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Criteria and qualifications

Criteria for becoming a British citizen

Applications for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen are considered under the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981.

The decision is at the discretion of the Lieutenant Governor and is based on statutory criteria such as residence, language, knowledge of life in the UK and Islands and good character.

The requirements include – but are not limited to:

  1. Meeting the required residential requirements for your application type
  2. Satisfying the good character requirement 
  3. Satisfying the English speaking and listening requirements
  4. Satisfying the knowledge of life in the United Kingdom and Islands requirement
  5. Demonstrating that the applicant(s) intends to have his or her home in the Isle of Man/British Isles

The Home Office also provide the following publications setting out the various requirements for British citizenship. All applicants should read these before making an application to ensure that they meet each appropriate requirement to avoid having their application refused:

Naturalisation as a British citizen - a guide for applicants: guide AN

Naturalisation booklet - the requirements: booklet AN

More specific information on each requirement can be viewed on the UK Home Office site here: Home Office Naturalisation at Discretion

Abiding by immigration law is a compulsory requirement for foreign nationals (excluding EU Nationals). Making an application to acquire British citizenship is a voluntary decision made by the applicant(s). There is no requirement to apply and no right of acquisition.

Required qualifications

All applicants for indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation as a British citizen will need to meet the knowledge of language and life requirement, unless they meet the Home Office exemption policy. See the English Language requirement page for more details.



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