This page tells you how quickly we aim to process new applications for British citizenship and other forms of British nationality.
You should think very carefully before applying if you require your passport within the next three months. You will not need to send your original documents if you make your application through the nationality checking service - for details of local councils that offer the service, see the page about the Nationality Checking Service or contact the Nationality contact centre.
You can find out how to ask us to return your documents, if you have sent them to us with your application but you now need them urgently. See the return of documents page.
All applications for citizenship are subject to enquiries to ensure that the statutory requirements have been satisfied. Because of these enquires, we anticipate that applications may take up to six months to complete. Some applications may be dealt with more quickly and some may take longer, depending on the nature of the enquiries to be carried out.
Our service standards set out how quickly we aim to decide applications for British citizenship. The standard is that we will decide 95% of applications within six months.
If you have sent applications or documents to us by recorded or special delivery, you can confirm receipt by visiting the Royal Mail website.