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Topic: Citizenship approved - My experience  (Read 512 times)

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Citizenship approved - My experience
« on: April 22, 2022, 10:59:08 AM »
Today I received e-mail of approval from the Home Office for my UK citizenship, exactly two months after submitting the application online and 37 days after the biometric appointment. Help and information I got on this forum was definitely key to making a successful application, and I want to thank everyone for them.

Below I describe my experience with the online application process, focusing on topics that I and others had questions about, hoping that it could be of value to people who are on the same journey or thinking of starting it. I'll be happy to answer questions as I can.

The online application is very similar to those for FLR and ILR. I was glad I had experience with them. Nevertheless I found it useful to download and go through the paper (PDF) form, so that I would be ready with the information I had to provide before starting.

The biggest difference from FLR/ILR, as well as between the paper and the online forms, is the need for two referees and the referee forms. As an applicant I had to provide the following info about each referee:
  • Title, given names, family name
  • Sex; date of birth
  • Address; yes/no answer to whether the referee has lived at this address for more than 3 years
  • Phone number; email address
  • Profession
  • Yes/no answer to whether the referee has a British Passport; and, if yes, the passport number
  • How the referee knows the applicant
Both my referees were out-of-towners; I set up a Zoom meeting with each referee and screen-shared the browser with the application form on it, so that the referee could guide me and verify as I entered the info. This worked well.

When I completed the application form, I came to a page with links to the referee forms as well as a tick box for a statement that I would provide the referee forms (or to that effect, I can't remember precisely). After doing as instructed, I came to the actual submit / fee payment pages. Doing both brought me to a page titled "Mandatory Actions" where I could download referee forms again as well as family consent forms (one of the necessary supporting documents).

I was then sent to the UKVCAS/Sopra Steria site. I had to register first (e-mail verification), then make the biometric appointment. The earliest free appointment at a location convenient for me was three weeks into the future - plenty of time for me to get the supporting documents ready.

The hard deadline for the supporting documents is the biometric appointment, specifically 48 hours before the appointed time if the applicant is doing the scanning and the uploading oneself, or at the appointment if you bring the documents and pay extra fee to have them scanned. With respect to the referee forms, I sent them to the referees with passport photo attached by Royal mail for their verification and signature; but I asked them to do the scanning at their end and e-mail the scans back to me for uploading. Royal Mail was flaky during the lockdown and I was still somewhat nervous about things getting lost or not reaching me in time. I also enclosed stamped-addressed envelopes and asked them to drop the forms in the mail at their leisure.

The biometrics were basically the same as for ILR (passport verification, facial photo, fingerprints), and they went without a hitch. I think they took me about 20 minutes.
My Immigration Timeline:
Spouse visa: Applied online 05-03-2016 / Granted 10-04-2016
Arrival in UK: 01-05-2016
FLR(M): Applied online 11-12-2018 / Granted 08-01-2019 (Super Priority)
SET(M): Applied online 06-07-2021 / Granted 02-08-2021 (Super Priority)
Citizenship: Applied online 24-02-2022 / Approved 22-04-2022 / Granted 18-05-2022
First UK Passport: Applied online 10-06-2022 / Received 15-07-2022


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2022, 11:20:30 AM »
This is great,  really appreciate the share.  Would you be ok if I add some or all of it to the Reference Doc I am building?

best,

Matt
UK Spouse Visa

2008/2009/2012  Met/Married/Children

24 APR  2017         Spouse Visa Application Online
05 MAY 2017         Spouse Visa Biometrics
24 JUL  2017         Spouse Visa Decision - 54BD
27 JUL  2017         Passport returned
17 AUG 2017         Landed UK
21 JAN 2020         FLR(M) Application
06 FEB  2020         FLR(M) Biometrics
06 FEB  2020         FLR(M) Approval email
22 JUL  2022         ILR SET(M) Application (5 years since landing minus 27 days)
18 AUG 2022         ILR SET(M) Biometrics Booked


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2022, 02:32:15 PM »
Congratulations!


