Following the successful launch of online forms for European nationals applying for residence documents, the Home Office is now considering whether the process can be adopted for British citizenship applications. They are currently conducting a trial online application with selected users, of which Magrath Sheldrick LLP is one.
The proposed format is an online form accessible to both adult and minor applicants, who are currently required to complete separate paper forms AN and
MN1 respectively. The new service will enable family members such as dependants to be added to the main applicant’s online form without having to complete a separate application form of their own. It will still be necessary however, for dependants to show that they meet their own respective requirements for a grant of British citizenship without relying on their relationship to the main applicant.
Initially, an email address and password is required to create the form. A link to the application will then be sent directly to the registered email address enabling easy return access for further completion. This means the form can be saved and edited at any point before submission. Once all sections have been completed payment will have to be made online. A checklist of supporting documents will then be generated based on the data entered, providing a tailored request for supporting documents.
There has been very little change to the application for British citizenship since the implementation of the British Nationality Act 1981. Innovations have included the introduction of biometrics for all applicants, together with the option to make a joint citizenship and British passport application. Practically, the introduction of online forms will reduce the risk of applicants completing an out of date application form. Hopefully this will provide a quicker, simpler and more instinctive approach to completing the application form.
Timeframes for the trial are currently undetermined and any official launch will be notified here. If you are in the process of applying for British citizenship or keen to understand the requirements ahead of time, do feel free to get in touch with our UK immigration team.