Nationality and citizenship
If you're interested in moving to the UK or becoming a British citizen, this page contains information that can help you get started.
Coming to the UK to visit, study or work
The UK Border Agency, Visa Services website gives details of entrance requirements for the UK. If you type in your purpose of visit, your nationality and your location, the website will tell you:
- if you need a visa or entry clearance
- which application form you need to fill in
- which guidance note you should read, and
- where you should make your application
It also covers issues such as:
- au pairs and overseas domestic staff
- family members and adopted children
- working holidays
- highly-skilled migrants
- investors in the UK
- UK visas and immigration - UK Border Agency website
The work permits website gives information about the various routes open to foreign nationals who want to come and work in the United Kingdom. These schemes cover people such as:
- domestic workers
- film crew
- gap year entrants
- highly-skilled migrants
- ministers of religion
- overseas journalists
- sports people
- voluntary workers.
- Working in the UK - UK Border Agency website
Practising your profession in the UK
In the UK, as in most EU member states, certain professions are 'regulated'. This means there are laws setting out the qualifications you must have to practice these professions. Qualified EU nationals wishing to practise a regulated profession in the UK can apply for recognition of their home state qualifications.
You can find out more on the website of the National Contact Point for Professional Qualifications in the United Kingdom (UK NCP). Its function is to aid the mobility of professionals throughout Europe.
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) exists to make sure everyone gets good immigration advice. They can't help with individual applications or give advice, but can find someone in your area who can help. The OISC website gives details of how to find an immigration advisor and how to complain if you think you have been badly treated.
Naturalisation, residency, asylum and nationality
The UK Border Agency
The UK Border Agency in the Home Office is responsible for applications for British nationality, permission to stay in the UK, citizenship and asylum. Its website provides forms and application information on all aspects of immigration and nationality procedures.
In general there is no restriction, in UK law, on a British national being a citizen of another country as well. So, if you get another nationality, you will not lose your British nationality. Similarly, you will not need to give up any other nationality when you become British. The Home Office provides more detailed information.
Citizenship ceremonies and the Life in the UK Test
To celebrate the occasion of becoming a British citizen, the government has recently introduced new citizenship ceremonies. There is also a website that describes the Life in the UK Test that many new British citizens will take. It gives information about who the test is for and how to prepare for the test.
History of citizenship
The National Archives and the Parliamentary Archives have put together an online exhibition on citizenship. The exhibition explores what it has meant to be a citizen throughout a millennium of British history. Citizenship is often in the news. But what is it and how has it changed over the centuries? Where did Parliament come from? How did ordinary people gain political and social rights?