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Citizenship for Refugees

Migration Justice Project has produced a series of guidance documents below which aim to support you and your family on the journey to British citizenship.

(Scroll down for FREE resources)

Understanding British Citizenship

Becoming a British Citizen gives you the freedom to live in the UK permanently, without the need to make any further immigration applications. If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) you are not obliged to become a British citizen. 

British citizens enjoy unrestricted rights to work and study, as well as access to healthcare services and the ability to claim public funds. As a British citizen, you can hold a British passport, vote, and stand for election anywhere in the United Kingdom


Dual Citizenship

The United Kingdom allows individuals to hold dual citizenship. This means that you can be a British citizen while retaining the citizenship of another country. However, it is important to note that not all countries permit dual citizenship. Therefore, before applying for British citizenship, you might need to check if this could result in you losing your current citizenship. Speak to your own Embassy about this.

British Citizenship and Refugees 

If you were granted refugee status in the UK, you will no longer be a refugee once you obtain British citizenship. This means you will no longer be entitled to refugee family reunion nor will you be able to continue to use your Refugee Travel Document. You will, however, be eligible to apply for a British passport. 

Before you start the journey to become a British citizen, there are certain conditions to be met. The guidance documents below are specifically designed for people who have already achieved Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a person with refugee status, humanitarian protection, or discretionary Leave to Remain.

Citizenship applications are expensive. It is therefore advisable to obtain professional immigration advice to make sure you are eligible to apply – otherwise you risk losing the application fee.

Children and citizenship

Most migrants need to have Indefinite Leave to Remain before they are eligible to apply for British Citizenship. 

However, some children are eligible to register as a British citizen without first having to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain. This can happen if the child is born in the UK and a parent subsequently obtains Indefinite Leave to Remain or if the child is born in the UK and then lives here for 10 years. The rules are complex and you should seek advice.  

Resources – FREE to Download

(this does not constitute legal advice)