As a spouse of a British citizen, you are not automatically entitled to British citizenship through marriage. You must have lived in the UK for at least 3 years.
Contact our Student visa lawyer now on 0161 989 9370 to get legal advice about how to apply for British citizenship and information about eligibility requirements.
- What is British citizenship by marriage?
- Apply for British citizen after 3 years of marriage
- Requirements for UK citizenship through marriage
- UK residency requirements
- Good character requirement
- English language requirements
- Life in the UK test
- Documents needed to apply for British citizenship by marriage
- How to apply for Naturalisation?
- UK citizenship processing time after biometrics
- How much does it cost to apply for British citizenship?
- Need help with the British citizenship application?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is British citizenship by marriage?
British Citizenship by Marriage is a way for foreign nationals who are married to a British citizen or a person settled in the UK to become British citizens themselves. If you are married to a British citizen, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship after living in the UK for a certain period of time.
To be eligible for British citizenship by marriage, you must have lived in the UK for at least three years as a spouse of a British citizen, and you must have held indefinite leave to remain in the UK. You must also meet the other requirements for naturalization, such as passing the Life in the UK test and meeting the English language requirements.
Apply for British citizen after 3 years of marriage
You can apply for British citizenship through marriage after three years of living in the UK as a spouse of a British citizen, if you meet all the eligibility requirements.
You can apply as soon as you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK or 'settled status' (also known as 'indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme'). You do not need to wait 12 months after ILR to apply if you're married to a British citizen.
Requirements for UK citizenship through marriage
As a spouse of a British citizen and living in the UK for at least 3, you can apply for British citizenship by marriage if you are meeting the eligibility requirements of the British Nationality Act 1981.
To apply for UK citizenship through marriage, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 18 years old or over.
- You must have lived in the UK for at least three years as a spouse of a British citizen or settled person.
- You must have held indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.
- You must be of good character, meaning you have not committed any serious crimes or been involved in any illegal activities.
- You must pass the Life in the UK test, which is a computer-based test that assesses your knowledge of British history, culture, and traditions.
- You must meet the English language requirements.
In addition to these requirements, you must also be able to show that you intend to continue living in the UK and have not breached any immigration laws while in the UK. You will need to provide evidence of your identity, residence in the UK, and any criminal record, as well as pay the required application fee.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
It's important to note that the process of obtaining British citizenship by marriage can be complex, and the requirements may change from time to time. If you are considering applying for British citizenship by marriage, it's a good idea to seek legal advice and guidance to ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements and to help you navigate the application process.
UK residency requirements
To be eligible for British citizenship by marriage, you must have lived in the UK for a certain period of time as the spouse of a British citizen or settled person. The residency requirements are as follows:
You must have lived in the UK for at least three years continuously as the spouse of a British citizen or settled person.
During the three years, you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days in total. In addition, you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 90 days in the last 12 months before you apply for citizenship.
It's important to note that the three-year period of residence must be continuous, which means that you cannot have left the UK for an extended period during this time. You must also be able to demonstrate that you have been living together with your spouse or civil partner during the entire period of your residence in the UK.
Good character requirement
An applicant for naturalisation as a British citizen must satisfy the good character requirement to succeed in his application.
The British Nationality Act 1981 does not define good character. However, the Home Office UKVI guidance sets out the types of conduct which must be taken into account when assessing whether a person has satisfied the requirement to be of good character.
Consideration should be given by the Home Office caseworker to all aspects of a person's character, including both negative factors, for example, criminality, immigration law breaches & deception and more.
English language requirements
If you are applying for British citizenship and you're 18 or over then you might need to prove your knowledge of the English language.
The British citizenship applicants must meet the English language requirements to prove that they can read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
You can prove your knowledge of the English language by having either an English qualification at the B1 level or a degree taught in English.
You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are aged 65 or over or unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition.
Life in the UK test
The Life in the UK test is a compulsory requirement to be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
The main object of the Life in the UK test is to prove that the applicant has adequate knowledge of British life such as British values, history, traditions and everyday life.
The Life in the UK test is a computer-based multiple-choice question test based on the Life in the UK handbook.
You will have 45 minutes in total to answer 24 multiple-choice questions and You must score 75% or more to pass the test.
Documents needed to apply for British citizenship by marriage
The applicants will need to provide several documents in the support of their British citizenship application depending on their personal circumstances.
You must provide the following documents when you apply for British citizenship by naturalisation:
- Your current passport or the valid ID document
- Your BRP card (if have been issued to you)
- Proof you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settled status
- List of absences from the UK
- Proof of knowledge of English or English language test certificate
- Life in the UK test certificate
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
Read the guidance for the full list of documents you'll need to provide in support of your British citizenship application.
How to apply for Naturalisation?
Contact our UK immigration and nationality lawyer today to get legal advice about how to apply and the requirements of a British citizenship application.
Read the guidance on how to apply for British citizenship and the step-by-step process.
UK citizenship processing time after biometrics
You should get a decision on your British citizenship application within 3-6 months. However, Some UK citizenship applications may take longer than 6 months depending on the complexity of the matter.
Time starts once you've applied for British citizenship and attended your biometric appointment.
How much does it cost to apply for British citizenship?
- £1,330 is the fee for British citizenship by Naturalisation application.
- £1,012 is the fee to register a child under 18 as a British citizen.
Here are some common other costs associated with applying for British citizenship:
- £19.20 Biometrics fee
- £50 Life in the UK test fee (unless you are exempt)
- £150 approx. English language test fee (unless you are exempt)
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
The above is a general list of costs associated with British citizenship applications. There may be additional costs such translation fee depending on your circumstances.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK citizenship & nationality lawyer will guide you through every step of the British citizenship application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our UK nationality lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your citizenship application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
Need help with the British citizenship application?
If you need legal advice or help with your British citizenship application, our lawyer can provide legal assistance.
Our citizenship lawyer will assess your eligibility and personal circumstances to determine if you can apply for British citizenship and meet the requirements.
British citizenship lawyer at Rex Law Chambers will:
- advise you about eligibility criteria and the requirement;
- provide you with a comprehensive checklist of supporting documents;
- fill in and submit your British citizenship application;
- check all the supporting documents;
- upload all the supporting documents online in their correct format and order;
- schedule your biometrics appointments;
- prepare a cover letter or letter of representation to support your application.
- dealing and responding to any enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office;
- do all the follow-up work on your British citizenship application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.
Contact our experienced UK citizenship & nationality lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential legal advice and assistance with your British citizenship application.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Residency requirement, good character requirement, English language test and Life in the UK test are the 4 key requirements to apply for British citizenship.
You must meet all other eligibility requirements depending on your personal circumstances and type of British citizenship application.
You can become a British citizen after living at least 3 years in the UK as a spouse of a British citizen. You must meet all the eligibility requirements of the British Nationality Act 1981 to apply for UK citizenship through marriage.
Yes, the UK does allow dual citizenship with other countries which means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries at the same time.