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What is the process of applying for naturalisation if I am married to a British citizen?

It is important to note that being married to a British citizen does not automatically provide you with British citizenship. However, British citizenship can be attained through the process of naturalisation. This requires you to meet eligibility criteria under the nationality rules and make a citizenship application to the Home Office.

If you are married to a British citizen and would like to apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’, there are various necessary requirements.

You must be aged 18 or over and have resided in the UK for a minimum of 3 years before the date of your application.

To meet these residency requirements, you must not have:

  • spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the 3 years before your application;

  • spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months before your application.

There are various exemptions to this requirement, such as if your partner works abroad, either for the UK government or a closely linked organisation. Other special circumstances may also be considered, for example, if you were unable to live in the UK at the start of the 3-year period due to health reasons or travel restrictions. You will need to provide clear evidence of your personal circumstances in your naturalisation application.

If you meet the residency requirements, an application for naturalisation can be made as long as you have achieved status as one of the following:

  • Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK

  • ‘Settled Status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme

  • Indefinite leave to enter the UK – permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad

It is also a requirement to prove:

  • you were in the UK exactly 3 years before the day the Home Office receives your application

  • your knowledge of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic

  • you’ve passed the Life in the UK test

  • that you are of ‘good character’

If you are unsure if you meet the requirements for the naturalisation application, contact us today for further information.


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