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Deciding on citizenship if you’re from the EU:

You and your family might not need to get British citizenship to stay in the UK if you’re from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. The EEA includes EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

There are benefits to getting citizenship if you’re eligible. But it’s worth checking if citizenship is right for you, because it’s expensive to apply and takes a lot of time. Getting British citizenship can also affect you in other ways – for example, if it means you lose citizenship of your home country. 

Check if you need citizenship to stay in the UK:

You already have the right to live and work in the UK permanently if you:

  • have ‘settled status’ from the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ (permission to stay in the UK without a time limit) from the Home Office 
  • are an Irish citizen 

You can stay in the UK for as long as you want if you’re in one of those situations – you don’t have to apply for citizenship if you don’t want to.

When citizenship might be right for you:

British citizenship might be right for you if it’s important for you to:

  • vote in general elections
  • get a British passport
  • get British citizenship for your children when they’re born outside the UK
  • leave the UK for as long as you want, without losing your right to return

How much it costs:

You usually pay £1,330 to apply for citizenship if you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland (or £1,012 for children). Most adults have to pay extra fees, too:

  • £50 to do the Life in the UK Test
  • £19.20 to send your fingerprints and photo to the Home Office
  • around £150 if you have to do an English test

You will not get your money back if your application is refused – for example, because you’re not eligible or you sent the wrong documents.

What it involves:

It can take a lot of time to prepare your application for citizenship.

You usually have to do a test on British history, traditions and everyday life, called the Life in the UK Test. You also have to gather lots of documents and evidence – for example, dates for every time you came in and out of the UK during the last 5 years.

You might also need to do a speaking and listening test to prove your knowledge of English.

Find out more about what you need to do to apply for citizenship.

Updated 23/07/2020