Referees in Naturalisation, Passport & Citizenship Applications

Referees for naturalisation, citizenship and passport application must meet certain legal requirements.
1) Personal acquaintance1st-Citizen-UK-Citizenship-Naturalisation-Lawyers2.jpg
For adult applications each referee should have known the applicant personally for at least three years. A lot of applicants struggle with this requirement as they don’t know anyone who is willing to say that they have known them personally for that long.
It is therefore advisable to consider these requirements well in advance of making an application to the Home Office.
2) Professional standing

One referee should be a person of professional standing. The acceptable professions are listed in the table at the end of this page.

3) Nationality, profession and age

The other referee must be a British citizen (holder of a British passport), and either a professional person or over the age of 25.

4) Other eligibility requirements

Referees should not:

♠ be related to the applicant
♠ be related to the other referee
♠ be the applicant’s solicitor or agent representing him or her with the application
♠ be employed by the Home Office
♠ have been convicted of an imprisonable offence during the past 10 years for which the sentence is not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

5) Overseas applications

If the applicant is living overseas, and does not know a British citizen passport holder who is a professional person or over the age of 25, a Commonwealth citizen or citizen of the country in which he or she is residing may complete and sign the form, provided:

♠ he/she is over 25 or has a professional standing in that country and
♠ has known the applicant for three years, and
♠ the Consul considers his/her signature to be acceptable.


6) Child applicants

For a child application one referee should be someone who has engaged with the child in a professional capacity, such as a doctor, teacher, health visitor, social worker or minister of religion. The other referee must be the holder of a British citizen passport, and either a professional person or over the age of 25.

Referees: List of acceptable professionals

AccountantDirector/Manager of a VAT

registered Charity

Officer of the armed services (active or retired)
Airline pilot Director/Manager/Personnel Optician
Articled clerk of a limited companyOfficer of a VAT registered CompanyParalegal (Certified or

Qualified Paralegals, and

Associate Members of the

Institute of Paralegals

Assurance agent of recognised companyDriving instructor (approved) Bank/building society official


Engineer (with professional qualifications)

Barrister Person with honours (e.g.OBE, MBE etc.)
Fire service officialBritish Computer Society (BCS) – Professional grades which are Associate (AMBCS), Member (MBCS), Fellow (FBCS) (PN 25/2003)Personal Licensee Holders
Funeral director Society (BCS) –Professional grades

which are Associate

 Photographer (professional)
(AMBCS), Member

(MBCS), Fellow (FBCS)

Insurance agent (full time)

of a recognised company

Post Office officialJustice of the PeacePolice officer
BrokerLegal secretary (members and fellows of the Institute of legal secretaries)



President/Secretary of a

recognised organisation


Chairman/director of limited companySalvation Army officer


Local government officerSocial worker
ChiropodistManager/Personnel officerSolicitor
 Christian Science practitioner Member of ParliamentSurveyor
Commissioner for oathsMember of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces
Councillor: local or county 

Merchant Navy officer


Teacher, lecturer

Civil servant


Travel agency (qualified)Trade union officer
Minister of a recognised


Civil Servant (permanent) 

Valuers and auctioneers

(fellow and associate members of the

incorporated society)



Nurse (RN, SEN or holder of a BA in nursing)

Warrant officers and Chief
Designated Premises Supervisors Petty Officers