Today is a very exciting day for me. Why? I’m officially British! I just got word that my application for British citizenship—which I submitted way back in November and have been waiting very (im)patiently to hear back on ever since—has been approved. I’m Britain’s newest citizen, and I couldn’t be happier!

Houses of Parliament in London

Ever since I found out, I have been bouncing off the walls with excitement. After six long years of living in London, I finally have peace of mind about my status in the country. Given how many times the rules have changed (including the introduction of a new English language exam for the citizenship process on the very day of my six-year anniversary in the UK), it’s a huge relief to know that I will not have to worry about the ever-moving goalposts anymore.

In order to officially complete the British citizenship process, I will have to swear an oath to the Queen. On Wednesday morning I’m heading over to my local council’s town hall in London for an official ceremony with my fellow new Brits. If I don’t screw it up, I will come away with a shiny new certificate declaring my official status as a subject of Queen and crown. As an American, this act seems a bit strange, but I didn’t put in my time in London just to back out now.

Portrait of the Queen of England

And speaking of my time, let’s look at just how long it took to become a British citizen:

– 6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day of living in London
– 2 visas (one for 2 years, one for 3 years)
– 1 year of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

And even more than that, let’s look at how much it cost to become a British citizen:

– £400 for my first visa under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)
– £820 for my second visa under the Tier 1 scheme
– £1,377 for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK
– £874 for citizenship
– A grand total of £3,471 (and that’s not counting accountant fees to prove my self-employment income, which rang in at another £1,000). Let it never be said that I didn’t really, really want to get British citizenship.

Crown Shaped Chocolates

Sadly, others that want to do the same now face much stricter immigration policies, as the visas I came in on no longer exist and it has become much more difficult for people to move to the UK to work (yes, I know that the US is just as bad). I feel fortunate to have gotten in while I could.

And perhaps the best part about becoming British is that for the first time in six long years, there is no longer a restriction on the number of days I can spend outside the UK. Then again, now that I’m British, maybe I should start spending a bit more time in Blighty. I’ve certainly earned the right to do so!

70 comments on “Lady Gets British Citizenship”

  1. Congratulations! I know how hard it is living with moving goalposts and dealing with visas. You definately should celebrate and relish the freedom of no longer worrying about all that.

  2. Woo hoo! Congratulations! I am eternally grateful that I was born British because I don’t think I could have passed the life skills test nor do I think I would have stayed the course like you have! Well done and happy maroon passport day!

  3. Congratulations lovely!! What exciting news, and welcome to our beautiful country permanently! To be honest, I think immigration rules are valid. This country lets in too many people that feed off the system and take advantage, rather than actually providing something for the country.

    We should definitely be upping our laws and letting in people that actually want to be here to work and provide something prosperous rather than just anyone!

    People like yourself that work hard for a living and provide a contribution, are people that we should be proud to welcome with open arms!

    Therefore, I truly hope you are happy continuing to live here and I shall continue to enjoy your lovely blog and adventures!

    Katie <3

  4. Congrats! I left one year too early to get my citizenship and regret it every day! I will say the UK is infinitely more difficult than the US when you are married and wBt to move back, even though my husband and I have been married for 7 years and have two kids, who are dual citizens, if we wanted to move back he would have to go first and get a job making a certain amount for 6 months before he could even apply for me to come over. I have friends who have been separated for a year. It’s sad how hard they are making it!

  5. Congratulations! That’s such exciting news. Before I moved here I never gave it that much thought, but I’m so glad I have a European passport so I don’t have a time limit to how long I can stay in London. Can imagine that it must be a big relief for you. And that ceremony sounds amazing! You should definitely blog about it (although they might not take you completely serious if you keep taking pictures :-).

  6. Congratulations! How exciting! Do you have to give up your American citizenship? I’m hoping that someday down the line I’ll be able to get, at the very least, permanent residency (let’s pray I get someone to sponsor my visa once my student one ends…).

  7. Wow! Congratulations! I’m truly very excited for you to now be a British citizen. I’m biased, but I do think that Great Britain is just one of the best countries in the world, and it’s wonderful to think that other people think so too. Enjoy all the celebrations and swearing your oath to our lovely Queen!

  8. That’s fabulous news, congrats! Getting citizenship is never an easy process. I’m not able to get German citizenship without giving up my Canadian one, so I plan to just get permanent residency and can apply for it next year. Don’t think it will cost as much though.

  9. Congrats! Are you going to keep your US Citizenship? I’ve looked into citizenships in other countries, but never considered that obtaining citizenship in GB was even possible…

  10. Hi Julie! That is good news 🙂 Congratulations!! I’ll be back in London soon. I now also belong to the blogger community 😉 Just started my new blog in Jan this year and it’s called http://www.ringforahug.com Let’s see where it goes. See you soon, Uli

  11. Congratulations of the citizenship! Hope to meet you this weekend at Travese 14 in Newcastle. This will also be my first blogger conference so I am super excited to connect with others in the blogging community.

  12. Many Congratulations on second passport… now you can enjoy many more destinations…..soon you will need another copy of passport… It’s exciting!!!!!!!!

  13. I can relate to this post! I’ve been living in the UK for 10 years with a Russian passport and a British Residence card. This year I am finally able to apply for a British Citizenship and I couldn’t be able more thrilled! You were very luck to have applied when you did, it is so difficult to gain a British Citizenship now.

  14. That’s definitely a dream I’ve carried in my heart. I love London. I plan to visit again, but my husband and son woudln’t adapt as easily as I would, sadly. I’m trapped here, in the Great, but saddening US. I am so happy for you and can’t wait to read more of your blog.

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