British Citizenship by Marriage

Marrying a British citizen does not automatically grant Bangladeshi individuals citizenship in the UK. However, that being said, it does function as a path to UK citizenship through the naturalisation process.

The application process can be complex, and there are always new updates to how this visa works. Therefore, speaking to an immigration lawyer can help your application. At Total Law, we are experts and can provide you with legal assistance for your citizenship by marriage application. Just give us a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to get started.

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    Citizenship By Marriage Overview

    Applicants applying for British citizenship by marriage should be aware that marrying a British citizen does not automatically grant a non-UK spouse citizenship.

    Instead, applicants will obtain British citizenship via naturalisation. Through this route, the Bangladeshi spouse will need to meet the eligibility criteria and make an application for British citizenship.

    Those who have acquired settlement in the UK can apply for citizenship if they are the married spouse of a British citizen.

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    The British Citizenship By Marriage Eligibility

    To apply for British citizenship by marriage via the process of naturalisation, applicants need to satisfy all of the criteria set by the UK Home Office. These eligibility criteria include the following:

    • The applicant must be over the age of 18.
    • The applicant must be married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
    • The applicant must be sound of mind.
    • The applicant must be considered an individual of good character.
    • The applicant must be able to communicate in English and must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
    • The applicant must have lived within the UK for at least 3 years before applying for citizenship and must also meet the eligibility requirements for residence.

    Those who are the spouse of a British citizen can apply to naturalise in the UK as soon as they are granted ILR (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK, acquire a permanent residence card, or even settled status under the EU’s settlement scheme.

    Residency Requirements

    One of the major requirements for British citizenship by marriage is that the applicant must meet the residency requirements in the UK.

    These requirements include the applicant not having been outside of the UK for any more than 270 days in the 3 years they have resided in the country. Applicants can also not have been outside of the UK for any more than 90 days in a 12-month period that proceeds from the date of the application being submitted.

    One of the most common grounds for a refusal of an application for British citizenship is excessive absences from the UK.

    If an applicant is concerned that they may have exceeded the limit, it is always best to take advice from a legal professional, such as our professional lawyers at Total Law. If you are concerned, contact us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to discuss the impact of absences on eligibility.

    Additionally, applicants need to be able to provide evidence that they have been present in the UK for exactly 3 years before the date that the Home Office receives the application.

    Additionally, applicants will also need to ensure that they are free from any immigration restrictions at the time of their applications. Applicants also need to ensure that they have not been in breach of any of the immigration rules during the entire qualifying period for residency.

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      Requirements & Documents For The Application

      When an applicant applies for British citizenship by marriage, they will need to provide supporting documents and evidence to prove that they are eligible. This can include documents such as:

      • Evidence of the applicant’s identity, including their BRP card, national ID card, and passport.
      • Evidence that they have knowledge of the English language could be shown via one of the following:
        • A UK-based degree.
        • A Home Office-approved qualification in English to a level of B1 CEFR.
        • Proof that the applicant is exempt, such as a medical letter that would explain why the applicant would be exempt from this.
      • Proof of passing the Life in the UK test. This can be shown via a letter confirming success in the Life in the UK Test.
      • Evidence that the applicant has settled in the UK. This could be shown in one of the following ways:
        • The applicant’s passport shows permission to remain in the UK permanently.
        • A letter from the Home Office showing that the applicant has received permission to remain in the UK permanently.
      • Evidence that the spouse or partner of the applicant has citizenship in the UK. This can be shown in one of the following ways:
        • The marriage or civil partnership certificate belongs to the couple.
        • The applicant’s civil partner or spouse’s current passport, or a naturalisation or registration certificate that proves they hold British citizenship.
      • Proof that the applicant has been living in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the date of application. This is best shown by the applicant’s passport.

      Should any of the documents supplied by the applicant not be written in English, they must be professionally translated before the citizenship application is submitted.

      British Citizenship By Marriage Application Fees

      For an applicant to apply for British citizenship by marriage in the UK, they will be required to pay an application fee of £1,580. As well as this, the applicant should be prepared to pay for a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) if necessary, which comes at a fee of £19.20.

      Additionally, applicants will need to pay for a Life in the UK test and English language exams if necessary, as well as the translation fees for any documents that are not in English.

