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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Foreign nationals may apply to become a British citizen (including commonwealth and Irish citizens).

You must satisfy the following conditions,

  • have lived legally in the United Kingdom for five years (the last year should have been free of any time limit) see below for further information about this condition;
  • be 18 or over
  • not be of unsound mind;
  • be of good character;
  • have sufficient knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic (depending on their age and physical and mental condition); and
  • stay closely connected with the United Kingdom.

In order to comply with the first condition you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days over the 5 year period and for more than 90 days in the last 12 months.

If you are married to a British citizen and you want to become one then you must meet the following conditions,

  • have lived legally in the United Kingdom for three years, see below for further information about this condition ,
  • the stay must not be subject to any time limit on the date of application
  • must be 18 or over 
  • not of unsound mind, 
  • must have sufficient knowledge of the language but does not need to intend to live in the United Kingdom once naturalised. 
  • must be of good character.

In order to comply with the first condition you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days over the 3 year period and for more than 90 days in the last 12 months.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.