National Statistics UK in a recently published update mentioned that South Africa ranks 9th when it comes to individuals moving to the UK and currently nearly 229,000 South Africans are residing in the UK with British citizenship.
The UK is one of the most evolved economies globally and is attracting many foreign nationals to earn, live, and work in a much-safeguarded nation. A better lifestyle, good education, protected healthcare services, etc are a few of the many advantages. Many students and working professionals from South Africa are moving towards the UK for better life opportunities. It has now become easier to apply for visas and getting British Citizenship.
Why should I choose the UK?
If you are thinking to move to the UK, you probably have made the right choice. But before you begin your first step towards British citizenship, know what the UK has to offer
- Better healthcare and medical facilities
- Better education and abundant work opportunities
- Better lifestyle and comfort
- Unemployment allowances for those who come under this scheme
- Safety and peaceful living, etc and many more
Route to the UK
The process of seeking British citizenship requires a close follow-up and deep understanding of the process involved.
The individuals can consider the following
- Self-applying for the application via online process
- Take the help of a UK immigration lawyer to fill the application
Eligibility for South Africans to seek British citizenship application
The first step is to check the eligibility and then decide whether the individual would want to move to the UK or not.
Basic requirements to be considered include,
- One must bear a good character and have no criminal offence in one’s name
- One needs to be above 17 years of age
- One should necessarily pass the ‘life in the UK’ test
- Have proficient English
- One should be able to live in the UK for a longer period
- Have resided in the UK for more than 5 year
If any individual has these basic requirements, he/she can initiate the application process. This process is called Naturalization.
Detailed understanding of the eligibility requirements
- Eligibility incase of marriage: the individual can apply for British citizenship after marriage if the individual has lived for at least 3 years in the UK
- Eligibility through birth: your date of birth before 01 January 1983 can confirm your British citizenship. Whereas, if the date of birth is after 1983 then one must identify if both parents or either of them is British citizens during the time of your birth or well-settled in the UK.
- Eligibility through permanent residency or ILR: if you are already residing in the UK on ILR, for five or more years then you can apply for the application
- Eligibility through ancestry route: It could be possible that one is a South African but has a grandparent who is a British citizen, in that case also, the individual can apply for British citizenship. The individual should also be able to prove that he/she has a long-term commitment to stay in the UK and can earn a living. The applicant will first have to apply for an ancestry visa in this case.
Dual citizenship for South Africans
Yes, the individual can hold dual citizenship if he/she is already a South African and is willing to go for British citizenship.
However, the individual must note that while they are applying for British citizenship they should also reconfirm their South Africa citizenship. The individual should first apply for South African citizenship before applying for British citizenship.