5 HIDDEN British Citizenship Application Fees & Costs in 2019

The British citizenship application fee in 2019 is £1,330. This is the cost for the Home Office to process the British citizenship application, also known as naturalisation. This also includes the British ceremony fee.

There are, however, other costs that are involved with making a British citizenship application, as shown in the table below:

Type of Fee Cost
British Citizenship fee £1,330
Document Translations £0 – £180+
English Language Test £0 – £150+
Life in the UK Test £50
Lawyer Fees £0 – £3,000+
Total £1,330 – £4,660+

Example: Sandy read our free and detailed British Citizenship guide and found out that she meets all of the requirements to naturalise as a British citizen. She will have to pay the Home Office a British citizenship fee of £1,330 in order to become British. However, there may be some other costs Sandy will have to pay.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You or your child may be British already. In this case, you will not need to make an application for citizenship. You simply apply for a British passport. Check out this handy British citizenship guide to find out if you are British already.

If you are certain that you are British and simply require a British passport, you can apply for one here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-adult-passport.

document translations

#1 Document Translations

All important documents that are not in English or Welsh MUST be translated.

If they are not, your application may be refused because of this. Translating documents costs money, of course. Unfortunately, you cannot do this yourself to save money.

What is the cost?

It will depend on the number of documents you require to be translated.

Usually, if your application relies on the information contained within your document, you will need to get it translated. You may need to translate documents such as the following:

• your marriage certificate;
• your divorce certificate;
• your death certificate;
• your birth certificate; and
• your degree certificate

It typically costs approximately £60 to translate a single page and approximately £85 to translate 2 pages.

Total cost: £0-£180+

english language test

#2 English Language Test

As a non-EU national, you will have already passed an English Language Test for your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application.

As an EU national, you will not have been required to sit an English Language Test for any previous application or your application for Permanent Residence. However, you will have to pass an English Language Test for your British Citizenship application.

You will need to pass a Home Office approved English language test at B1 CEFR or higher, from the Secure English Language Test list.

Both the IELTS Life Skill Test and Trinity College London Test cost £150, so this is typically what you will require to pay.

However, if you are required to sit the test more than once, then you will have to pay £150 for every test you sit.

You do not need to sit the test if you are exempt from doing so. You are exempt from sitting a test if:

i) You are a national of one of the following ‘majority English-speaking’ countries:

Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; or the United States of America.

These are the countries that the Home Office (HO) has classed as ‘majority English-speaking countries’.

ii) You are aged 65 years or over at the date of the application, OR

iii) Have a medical condition, either physical or mental, which prevents you from sitting the test. This condition must be long term.

You must provide proof of this from a doctor or medical professional.

iii) You have a degree certificate that was taught or researched in the UK, or that was taught in English outside the UK. 

The degree must be declared as either equivalent to a UK qualification or confirmed to have been taught in English by UK NARIC.

If you aren’t sure if your degree will meet these requirements, we would advise you to take the English test.

Total cost: £0-£150+

 life in uk test

#3 Life in the UK test

In order to apply for citizenship, not only are you required to pass an English Language Test, you must also pass the Life in the UK Test.

If you are a non-EU national, you will already have passed your Life in the UK test when you applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). You will not have to apply and pay for it again.

If you are an EU national, you will not have sat the Life in the UK Test when you applied for Permanent Residence. However, you must sit and pay for the test for your British citizenship application.

The test costs £50. You will also need to take some time out to prepare for the test. If you fail the test, you will have to pay to sit it again.

You should also purchase the Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents (3rd Edition) to help you prepare for the test. The book costs between £9.99 and £12.99 and can be purchased here.

Total cost: £0 – £62.99+

lawyer fees

#4 Lawyer fees

You may want to get an immigration lawyer to help prepare your application. This typically costs between £750 – £3000 (for London based lawyers).

You may wonder, why does it cost this much? Immigration lawyers tend to charge this much because of these three things:

Training – the rules and guidance regarding naturalisation can be lengthy and tricky to navigate. Good immigration lawyers will have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours reading these rules that most people find mind numbingly boring! Everyone’s circumstances differ and the rules will need to be checked accordingly.

Time – preparing your case thoroughly will be a lengthy process. Making sure you meet the requirements by checking all your documents, filling in the extensive application form and keeping files/records organised is a prolonged process that requires a lot of the immigration lawyers time.

Stress – we take every application very seriously as we realise how stressful it can be for individuals.  Some of you will have waited a long time to become a British citizen and we want to take sure we get it right for you – which can sometimes be stressful for us too!  Especially, when we have followed the correct processes and submitted the correct documents but the Home Office still wrongly refuses the application! This has been known to happen and for them to lose documents.

Obviously, you may wish to submit your application yourself – and in this case will not have to pay anything towards legal fees.

Total cost: £0-£3,000+

Total cost for a British citizenship (naturalisation) application (if you are eligible)

The total cost to apply for British citizenship, can be anything between £1330 and £4,725.99+ (depending on if you need translations, to sit the English language test etc).

But what if you are not eligible for British citizenship… yet?

#5 Previous visas

If you are not eligible for British citizenship yet, you will have to pay even more still. How much you have to pay depends on the visa route you are on and how far along you are on it (if at all).

Here are the typical visa routes to British citizenship:

Please note – these are based on Home Office fees in Feb 2019 (fees go up by 10-20% per year!)

EXAMPLE: 5 Year Partner visa route:

If you are applying as a spouse, fiancé, unmarried partner or civil partner then you should expect to pay the following:

1. Visa 1:

i) Applying from outside the UK:

£1,523 (Home Office fee) + £1,200 (IHS) = £2,723

ii) Applying from inside the UK:

£1,033 (Home Office fee) + £1,000 (IHS) = £2,033

2. Visa 2 (visa extension):

£1,033 (Home Office fee) + £1,000 (IHS) = £2,033

3. Indefinite Leave to Remain (Home Office fee): £2,389 

4. British citizenship (naturalisation fee including citizenship ceremony fee): £1,330

i) Total if you first apply out of country:

£2,723 + £2033 + 2,389 + £1,330 = £8,475

ii) Total if you first apply in-country:

£2,033 + £2033 + 2,389 + £1,330 = £7,785

Take Ethan. He is a Canadian national who met his British wife Eva on the internet. They were married in Canada a few weeks ago and he would now like to join Eva in the UK. It will cost Ethan a total of at least £8,475 to enter the UK, apply for his extension as a spouse, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and finally British citizenship.

Also consider Raj, who came to the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa. He fell in love with Paul and they decided to get married in the UK. In order for Raj to switch to a partner visa, apply for his extension of that visa, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and finally British citizenship – it will cost a total of at least £7,785.

Also, consider Mary Jane, she has been on her spouse visa for almost 5 years and is soon due to apply for ILR. She will need to pay a total of at least £3,719 to pay for her Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and citizenship application.

Please note that the above calculations are for application and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees only – we have not added any of the extra hidden costs which may be required.

You get the point. In order to meet the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British citizenship – there are a lot of visas (and a lot of money!) people have to go through. We hope that you have more of an idea of what to expect and are able to plan accordingly!

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