From today (Monday 16 July) people applying for British nationality from outside the UK, except for residents of Hong Kong, will have to send their application forms to the UK Border Agency’s office in Liverpool.
A spokesman warned that people can no longer apply via the British High Commission or British Consulate in their country and must pay by completing a payment slip and sending if with the application and supporting documents.
He added that all applicants must provide an email address.
‘If we need to contact you about your application we will contact you by e-mail. If you do not provide us with your email address the processing of your application may by delayed. If we are unable to contact you be email we will write to you via your nearest British High Commission or British Consulate,’ explained the spokesman.
He added that all documents submitted in support of your application must, where possible, be originals.
‘We strongly recommend that you send your documents via courier service to ensure we receive them safely. If you cannot send your original passport, because the authorities of your country do not allow passports to cross national borders, you should send a complete copy of your passport that has been certified by a local notary or equivalent,’ he added.
The countries affected by these changes include Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, North Korea, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Western Sahara.
‘If you submit a copy of your passport, you may be asked to provide or present the original document to one of our staff, in your country, for verification. Once we have made a decision on your application, your nearest British High Commission or British Consulate will contact you,’ the spokesman said.
‘If you are applying to naturalise as a British citizen, your nearest British High Commission or British Consulate will contact you about your citizenship ceremony, if applicable, and completing the process of naturalisation. You will be presented with your citizenship certificate at your citizenship ceremony. If you are not required to attend a citizenship ceremony, your nearest British High Commission or British Consulate will contact you about collecting your citizenship certificate,’ he added.
In other immigration rules changes, from 01 October 2012 anyone found to have overstayed their leave by more than 28 days will find that any application for further leave will be refused. This change in the Immigration Rules will affect applicants applying for further leave under the points based system, all working and student routes, visiting routes, long residency routes, discharged HM Forces or UK ancestry routes.
This change is in line with the new immigration rules which came into effect for the family migration route last week.
‘If you have limited leave to remain you must ensure you apply to extend your leave, if needed, in time. If you wish to remain in the UK after the 28 day period you should leave the UK and reapply for a visa,’ the spokesman explained.