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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a citizen of the USA and have been living and working

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I am a citizen of the USA and have been living and working continuously in the U.K. since April 1997. I would like to apply for U.K. citizenship. Should I engage the services of a solicitor to help me do this? If so, how could I find an appropriate solicitor in Cardiff?



Thanks for your question.


Can you confirm that you have held a valid visa during your time here (continuously)?


Kind regards,



Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes. I have a "Residence Permit" stamp in my USA passport that says "Valid Until: INDEFINITE" and under "remarks" it says "No time limit on holder's stay in the U.K." I was here for 4 years starting in April 1997 and then in April 2001 I went to the Home Office in Croydon and got this stamp, which allows me to work for any employer. I have not been out of the UK for more than 2 weeks at any one time since then.


Sorry, I intended to write the above post as an "info request" but clicked the answer button by mistake.


If you have been resident in the UK for 5 years and

  • been present in the UK five years before the date of your application; and
  • not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the five-year period; and
  • not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of the five-year period; and
  • not been in breach of the Immigration Rules at any stage during the five-year period

    Then you meet the residential criteria to apply for naturalisation.


    You must also meet the following criteria:-

  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must be of sound mind.
  • You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.
  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree.
  • You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK (you meet this by taking and passing a "life in the UK test". You must have this before you make your application and you should contact the UKBA to find out about approved test providers in your area)
  • You must be of good character


    There is a list of standard documents that you will need to submit with your application here:-


    A solicitor would charge in the region of(NNN) NNN-NNNNvat for preparing the application on your behalf. You could attempt preparing the application yourself, but if it becomes apparent that you may have gaps or defects in your application then i would certainly instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf to deal with these in the best possible fashion in the hope of getting a positive decision from the UKBA so that you do not have to appeal.


    Kind regards,


    Edited by Thomas on 11/1/2010 at 9:29 AM EST
    Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you