British Citizenship by Marriage for Ghanaians

A Ghanaian married or in a civil partnership with a British national may apply for British citizenship by marriage. This form of naturalisation is not automatic, and certain conditions must be met.

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    British Citizenship by Marriage Eligibility Criteria

    Being married to a British spouse does not mean you automatically acquire British citizenship. You must meet the conditions and eligibility criteria to apply, including age, evidence of marital status and UK residency requirements.

    Before applying for British citizenship by marriage, you must have acquired Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) or Settled Status.

    You must also provide supporting documents regarding residency, language proficiency, the Life in the UK test, and good character.

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      Requirements for British Citizenship by Marriage


      The following requirements must be met for anyone applying for British naturalisation through marriage:

      • Be over 18 years of age
      • Married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen
      • Have lived in the UK for at least three years before your British citizenship application
      • Be of sound mind so that you understand the step you are taking

      However, only once you have one of the following can you submit your application for British citizenship by marriage:

      • Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK
      • Settled status or ILR under the EU Settlement Scheme
      • Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK

      Supporting Evidence

      In addition to the above requirements, Ghanaians must submit evidence of the following:

      • Been in the UK for exactly three years before the date that the Home Office receives your application
      • Prove your knowledge of English, Scottish Gaelic or Welsh
      • Passed the Life in the UK test
      • Be of good character

      Residency Requirements

      You must have been present in the UK for exactly three years before the day the UK Home Office receives your application.

      If you have spent time in the UK when you were exempt from immigration controls, this period does not count toward the three-year requirement. This may apply if you were:

      • A diplomat
      • A member of a diplomat’s household or staff
      • A member of the visiting armed forces

      In addition to meeting the residency requirements for British citizenship by marriage, you must not have broken any UK immigration laws during your time in the country.

      Your eligibility will also depend on how much time you have spent outside of the UK. To qualify, you must not have:

      • Spent more than 270 days outside the UK in the three years before your application
      • Spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the preceding 12 months

      If your partner works overseas for the UK government or an organisation closely linked to the government, you may be exempt from the above requirements.

      Benefits of Becoming a British Citizen by Marriage

      When you are granted British citizenship, you will be eligible to apply for a British passport which you would not be entitled to under any other immigration status. You can then travel freely to the UK without needing a visa.

      British citizenship through marriage is faster than other naturalisation routes. You can apply immediately after receiving ILR, ILE or Settled Status. Other naturalisation paths require a 12-month wait after being granted permanent settlement before applying for British citizenship.

      A UK citizen will not lose their citizenship if they spend two or more years overseas, unlike ILR, which will lapse in such a case. You will hold the same rights as a British national, being allowed to live, work and study in the UK without any immigration restrictions.

      Certain obligations are attached to your British nationality, such as being subject to and respecting UK law.

      Application Process for British Citizenship by Marriage


      You must follow a set procedure when you apply for British citizenship by marriage. Failure to complete any stage may delay or invalidate your application.

      You should apply for a UK Spouse Visa. This visa will initially grant you residency rights for two and a half years. If granted, a Spouse Visa extension application will give you another two and a half years.

      After three years of legal permanent residence in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Once you have ILT status, complete the naturalisation application form and submit the required documentation.

      The application fee must also be paid at this time. You must then book an appointment at the nearest UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services point to have your biometric details taken.

      If approved, you will be issued a British citizenship certificate at a citizenship ceremony. You must return your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to the Home Office within five working days. Failure to do so can result in a fine of £1,000.

      British Citizenship by Marriage Application Fees

      The application fee for British citizenship by marriage is £1,580. You will also need to pay the biometric fee, which is £19.20, as this is not included in the citizenship by marriage application fee.

      The Life in the UK test fee is £50. If any of your documents are not in English, you will need certified translations so you should budget for this also.

      Supporting Documents

      The documents that you need to supply as part of the British citizenship application process include:

      • Evidence of identity, e.g. your Ghanian passport with ILR or your BRP
      • Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
      • Spouse or civil partner’s current passport or naturalisation/registration certificate
      • Pass number from the Life in the UK test
      • Details of two British citizenship referees who know you and can help prove your identity
      • English language qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level or a degree taught or researched in English
      • Evidence of ILR or Settled Status

      You will need one British citizenship referee who is a professional person, such as a civil servant, minister of religion or member of a professional body, such as a solicitor.

      To ensure you have all the correct documents and the application is filled in properly let the immigration lawyers at Total Law help you. Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use our online chat service to get in touch so we can offer advice and assistance.

      Processing Time for British Citizenship Application

      The typical processing time for an application for UK citizenship by marriage is six months. However, more complex cases may take longer. If you submit an incomplete application or don’t supply all the necessary documents, your application may be delayed.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      British citizenship by marriage allows you to live in the UK permanently. However, British citizenship applications can be complex for some Ghanaians. Seek legal advice from our immigration lawyers to ensure you follow all necessary immigration rules and requirements.

      Contact Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or via our online chat to discuss your citizenship by marriage case and let us help you become a British citizen.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Ghanaians do not need to renounce their original citizenship when they become British citizens, as Ghana allows dual citizenship.

                People over 18 who successfully apply for British citizenship must attend a citizenship ceremony. You will make an oath of allegiance or an affirmation and a pledge to respect the UK’s rights, laws and freedoms.