order to answer these questions.
After submitting your British citizenship application you will need to visit a centre to get your biometric information (fingerprint and photograph) taken for your Biometric Residence Permit.
Life In the UK Test
You will be required to take the Life In The UK Test if you are between the ages of 18 and 65. This is a test that asks you a variety of questions about life in the UK. The test must be booked online and you will have to pay an additional £50 test fee.
It is best to take practice tests online and study prior to taking the test so you have the best chance of passing as this is a requirement to be approved for British citizenship and achieve dual nationality.
You must provide a letter from a doctor if you have a mental or physical condition that would prevent you from taking the test.
Applying For Canadian-British Dual Nationality From the UK
For Canadians applying for dual nationality, you may need permission to stay in the UK during the time that you are waiting for your citizenship application to receive a decision.
If you are residing in the UK on status such as Indefinite Leave To Remain status, settled, or pre-settled status, you will be permitted to stay. If you do not have permission to stay in the UK during this time you will need to obtain it, or leave the country while you wait for the decision.
You may be able to apply for British citizenship from abroad in your home country, depending on the route to citizenship you need to take.
Citizenship Ceremony and Certificate
After your application for citizenship has been approved, you will receive an invitation letter to attend a citizenship ceremony. It may take up to three months to receive the invitation.
Typically, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony within three months but because of coronavirus, currently, you have six months to attend a citizenship ceremony. You may be able to attend a virtual citizenship ceremony online.
During your citizenship ceremony, you will be presented with your certificate of British citizenship. If you attend a virtual citizenship ceremony online, your certificate will be sent to you by post.
Total Law has a highly experienced team of attorneys who are able to ensure your application for Dual Canadian-British Nationality has the best chance of approval by meeting each legal requirement in the application process.
Your assigned immigration advisor will review the legal guidelines and ensure your citizenship application is processed as fast as possible keeping in mind the standard wait times.
It may take longer than usual for your citizenship application to be processed due to coronavirus. This wait time will not affect the outcome of your application. It may affect the amount of time it takes to receive documents back by post.
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When you pay your British citizenship application fee it will typically include the cost for the citizenship ceremony which is £80 for the standard group ceremony in the United Kingdom. If you make arrangements to have a private citizenship ceremony, you will need to pay an additional fee which can vary based on your situation. You will also need to pay additional fees to have your passport issued once you hold citizenship.
Generally, you will be given a decision on your foreign citizenship application within six months from the time you apply.
Once you have received your citizenship certificate, you can fill out a form online or by mail to request to have your new passport issued as a citizen of the United Kingdom. Once your passport is issued by the British government, you can then carry both your valid Canadian passport and a British passport. Keep in mind that passports may take a number of weeks to arrive.
No, you do not need a lawyer in order to obtain dual nationality; however consulting with a qualified legal team can ensure that your application package has the best possible chances of being approved, as well as preventing unnecessary delays in the process. If you would like further advice regarding obtaining Canadian-British Dual Nationality, contact Total Law for assistance. Speak to one of our expert immigration advisers today. Call +1 844 290 631 or use the online contact form to get in touch.