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British Citizenship – Benefits

British citizenship

Updated: 18 September, 2022

Obtaining British citizenship is a goal and a dream for many people around the world. British citizenship has a lot to offer. Here are what you can expect once you become a British citizen.

The right to live permanently in the UK

You can freely move to the U.K. and enjoy the benefits of settlement, including the ability to purchase property work, open a bank account, marry in the U.K. and more.

Free medical care

The UK National Health Service began in 1948, and is one of the largest organisations in Europe. It provides all UK residents with free healthcare and treatment.

No work restrictions

UK citizens do not need to apply for any work permits. They have access to all the government job search services and unemployment allowances.

Stable society and economy

The Pound is a fairly strong and reliable currency. The UK economy is quite resilient even in a period of world financial crisis. The UK has a stable government and a moderate population, where discrimination and sexual harassment for example are illegal.

Receiving a British passport and unrestricted entry to the UK

Once you get British citizenship, you can apply for a UK passport. That means you will no longer be subject to immigration controls. However, having British citizenship does not guarantee you a passport. Your entitlement and eligibility to a British passport will be considered when you apply.

Don’t get lured by certain agencies or websites who pretend that they can get you a British passport. In fact, they absolutely cannot speed up the process for you. You should just apply directly with the UK government’s Identity and Passport Service (IPS), as the process is not difficult. All citizens (aged 16 and over) applying for a passport for the first time must attend an interview with IPS in person to confirm their identity.

The right to vote

All UK-born and naturalised citizens have full civic rights, including the right to vote in a parliamentary, local or European election. This gives you a voice in the governing of the country. To vote, you must have your name on the register of electors, known as the electoral register.

Standing for office

Most citizens of the United Kingdom aged 18 or over can stand for public office. There are some exceptions and these include members of the armed forces, civil servants and people found guilty of certain criminal offenses.

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79 replies on “British Citizenship – Benefits”

  1. if i cannot change my old UK address to a bfpo address(in germany)can i ask for my old registration to be deleted to enable me to register once again for life in the UK with the new BFPO address in germany?since it is my husbands new posting?

    1. Hello Alumita Inoke. We can help you prepare and pass your Life in the UK test, but for any questions regarding the official requirements for the Life in the UK test, you should contact the Life in the UK test helpline on the number below:
      0800 0154245
      Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.
      Good luck!

    1. Yes you should definitely apply for British citizenship. It is a very good citizenship to have! Good luck!

  2. No real benefit over ILR as all the items listed above apply to someone with ILR except for EU working. Travel within EU is also free on ILR.

    IMHO Citzenship is just another waste of time costing £800+.

  3. Hello there, is there anyone can bright me with some questions that I need to know the answers please. What do i have to do to get uk citizionship passport? Do i only need to get life in the uk test certificates? Or do i also need entry-level 3 beside of it ? And how long do I have to wait to apply

    Hello there, is there anyone can bright me with some help please. I became a uk residents in 15th May 2013 and how long do I have to wait to apply for citizenship passport? Do i only need to get life in the uk test certificates? or do i also need entry-level 3 beside Of it before I apply to British passport? Many thanks.

  4. Sir,
    I got British citizenship in 2006, I was living in India at that time and moved to USA in 2007, since then I am in USA. I lived in UK for a short period of 3 months in 2007.
    I am 59 yrs. old, what benefit I can get now or at retirement age.
    Is it necessary to be in UK to get any benefits?

  5. i have just completed 4 years in uk as a domestic worker so one more year to go for five years ,i have to prepare for life in uk test as well ,how will i go about ?and when should i start ? when can i apply for British citizen after 5 years or just couple months before completing 5 years ? thank you

  6. I would like to ask if I need when I application for british citizen Do i only need to get life in the uk test certificates? Or its fine have paper from school and have entry-level 3 beside of it ? Thank you x

  7. Hi,
    I am a British citizen (through decent) and have a British passport. I am hoping to move to the UK from Australia in July. My 12 year old son was born in Australia and has an Australian passport, can he stay with me indefinitely or does he also have to have a British passport?
    Hope you can help, or point me in the right direction to someone who can…
    Cheers, Liz Kirk

