EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON BRITISH CITIZENSHIP PROCESS
In this blog, we will be discussing about how the COVID-19 may have affected migrant applicants trying to get British citizenship
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused the execution of many procedures relating to travel limitations across the world, time and again banning or discouraging people from coming to the UK from other countries. Many have been compelled to spend substantial periods of time outside of the UK for many and unforeseen reasons because of the coronavirus pandemic and the world-wide response of shutting borders and restricting cross-country voyage earlier in 2020.
- BRITISH PASSPORTS APPLICATIONS UPDATE BY HM PASSPORT OFFICE
- BRITISH PASSPORTS WITH ‘EXTRA VALIDITY’ SUSPENDED
- GOOD CHARACTER REQUIREMENT IN BRITISH CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS
- NEW INFORMATION FOR BRITISH NATIONALS
- UK PASSPORTS MIGHT NEED TO BE RENEWED TO GO TO EUROPE
The cumulative effect of these rules might be nerve-wracking for migrants who have suffered unnecessary absences from the UK because of the coronavirus pandemic and who desire to naturalise as British citizens.
The maximum amount of absences from the UK when making an application for naturalization as a British citizen is 450 days in the five years instantly after the date of the application and 90 days in one year before to the date of the application.
Migrant applicants who are married to British nationals at the date of application are dependent on several residence obligations and should not have been away from the UK for over 270 days in the three years before the date of the application, nor for more than 90 days in one year before the date of the application.
For those applicants who have been unintentionally stuck outside the UK because of the coronavirus pandemic, and whose absences fall outside the aforementioned thresholds, any application for naturalisation will be relying on the Secretary of State’s discretion.
Generally, if an applicant has formed their home, employment, family and funds in the UK and their absences are between 480-900 days in the significant five-year period (or 300-540 days for those applicants who are wedded to British nationals), and they then fulfil all the other obligations, the Secretary of State may practice discretion to ignore any unnecessary absences and to authorize the naturalisation application. In the wake of Coronavirus, government guidelines concerning the treatment of excessive absences from the UK have been updated to include ‘global pandemic’ as an extra situation in which discretion can be used sympathetically.