How to Apply for a British Passport After ILR: A FreshStart UK Guide

How to Apply for a British Passport After ILR | Your Guide

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Applying for a British passport is an exciting milestone for many who have achieved Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. 

The journey to British citizenship can be complex, but obtaining a British passport after ILR opens up many opportunities. 

In this blog, we will guide you on how to apply for a British passport after ILR, offering detailed steps and important considerations. 

Additionally, we’ll introduce you to FreshStart Group, a renowned immigration and investment consultant who can assist you with the process.

Understanding ILR and British Citizenship

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a crucial step towards British citizenship

ILR allows you to live and work in the UK indefinitely, without immigration restrictions. However, holding ILR does not make you a British citizen. 

To become a British citizen and obtain a British passport after ILR, you must go through the naturalisation process.

Eligibility Criteria for British Citizenship

Before applying for a British passport after ILR, you must first meet the eligibility criteria for British citizenship. 

Here are the key requirements:

Residency Requirements

You must have lived in the UK for at least five years (three years if you are married to a British citizen) and have held ILR for at least one year. 

This ensures that you have a significant connection to the UK and have integrated into society.

Good Character

You must have a clean criminal record and be of good character. 

This includes not having any serious criminal convictions or having engaged in activities that would be considered against the public interest.

Language Proficiency

You must demonstrate proficiency in English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic. 

This can be proven by passing an approved language test or holding a degree taught in English.

Life in the UK Test

You must pass the Life in the UK test, which assesses your knowledge of British traditions, history, and culture. 

This test is designed to ensure that you understand the values and way of life in the UK.

Absence from the UK

You should not have spent more than 450 days outside the UK in the last five years (or 270 days in the last three years if married to a British citizen). 

Additionally, you should not have spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months. 

This demonstrates your commitment to making the UK your permanent home.

Steps to Apply for British Citizenship

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for British citizenship. 

Here are the steps involved:

Complete the Application Form

Fill out the naturalisation application form (Form AN)  available on the UK government website. 

Ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete to avoid delays in processing.

Gather Supporting Documents

Collect the necessary documents, including your ILR card, passport, proof of residency, language proficiency certificate, and Life in the UK test pass certificate. 

These documents are crucial in proving your eligibility for citizenship.

Submit Your Application

Submit your completed application form and supporting documents online. 

Pay the application fee, which is currently £1,330. Ensure that you keep copies of all documents submitted for your records.

Attend a Biometrics Appointment

Book and attend a biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph. 

This step is essential for identity verification and is a mandatory part of the application process.

Wait for a Decision

The Home Office will review your application and may request additional information or an interview. 

The processing time can take up to six months. During this period, it is important to be patient and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.

Attend a Citizenship Ceremony

If your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation. 

This is a formal and celebratory event where you will swear an oath of allegiance to the UK.

Applying for a British Passport

After obtaining your Certificate of Naturalisation, you can apply for a British passport after ILR. 

Here’s how:

Complete the Passport Application Form

Fill out the passport application form (Form UKC) available online or at a Post Office. Make sure to complete all sections accurately to avoid delays.

Provide Supporting Documents

Submit your Certificate of Naturalisation, current passport, and two passport-sized photos. These documents are necessary to confirm your identity and citizenship status.

Pay the Passport Fee

The current fee for an adult passport is £75.50 if applied online, or £85 if applied via paper form. 

Ensure that you pay the correct fee to avoid any issues with your application.

Submit Your Application

Send your completed application form and supporting documents by post or apply online. Double-check that you have included all required documents to prevent delays.

Wait for Your Passport

The processing time for a British passport is typically three to six weeks. You may need to attend an interview to confirm your identity. 

Once approved, your passport will be sent to you by post.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Applying for a British passport after ILR involves several steps, and it’s easy to make mistakes. 

Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them:

Incomplete Applications

Ensure that all sections of your application form are filled out completely and accurately. Missing information can lead to delays or even rejection of your application.

Incorrect Documents

Double-check that you are providing the correct supporting documents. 

Make sure all documents are up-to-date and meet the requirements specified by the Home Office.

Delayed Biometrics Appointment

Book your biometrics appointment as soon as possible after submitting your application. Delays in completing this step can prolong the processing time of your application.

The Role of FreshStart Group in Your Application Process

The process of obtaining a British passport after ILR can be difficult. 

This is where FreshStart Group, your immigration and investment consultant, can give you help. 

FreshStart Group offers comprehensive support and guidance throughout your immigration journey.

Application Assistance

FreshStart Group provides expert help in completing application forms and gathering necessary documents. 

Their team ensures that your application is thorough and accurate, reducing the risk of delays.

Legal Advice

Professional legal advice is available to ensure you meet all eligibility requirements. FreshStart Group’s legal experts can help you understand complex immigration laws and policies.

Biometrics and Interview Preparation

Guidance on preparing for biometrics appointments and potential interviews is provided. FreshStart Group helps you understand what to expect and how to prepare effectively.

Expedited Processing

Assistance in fast-tracking your application to avoid delays is available. 

FreshStart Group can help you follow the expedited processing options and ensure your application is prioritised.

Ongoing Support

Continuous support and advice are offered even after you obtain your British passport after ILR. 

FreshStart Group is committed to helping you settle into life in the UK and make the most of your new status.


Applying for a British passport after ILR is a significant step towards fully integrating into British society. 

By understanding the eligibility criteria and following the correct steps, you can achieve your goal of becoming a British citizen. 

Partnering with FreshStart Group can make the process smoother and more manageable, providing you with the expertise and support needed to successfully navigate the complexities of immigration procedures. 

Feel this exciting journey and look forward to the new opportunities that come with holding a British passport.

Whether you are at the beginning of your journey to British citizenship or ready to apply for your British passport after ILR, the key is to stay informed and prepared. 

With the right guidance and support, you can successfully start the process and enjoy the benefits of being a British citizen.

The Fresh Group

We are part of an established and successful group of UK-based companies, who for the last 12 years have focused on innovation and investment in the United Kingdom.


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What is the first step to apply for a British passport after ILR?

The first step is to obtain British citizenship through the naturalisation process. You must meet the eligibility criteria, including residency requirements, good character, language proficiency, and passing the Life in the UK test.

How long does it take to get a British passport after applying?

The processing time for a British passport is typically three to six weeks. However, it can take longer if there are issues with your application or if additional information is required.

Can I apply for a British passport immediately after getting ILR?

No, you must first obtain British citizenship before applying for a British passport. You need to hold ILR for at least one year and meet the residency and other eligibility requirements for naturalisation.

How can FreshStart Group help with my British passport application?

FreshStart Group offers expert assistance with completing application forms, gathering necessary documents, providing legal advice, and preparing for biometrics appointments and interviews. They also offer ongoing support to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

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