    1. The UK Border Agency should be able to help you, and answer your questions. Good luck!

  8. Most of this is illusionary, the benefits system is designed to develop a social underclass, the NHS is only free in parts (Although it’s going to be given away to make profits), to stand for office you have to have a lot of money behind you making it only an option for the privileged classes (yes we STILL have a class system), yes you can vote, but it doesn’t mean anything and even if it did there is very little difference between the parties, we likely wont be in the EU for much longer. Basically England is little more than a prison, if you do not believe me, try and leave without asking permission from the warders. The UK passport’s woth basically comes down to how much you could sell it for, apart from that its a shackle.

  9. hi.good day.
    I will be studing very recently in uk.i am married with 1 daughter.
    I have a plan for my next baby to be born when we are at uk.
    1.May i know the delivery costs and hospital fees for my wife as long as i may have tier 4 visa for studing there?
    2.will my baby,who will be born in uk have benefits of a uk citizen.will he or she get uk passport?

  10. Most respected dear sir

    if son has citizenship of uk
    can he get citizenship for his father

    kindly reply

  11. Hi
    I am British Citizen and hold British Passport.I spent only Ist five yrs of my life in UK and since than never been to UK. What benefits can nw I get.

  12. Hey i want to know that i am a british citizen have red passport.But never went to england.Can u plzz tell me what benefits will i get now i am 18 years old if i come to england??

  13. Good day,
    I was born in Jamaica never been to the UK before but I got my citizenship from my dad who was born there, can I claim any benefits when I go there?

  14. Hi, all i wanted to ask is that IF someone in UK who is a citizen and has no job OR is unemployed at the moment.. will he be paid some cash every month ? I hope i get a reply.. thanks !

  15. Hi, I would like to know about my status. I was born in UK in 1978. Since then I live in Malaysia. As far as I concern, I am eligible to convert to british citizen. How I want to make sure about that? TQ

  16. I have ILR. What would the benefits be to me to apply for citizenship? It’s expensive and we’re about to leave the EU so I won’t be able to work in Europe anyway. So I’m wondering if I should bother or just stay with ILR. I’m a newly single mum (kids aged 11 & 13). With ILR I’m not entitled to any child tax benefits but as far as I can see that’s the only benefit of spending all of that money.

  17. I have the birth certificates which clearly states i was born in uk in royal free hospital. can you please let me know that how can I avail benefits of my citizenship as of now I am living in India.

  18. Born in UK in 1976 @ Royal free hospital London and I have my British passport but am not residing in London what are my benefits if I come over to London in terms of monetary aspect.

  19. Hello there. My mom was born in Birmingham and Shes now in nigeria up till now she hasn’t acquired her British passport. I wanna study in Birmingham too. Am i entitled to a British passport

    1. Hello, Khalipha, yes your mother is entitled to a british passport. I was born here and I just got a new adult passport. I was living in nigeria. You can also apply for a passport once your mom has hers

  20. I have checked am a UK citizen but currently living in Nigeria and I want to stay in the UK how do I start.

  21. I have lost my original birth certificate but I still have a photo copied one and other documents. I need your help. Am aUK citizen still living in Nigeria l went to live in the UK.thanks.Happy Easter

  22. I have my brother and sisters in UK. They are british national and having british passport. is there any way that I can avail any benefit from them. i have pakistani passport. kindly guide.

  23. Regarding free medical care, does that mean that as long as I am a British passport holder, I would get free medical care ? What other pre-requisites do I need to be fully eligible for such care ?

    1. No, you need to be a resident of the UK to get free healthcare, but some services like GP visits and ER visits are free to all visitors, irrespective of citizenship.

        1. Hi Brian, Here is a basic definition of a UK permanent resident: Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residency (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right of abode in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been admitted to the UK without any time limit on their stay and who is free to take up employment or study.
          I hope this answers your question.

  24. Hello, For retirement purposes, is there a difference in benefits to those who are legal UK residents and those who obtain the UK Citizenship? Thank you.

      1. There will be changes to for EU citizens without settle or pre-settled status after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

  25. I am a first generation American living in the USA, applying for British citizenship (by decent of my British Mother).

