How to Apply for British Citizenship by Marriage?
You can pursue several different routes to pursue British Citizenship. These include applying for citizenship by descent or birth, by marriage, or by using your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). In each case, you must meet specific requirements to be eligible for UK citizenship.
If you are married to a British national and want to take the marriage route to a UK citizen card, you are at the right place. This page covers the key requirement you must meet when you apply for British citizenship by marriage.
It is generally recommended that you consult a reputable law firm before you apply for British citizenship. The London-based Adam Bernard’s British citizenship solicitors London can help and guide you to ensure you file an error-free application and get a quick decision on it.
Eligibility Requirements for British Nationality by Marriage
You can apply for being a UK national by marriage if you meet the following criteria:
- You are married to an individual who holds UK nationality and has a British passport
- You are aged 18 or above
- You have the status of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), EU Settled Status, or an EEA Permanent Residence
- Your ILR, EU Settled Status, or EEA permanent residency status has been valid for at least three years
- You qualify for the ‘Good Character’ requirement and have no serious or severe offence on your record, either in the UK or anywhere else in the world
- You have passed the Life in the UK Test and have certifications that prove that you have a working knowledge of English at a specified level
Our reputable British citizenship solicitors London can not only guide you in your application for citizenship by marriage but can also speed up the process by helping you make the right decisions.
Sound Mind Requirement
A key requirement often overlooked by applicants when seeking British citizenship is the ‘sound mind’ requirement. Under this requirement, you must be mentally and intellectually capable of grasping what it means to be a UK citizen. You must also understand the steps you take towards British citizenship.
There are some exemptions to this requirement. When it comes to the Marriage route, you may be able to seek citizenship for a spouse who wants to be with you in the UK but is not of sound mind. This can be done if you prove that you can legally represent your spouse.
The London-based Adam Bernard’s law office is home to some of the best immigration lawyers London who can advise you or your spouse can qualify for exemption from the sound mind requirement.
Residency Requirements to Apply for British Citizenship
When applying for British nationality as the spouse of a British citizen, you must meet certain residency requirements. These include the following:
- You must have been a resident in the UK for at least three years. You may need to produce proof of your residence to meet this requirement.
- You must hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK, or EU Settled Status if you are from an EEA country.
- You must not have spent any more than 270 days outside the UK in the three years preceding the filing of your application.
- You must not have spent any more than 90 days in the one year immediately preceding the date of your application.
- You must not have any major or recent criminal offences or immigration law breaches on your record throughout your residency in the UK.
Qualified British citizenship solicitors London can offer detailed advice and guidance on how best to meet each of these requirements.
Good Character Requirement to Apply for British Citizenship
The ‘Good Character’ requirement is an essential component of a British citizenship application. You will need to meet this requirement in order to be eligible for the application process.
Under this requirement, your previous record must not contain:
- Any immigration offences on your previous record during the last 10 years
- Any illegal immigration entry into the UK
- Any custodial sentence which had a duration of more than 4 years
- Any recent or severe criminal record, including offences committed inside and outside the UK
- Any term of imprisonment that lasted at least 1 years up to a maximum of 4 years, unless you served this term more than 15 years prior to the date of application
You must also demonstrate that you abide by the British law and have not committed any other legal violations or immigration breaches since the date of your entry into the UK. British citizenship solicitors London can review your record and advise you on whether any previous records can cause a problem for your application.
Application Process for British Citizenship by Marriage
To apply for citizenship UK as the spouse of a UK national, you are required to fill out Form AN, also known as Application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen.
This is a long application form comprising 30 pages. You are required to fill in your travel details, residency information, identification data, and more. You must have already passed the Life in the UK Test, met the English language requirements, and have the relevant documentation before you fill out the form.
Once your form is complete, you send it to the Home Office which begins the application process.
It is highly recommended that you consult a British nationality solicitor before filling the form. A qualified solicitor will help you avoid any errors, ensure that your application is complete, and improve your chances of success.
Fees and Processing Time
The basic fee to apply for British citizenship as the spouse of a UK national is £1,300. However, you may need to consider other smaller fees as a part of the application process.
For instance, if your documents are not in English or Welsh, you may require professional translation services to have them translated for a fee. You will also need to take an English test if you don’t already have certification to prove that you meet English language requirements.
You will be required to have your biometric details collected at a designated centre. This incurs a small fee of £19.20.
The Home Office takes up to 6 months to process your application. The actual duration may vary based on whether or not your application is complete and accurate. If the application has errors or the documents are not complete, it may take UKVI longer to process it.
Any changes in your relationship status can also impact the processing time and outcome of your application. For instance, if your relationship breaks down and you divorce your spouse, this can directly affect the application’s outcome. You must get in touch with the UKVI at the earliest in the wake of any such developments.
The right British nationality solicitor will advise you on how best to ensure a speedy processing of your application. Your solicitor will also guide you on whether you have any fast-track options when you apply for British citizenship.
British Citizenship Ceremony
Once your citizenship application is approved, you must send your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to the Home Office within five days. Failure to do so can incur a hefty fine of £1000. So it is best to have your BRP ready and at hand as you await the outcome of your application.
After your application is successful, the Home Office will send you an invitation to attend a citizenship ceremony. Attending the ceremony is mandatory for applicants who are aged 18 or above. You must respond to the invitation within 3 months and book your space at a designated ceremony. If you are not sure how to go about it, British citizenship solicitors London can help you.
The ceremony is typically organised by your local council. You have to pay a fee of £80 to attend the event which is typically a group ceremony with other invitees as well. As one of the invitees, you are allowed to take a maximum of two guests with you to the ceremony.
You also have the option of having a private ceremony organised exclusively for you. However, this option costs significantly more.
Why Choose Adam Bernard’s Solicitors?
Being among the best British nationality solicitors in the UK, we offer comprehensive help for applications at every stage of the citizenship application process. Whether you have already applied for citizenship, are about to do so, or want to appeal a refusal, we can help you.
Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law offices, we are home to some of the best citizenship solicitors. Our lawyers help you meet the citizenship application requirements, undergo the required tests, bring together the relevant documentation, and speed up the overall process.
You can schedule a free consultation with our citizenship lawyers and discuss your case in detail.
Call now at 0207 100 0505 to book a free consultation session with a British nationality solicitor and see how we can help you.