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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

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, and investors in Britain.

Work permits

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 businessmen, domestic workers, entertainers, film crew, gap year entrants, highly-skilled migrants, innovators, investors, ministers of religion, overseas journalists, sportspeople and voluntary workers.

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 practise these professions. Qualified EU nationals wishing to practise a regulated profession in the UK can apply for recognition of their home state qualifications - follow the link below for details.

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 adviser and how to complain if you think you have been badly treated.

Getting information in different languages

A website called myUKinfo helps foreign workers by providing up-to-date information in Polish and Portuguese, among other languages.

It offers advice on working and living in Britain, and information about money, housing, health and local culture. It has a section for employers who hire immigrant workers as well.

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 Britain, citizenship and asylum. Their website provides forms and application information on all aspects of immigration and nationality procedures.

Dual nationality

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.

Citizenship education

Citizenship is part of the national curriculum. There are a number of online resources available.

National curriculum

The National curriculum online for England websites gives information - for citizenship and every other subject - on programmes of study and non-statutory guidelines, attainment targets and notes and links to online teaching resources.

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?

Department for Education citizenship website

Learn more about citizenship education, a national curriculum subject, and how you can contribute in a positive way.

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