    Can I obtain British citizenship for my child (born in the USA) considering his grandmother and great grandparents were British citizens?
    Can my child attend university in the UK as a citizen vs. a foreigner given his mother will become a British citizen?

    1. Hello El,
      This is a complex area of British nationality and every case must be assessed on an individual basis. We recommend that you contact the UK Visas and Immigration department for you inquiry.

    2. I am in the exact same situation you are. Unfortunately, as the law is written now the citizenship cannot be passed down unless you yourself (or the children’s other parent) was born in the UK.

      As for university, I can only speak about Scotland. In that case, the child must reside in Scotland for the three years prior to attending university. At that point, the tuition is waived. If not, tuition must be pid.

    3. I am a first generation American that has lived in the UK for 10 years and holds a British passport. If your children want to attend University in the UK they have to reside in the UK for three years prior to starting their course to obtain residency. Otherwise, they will have to pay international tuition.

  26. Im a south african citizen living in Scotland on an ancestral visa,could I apply for uk citizenship. My grandfather was born in London.

  27. I was born in London to an EU citizen and a South Korean citizen but only one of them where in a “settled” status, can I still apply for UK citizenship?

  28. Hello, I am Australian born to Scottish parents, I have a UK passport, firstly am I considered a UK citizen? Secondly, If I were to travel to Scotland would I be eligible to vote? (future independence referendums in particular). Thanks so much.

  29. Hi… I am a British citizen.. staying in India on OCI… my child is 13 years old.. can she get a british citizenship… Also, if I work in UK.. as I’m a citizen can my child education be free as she has an indian passport? Plz let me know

    1. Hi Megha,
      We are not affiliated with the UK government. We specifically help people to train for their Life in the UK Test.
      We recommend that you contact the UK Border Agency for your inquiry.

  30. My grandmother was born in Margate and Mai rained her British citizenship until her death. My father and I were both born in the states. Can I get a British passport?

    1. Hi Katherine,
      We are not affiliated with the UK government. We specifically help people to train for their Life in the UK Test.
      We recommend that you contact the UK Border Agency for your inquiry.

    2. Hi Katherine, since your grandma was British and born in the UK their for your father was born British after he gets the passport you can get it, you can check for more information on the website http://www.gov.uk .
      Kindly,
      Lamar

  31. You need to update your list. Being a British citizen now unfortunately means you are not a European Union citizen.

    1. Hi Saoirse,
      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have since updated the article. All our articles are up-to-date and accurate. All the best!

  32. This article must be as old as April 8th, 2013 (considering the comments). It must have never been updated, as it still says at the end:

    “The British citizenship gives you the advantages of being a European Union (EU) citizen. For example, you will be allowed to travel and work anywhere in the EU without any special work permits or travel permits.”

    I think all articles, blogs, post should show a date of creation/modification. This one obviously doesn’t.

    regards

  33. Has this been updated post-Brexit? I thought that the right to work and live in the EU without permits and visas went away? I

  34. As European, I always had these benefits and I feel the Passport is the only thing I would get if I do apply for the citizenship. Am I missing anything?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Alessia,
      Our article sums up most of the benefits of becoming a UK citizen. The right to vote and the right to a passport are perhaps the greatest benefits.

  35. I just received my certificate this morning to became a British citizen and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a honour to be British as Brazilian.
    The greatest benefit in my life time.

    1. HI Sandro, Congratulations on becoming a British citizen! An incredible achievement! We are so happy you! We wish you all the best!

  36. I have seen sources say that if I become a British citizen, I can get free NHS health care but does that include the dentist and optician related health care as well as I have had free healthcare from the NHS before as a EU citizen that has ILR?

    1. Hi Shawmiyan,
      That’s a good question. We are not in the know of that information.
      We recommend that you contact the UK Border Agency in regards to your inquiry.
      Here is the contact information:
      UK Visas and Immigration contact centre
      Telephone: 0300 790 6268 – select option 2
      Monday to Thursday (excluding bank holidays), 9am to 4:45pm
      Friday (excluding bank holidays), 9am to 4:30pm

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