      The Application Process For British Citizenship By Marriage: Step By Step

      The British citizenship by marriage application process can be completed by carrying out the following steps:

      1. The applicant must collect the necessary documents, translate any documents if necessary, and take the Life in the UK test and an English language test if required.
      2. Once all documentation is ready, the applicant can now complete the required online citizenship by naturalisation application form found on the UK government website.
      3. Once the application is completed, the applicant should book an appointment at a UKVCAS service point to have their photograph and fingerprint taken for their biometric residence permit.
      4. Next, the applicant should upload any of the required documents that have been requested to support their application. These documents can also be provided when the applicant attends their UKVCAS appointment.
      5. After this, the applicant should ensure they pay the adequate fee for the application, which is (currently as of December 2023) £1,580.
      6. If the applicant needs to have their biometric information taken, they will also need to pay the fee for this, which is £19.20.
      7. Once the fees are paid, the applicant should then attend their biometrics appointment.
      8. After the applicant has submitted their application, all supporting documents, and their biometric information, they only need to await a decision on their application.
      9. Should the applicant’s application be approved, they will receive British citizenship and will gain a certificate to show this. The applicant will also be asked to return their biometric residence permit to the Home Office. The applicant must do this within 5 working days of receiving their certificate. If the applicant’s BRP is not returned in time, this can result in a fine of £1,000.
      10. Applicants can also apply for a British passport after they have received their British citizenship.

      Application Processing Time

      The typical processing time for British citizenship by marriage applications is 6 months. That being said, some applications may take longer. The amount of time it takes is dependent on the situation of the individual as well as the Home Office.

      The best way an applicant can ensure no delays is to ensure that they are prepared for the application before they submit any paperwork. All documents should be pre-organized and translated in advance.

      Application processing times can also take longer in the event the applicant needs to attend an interview.

      The Citizenship Ceremony

      When a Bangladeshi individual acquires British citizenship by marriage, they will need to attend a citizenship ceremony. This ceremony must be attended within 3 months of receiving the invitation to do so from the Home Office.

      The local authority will organise the ceremony, as these ceremonies are typically conducted in groups. That being said, applicants can request a private ceremony if they wish to do so.

      The applicant must book their citizenship ceremony with their local authority, and when they attend the ceremony, they must take their invitation with them. Typically, individuals can take 2 guests with them.

      The cost of the ceremony will be included in the individual’s application fee. However, should the applicant wish to have a private ceremony, they may need to pay extra. It is wise to check this with the local authorities.

      During the ceremony, applicants should expect to make an oath of allegiance (or an affirmation should the applicant prefer not to swear by God) as well as a pledge. This means that the applicant is promising to respect the rights, laws, and freedoms of the UK.

      At the end of the ceremony, the applicant will be presented with their certificate of British citizenship as well as a welcome pack. Some local authorities sell photographs and videos of the events to attendees.

      The only individuals who will not need to attend a ceremony are those who are registering to become one of the following individuals:

      • British overseas citizens.
      • British overseas territories citizens.
      • British subjects.

      However, these individuals should note that they will still be required to take an oath or affirmation of their allegiance, and they will be informed on how they can do this.

      Our team of legal experts can help you obtain British citizenship by marriage. Contact Us

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        Total Law's Team Can Help You

        Obtaining British citizenship by marriage can be difficult, and there are many requirements that individuals should be careful to consider when applying. Many of the requirements will require the applicant to have met the essential criteria for a significant period.

        This is why applicants for British citizenship by marriage should consider speaking to a knowledgeable legal advisor. Here at Total Law, our legal team can help you with your application for British citizenship by marriage, including helping you prepare the essential supporting documentation. Just give us a call at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.


                  It is possible to apply for British citizenship if married to an EU citizen living in the UK. However, EU citizens must have settled status, and both parties will need to fulfil the requirements. This route to citizenship is also citizenship by naturalisation.

                  Both the EU citizen and their spouse will need to have settled status in the UK and reside in the UK for a set period before they can naturalise as British citizens. This means that before the spouse can become a British citizen, the EU citizen can bring their spouse to live with them in the UK, and both individuals will need to apply to do so under the new EU settlement scheme.

                  Separation or divorce won’t impact the entitlement to British citizenship if, at the time the individual applied, they were in a genuine, subsisting relationship and acted in good faith.

                  If an applicant has secured their indefinite leave to remain in the UK or has submitted their citizenship application, having a divorce or separation is very unlikely to impact their immigration status. This means the individual will not be required to leave the country in this instance.

                  The ability to include a child on an application for British citizenship depends on the individual’s situation, place of birth, and immigration status. Those who are applying for citizenship themselves can typically apply for their child at the same time. The applicant will, however, need to fill out a separate form for them.

                  If the child is over 10 years old, they must also be considered to have a ‘good character’. The child will also need to have lived in the UK for at least 2 years before applying, and they should also have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain in the country.

                  Each situation is unique, however, so it is best to consult an immigration advisor at Total Law to be sure.