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2022, 11:45:14 PM »
This is great,  really appreciate the share.  Would you be ok if I add some or all of it to the Reference Doc I am building?

best,

Matt
Nice to see you! Your threads were so helpful as I was going through the process to get here 5 years ago. :) ILR application in just a few months now...


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2022, 06:48:43 AM »
This is great,  really appreciate the share.  Would you be ok if I add some or all of it to the Reference Doc I am building?

best,

Matt
Yes, that will be fine. Please just keep in mind this is one person's experience and what worked for me for my specific case (a relatively straightforward one I should think).
My Immigration Timeline:
Spouse visa: Applied online 05-03-2016 / Granted 10-04-2016
Arrival in UK: 01-05-2016
FLR(M): Applied online 11-12-2018 / Granted 08-01-2019 (Super Priority)
SET(M): Applied online 06-07-2021 / Granted 02-08-2021 (Super Priority)
Citizenship: Applied online 24-02-2022 / Approved 22-04-2022 / Granted 18-05-2022
First UK Passport: Applied online 10-06-2022 / Received 15-07-2022


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2022, 11:50:52 AM »
Nice to see you! Your threads were so helpful as I was going through the process to get here 5 years ago. :) ILR application in just a few months now...

Hello!   That summer was so peculiar!!!!..  ILR time now.....  hoping it goes more smoothly for us all.  Matt
UK Spouse Visa

2008/2009/2012  Met/Married/Children

24 APR  2017         Spouse Visa Application Online
05 MAY 2017         Spouse Visa Biometrics
24 JUL  2017         Spouse Visa Decision - 54BD
27 JUL  2017         Passport returned
17 AUG 2017         Landed UK
21 JAN 2020         FLR(M) Application
06 FEB  2020         FLR(M) Biometrics
06 FEB  2020         FLR(M) Approval email
22 JUL  2022         ILR SET(M) Application (5 years since landing minus 27 days)
18 AUG 2022         ILR SET(M) Biometrics Booked


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2022, 05:42:23 PM »
The Referee issue is one that makes me uneasy. I've been using the same surgery for the last 7 years, but I've only been in a couple of times over that period. The people I know are all retired and play golf. I also just changed clubs again so I have a new group of people that I associate with now. Basically, I don't know anybody not related for 3+ years.......
« Last Edit: April 25, 2022, 05:48:00 PM by F4mandolin »
Fred


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2022, 06:50:32 PM »
The Referee issue is one that makes me uneasy. I've been using the same surgery for the last 7 years, but I've only been in a couple of times over that period. The people I know are all retired and play golf. I also just changed clubs again so I have a new group of people that I associate with now. Basically, I don't know anybody not related for 3+ years.......
I didn't think you could use your own GP?

I'm going to struggle with the referees as well when the time comes.

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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2022, 07:59:34 PM »
Remember, the professional one doesn't have to be British.
You can use your own GP if they are willing but not all will be.


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2022, 06:09:26 AM »
You might look for someone who qualifies as a "professional person" for holding a professional qualification or being a member of a professional society, rather than occupation. One of my referees was a retired academic but also a chartered engineer.
My Immigration Timeline:
Spouse visa: Applied online 05-03-2016 / Granted 10-04-2016
Arrival in UK: 01-05-2016
FLR(M): Applied online 11-12-2018 / Granted 08-01-2019 (Super Priority)
SET(M): Applied online 06-07-2021 / Granted 02-08-2021 (Super Priority)
Citizenship: Applied online 24-02-2022 / Approved 22-04-2022 / Granted 18-05-2022
First UK Passport: Applied online 10-06-2022 / Received 15-07-2022


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2022, 10:07:57 AM »
Remember, the professional one doesn't have to be British.
You can use your own GP if they are willing but not all will be.
This might help. My biggest issue is the length of time I've known people here, who aren't related to me in some way. All of the people I have known personally, in my own right, were from my first job and well, those bridges have been burnt.

