Updated on 10 November 2023
What is British citizenship by marriage?
British Citizenship by marriage is an important step for individuals who wish to settle in the UK with their British national partners.
British Citizenship by marriage can be obtained if you are eligible to ‘naturalise’ as a British citizen under section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. The basic requirement of this category is you must have had Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least 3 years whilst being married to their British National partner.
Once you are a naturalized British citizen, you will be able to apply for a British Passport to live and work in the UK free from immigration controls.
British citizenship by marriage requirements
Before you apply for citizenship in the UK, you must have either Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK or EU Settled Status. To qualify, you must also meet the following citizenship requirements:
- Be aged 18 or older at the time of your application;
- Be able to demonstrate your “good character”, meaning that you have not broken any UK laws;
- Have lived for at least three years in the UK;
- Prove adequate knowledge of English by passing an accredited language exam;
- Pass the Life in the UK test to show your commitment to British customs.
What are the residency requirements for British citizenship through marriage?
To qualify for British citizenship as a spouse of a UK national, you must have lived in the UK for three years before you submit your application.
You are also required to meet the residency condition. In other words, you must not have:
- Spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the three-year qualifying period before your application
- Spent more than 90 days abroad in the last 12 months before you submit your forms
- Broken any UK immigration law at any time during your residency in the UK.
British citizenship by marriage requirement documents
You will need to provide extensive documentation in support of your application, including your spouse or civil partner’s current passport or naturalisation/registration certificate showing that they are a British citizen, together with your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate and proof of living in the UK for at least 3 years.
How much does it cost to apply for British citizenship as a spouse?
As of 04 October 2023, it costs £1,580 to apply for British citizenship by marriage. You must also take other fees into account while applying, including the cost of your English test and any professional translation for your documents that are not in English or Welsh.
How long does it take to acquire British citizenship by marriage?
After you have submitted your request to the Home Office, you will usually get an answer within 6 months. However, it may take longer for the UKVI to process your British citizenship case if you fail to provide adequate supporting documents, or if you made any mistake while completing your forms. If your situation changes during your application (for example, if you divorce your partner), you must contact the UKVI as soon as possible.
How we can help
To discuss your application for British Citizenship by Marriage with an experienced immigration adviser, feel free to contact our friendly professional team on +442087575751 or use our contact form.
Frequently asked questions
After you have attended the citizenship ceremony and taken the oath, you will be given a naturalisation certificate. With the certificate, you can apply for a British passport.
One of the requirements of this route is that you are married to a British Citizen. So if you are already divorced, you cannot apply.