British Citizenship by Marriage

A foreign national who is married to a UK citizen may attain British citizenship by marriage if they fulfil specific eligibility criteria.

For inquiries and support with the British citizenship application process, contact Total Law today at (+353) 061 518 025. Our expert immigration lawyers are always available to address your concerns and provide you with all the necessary assistance.

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    What is British Citizenship by Marriage?

    British citizenship by marriage is one of the pathways through which foreign nationals may obtain British citizenship. Such foreign nationals must be above eighteen years and be married to a UK citizen.

    Becoming a UK citizen is the last stage in the UK immigration process. Once an individual attains British citizenship, they may settle in the UK permanently without any immigration restrictions.

    Naturalized British citizens can live, work and study in the UK, enjoy state benefits, access public funds, and contest for public office.

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    Eligibility Requirement for British Citizenship by Marriage

    Before you can attain British nationality through marriage, you must fulfil certain eligibility criteria:

    • You must be married or be in a civil partnership with a UK national
    • You must be above 18 years at the time of your application
    • You must have lived in the UK continuously for 3 years before your application
    • You must prove that you are of good character
    • You must be able to prove your knowledge of English by passing an accredited language exam
    • You must not have excessive periods of absence from the UK in the past 3 years
    • You must have passed the Life in the UK Test to show you understand the British customs and way of life
    • You must have been granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residence

    Continuous Residence Requirements

    You must prove that you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of three years before submitting your citizenship application.

    Meeting the residential requirements implies that you:

    • Spent less than 270 days outside the UK during the three-year period before your application
    • Spent less than 90 days abroad in the last 12 months before submitting your form
    • Have not have broken any UK immigration law at any time during your residency in the UK

    What Does it Mean to be of Good Character?

    Being of good character implies that you have respected UK law and have been a good resident of the UK since you first entered the country. You must not have a record of:

    • Breaking any immigration laws
    • Deception or dishonesty
    • War crimes or terrorism offences
    • Criminal convictions

    Positive factors such as your contributions to society and compliance with UK immigration laws are considered by the Home Office. Your application for British citizenship by marriage will be denied if you have a criminal record, including any prison sentence of more than four years, if you have been convicted of an immigration offence in the ten years preceding your application, or if you first entered the UK illegally.

    If you have any prison record between 12 months and four years before your application, it may affect the UK visas and immigration decision on your British citizenship application unless at least 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.

    Life in the UK Test

    Anyone applying for British citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain must take and pass the Life in the UK Test, also known as the British Citizenship Test.

    The Life in the UK test is a computer-based exam that can be taken at any of the UK’s 30 test centres. It consists of 24 questions about British history, values, and traditions. You must schedule the test online at least three days in advance. To pass the test, you must score 75% or higher.

    Contact Total Law today for help with the British Citizenship application process. Contact us

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      Knowledge of English

      When applying for British citizenship by marriage, your knowledge and proficiency of the English language is critical. You can demonstrate this by passing an English language test at the B1, B2, C1, or C2 level from a registered centre or by demonstrating that you have a degree taught in English. You do not, however, need to demonstrate English language proficiency if you fall into any of the following categories:

      • You are over the age of 65
      • You have a long-term mental or physical condition that refrains you from taking the test
      • If you are a citizen from one of these countries where English is the official language. These countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA.

      What is the Application Process for the British Citizenship by Marriage?

      After confirming that you meet the eligibility requirements for British citizenship by marriage, you can begin your citizenship application by filling out form AN (Become a British Citizen by Naturalization) on the Home Office website. after submitting the online form, you will be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information. To submit your supporting documents, you can either:

      • Upload copies of your documents online; or
      • Have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

      Citizenship Application Fee

      It costs £1,630 to apply for British citizenship by marriage. This application fee is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of your application process. Thus, ensure that you prepare a powerful application to avoid being rejected and incurring extra costs.

      During your application, you may incur other costs such as:

      • Costs of taking English language test – £150
      • Costs of taking the Life in the UK test – £50
      • Costs associated with Translation of documents

      If you have any questions about your British citizenship application process, contact us. Get in touch

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        What happens after applying for British Citizenship?

        You should receive a response from the Home Office within 6 months of submitting your application. However, in some cases, the processing of your British citizenship application may take longer. It may take longer if you do not provide sufficient supporting documents or if you make any errors when filling out your forms.

        If you receive a positive decision, you will be asked to attend a Citizenship ceremony to confirm your British citizenship.

        If your situation changes during your application, for example, you change your house address house, get divorced, or are arrested, you should contact UK Visas and Immigration immediately to report the change. If you fail to report your situational change, you may be penalised.

        British Citizenship Certificate

        If your application is approved, you will be sent a certificate of British citizenship. You must return your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to the Home Office within five working days of receiving your British citizenship certificate; otherwise, you may be fined up to £1,000.

        Your biometric residence permit will no longer be viewed as a valid document with which you can enter the UK. Instead, you will enter the UK using your citizenship certificate until you can apply for your British passport.

        What is the Citizenship Ceremony?

        The citizenship ceremony is an official ceremony that you must attend to complete your British naturalization process.

        Once your application for British citizenship is approved, the Home Office will send you an invite to the citizenship ceremony.

        You must book your ceremony within three months of receiving this invite.

        Typically, the ceremony is held as a group event with other successful naturalization applicants.

        The group event costs £130 (this is included in your application fee) however if you prefer a private vent, arrangements can be made for one with additional fee.

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          How can Total Law help?

          Total Law’s excellent immigration lawyers are vastly experienced in dealing with British citizenship by marriage and provide advice and support to make your application process smooth.

          Our professional immigration lawyers will help you determine that you meet the eligibility criteria for British citizenship by marriage and will advise you detailedly on which supporting documentation you should have. In addition, years of experience with this process have made us aware of the common mistakes that applicant make that causes application refusal. Therefore, we will help you avoid these errors to ensure that your application is consistent and readily accepted.

          If you’ve had a previous refusal, Total Law’s dedicated immigration lawyer can help you file an appeal or walk you through the re-application process to ensure you get accepted. So contact us today at (+353) 061 518 025 to start your journey towards a successful UK citizenship application.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    If you had settled status under the EU settlement scheme, you would be eligible to apply for British citizenship, provided you have lived in the UK for 12 months under the settled status. If you have not yet applied to the EU settlement scheme and have reasonable grounds for not applying, you may be allowed to apply for settled status and then use it to gain British citizenship.

                    You may be eligible to apply for British citizenship if your parents are British citizens or you have another type of British nationality, if you have a parent with British overseas territory citizenship, or if you’re stateless. For more inquiries on how you can become a British citizen, contact Total law today to speak with an expert immigration lawyer.