But I just realised that Stuart will know people who also know me so I may not be as stuck as I was thinking.

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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2022, 11:15:56 AM »
This might help. My biggest issue is the length of time I've known people here, who aren't related to me in some way. All of the people I have known personally, in my own right, were from my first job and well, those bridges have been burnt.

But I just realised that Stuart will know people who also know me so I may not be as stuck as I was thinking.

Sent from my SM-G781B using Tapatalk


This is my hope. My wife knows a couple of people from when she was still working in schools that were either teachers, or in one case, kind of a business fellow. We rarely see them nowadays, but they know who I am and that I'm not a mass murderer. The only other people I've really been sociable with are golfers, and I've changed to my 3rd club this year since we moved back 7 years ago. So.....a new bunch of friends that have only known me a month+. Other than that...my wife and I being 90% hermits is a real limitation.
Fred


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2022, 03:53:19 PM »
Well....just solved my problem of a Professional person as one of my referees when applying for citizenship. On my regular 5 mile walk down the river this morning I stopped and talked to a guy I talk to regularly. Nice guy who walks/runs with his dogs along the river. We were talking about several things...like the idiot conservation folks who planted thousands of little trees in the fields that people walk their dogs in....at the wrong time of the year and now they are desperate for water..duh... But back to the point. I brought up the point that I have a problem applying for citizenship since I'm a bit of a hermit and don't really know a lot of people outside golf. He said he'd be more than happy to fill out whatever paperwork I need. He's known me for the last 7 years and has seen me doing trail repair work etc. I already knew this.....but one of my referee's will be the Local Counselor . ZING!!!!
Fred


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2022, 05:59:18 PM »
Well....just solved my problem of a Professional person as one of my referees when applying for citizenship. On my regular 5 mile walk down the river this morning I stopped and talked to a guy I talk to regularly. Nice guy who walks/runs with his dogs along the river. We were talking about several things...like the idiot conservation folks who planted thousands of little trees in the fields that people walk their dogs in....at the wrong time of the year and now they are desperate for water..duh... But back to the point. I brought up the point that I have a problem applying for citizenship since I'm a bit of a hermit and don't really know a lot of people outside golf. He said he'd be more than happy to fill out whatever paperwork I need. He's known me for the last 7 years and has seen me doing trail repair work etc. I already knew this.....but one of my referee's will be the Local Counselor . ZING!!!!

Excellent news!  :)
 


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Re: Citizenship approved - My experience
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2022, 06:29:41 PM »
Well....just solved my problem of a Professional person as one of my referees when applying for citizenship. On my regular 5 mile walk down the river this morning I stopped and talked to a guy I talk to regularly. Nice guy who walks/runs with his dogs along the river. We were talking about several things...like the idiot conservation folks who planted thousands of little trees in the fields that people walk their dogs in....at the wrong time of the year and now they are desperate for water..duh... But back to the point. I brought up the point that I have a problem applying for citizenship since I'm a bit of a hermit and don't really know a lot of people outside golf. He said he'd be more than happy to fill out whatever paperwork I need. He's known me for the last 7 years and has seen me doing trail repair work etc. I already knew this.....but one of my referee's will be the Local Counselor . ZING!!!!
Brilliant. Yay! :D
My Immigration Timeline:
Spouse visa: Applied online 05-03-2016 / Granted 10-04-2016
Arrival in UK: 01-05-2016
FLR(M): Applied online 11-12-2018 / Granted 08-01-2019 (Super Priority)
SET(M): Applied online 06-07-2021 / Granted 02-08-2021 (Super Priority)
Citizenship: Applied online 24-02-2022 / Approved 22-04-2022 / Granted 18-05-2022
First UK Passport: Applied online 10-06-2022 / Received 15-07-2022


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