Yesterday morning we arrived back in the UK after an amazing 8-night stay in Mauritius. As we walked through our front door, I dropped our bags on the floor and opened my laptop. Our British citizenship application, together with our supporting documentation, was sitting there on my profile, ready to be submitted for weeks now, but finally the window of eligibility opened up and we were able to submit our file.

The process of applying for citizenship is a two-step process and we were lucky enough to complete both steps in just two days, a rare occurrence if I listen to some of my friends that’s recently been through the same process. First, you have to complete your application online and upload all of your supporting documentation. Believe me, the 23-page application form is quite extensive. Then, you must attend an appointment in person where your photo, fingerprints and digital signature is captured and linked to your application before it’s submitted to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Yesterday we submitted our application online and this evening we attended the appointment where our biometrics were captured. As of 20:15 this evening, our application for naturalisation is officially in the queue at the UKVI.

Now we wait, and this is the difficult part for all applicants. There is no way to track your application from this point forward and you simply have to wait for a caseworker at the Home Office to assess the application and advise on the outcome. At the moment, it looks like processing times for citizenship applications are somewhere between 3 and 4 months, which may seem long, but if you judge the UK Home Office against their international counterparts, then the UK seem to process these naturalisation applications in record time!

How long other countries take to process citizenship applications:

  • United Kingdom: up to 6 months
  • France: Up to 2 years
  • America: 12-15 months
  • Switzerland: 12-18 months
  • Japan: 10 – 12 months
  • Canada: 12 months
  • Australia: 16 months
  • New Zealand: 12 months

If our application is successful, we’ll be invited to a citizenship ceremony where we will take an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and the United Kingdom before officially becoming British nationals. Once we are British nationals, we’ll be able to get our hands on British passports. We will keep you posted as we go.

Chat soon,

Andre

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