Naturalisation requirements. Applicant married to a British citizen
There are certain requirements you must meet in order to naturalise as a British citizen if you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
First of all, you must be at least 18 years old. Naturalisation is the process by which a non-British adult becomes a British citizen. If you are under 18 years old, the process is different and is called “registration”.
The second requirement is to be of full capacity, meaning “not of unsound mind”.
The third requirement is to be married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
Then, you must meet the residence requirements, which are explained in detail, each in turn, in a series of posts on this blog. Briefly here, you must have been in the UK at the beginning of the period of 3 years ending with the date of the application. You must not have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days in the period of 3 years ending with the date of application. You must not have been absent from the UK for more than 90 days in the period of 12 months ending with the date of application. You must not be, on the date of application, subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period of stay in the UK. And you must not have been in the UK in breach of the immigration laws at any time in the period of 3 years ending with the date of application.
Unlike applicants not married to a British citizen, you do not have to demonstrate that you have been free of immigration restrictions “at any other time in the 12 month period ending with date of application”. You just need to be free of any immigration restrictions on the date of application. What does it mean to be free of immigration restrictions? It means that you must have indefinite leave to remain (settled status, if you are an EEA citizen and you have applied under the EU Settlement Scheme). And the conclusion is that, because you are married to a British citizen, you can apply for citizenship immediately after being granted indefinite leave to remain or settled status. You do not have to wait 12 months to apply, as applicants not married to a British citizen must do.
You also must be of good character. You will not normally be considered to be of good character if you have been convicted of or involved in a crime, or in terrorism, if you have failed to pay your taxes or have accrued significant debt, if you have made false claims in order to obtain benefits or have been deliberately dishonest or deceptive in other dealings with the UK government, if your activities have been notorious and cast serious doubt on your standing in the local community, if you overstayed your visa, worked in breach of conditions attached to your leave to enter or remain, assisted somebody in the evasion of immigration control or have breached immigration laws in some other way, or if you have previously been deprived of citizenship.
Another requirement is that that you must have sufficient knowledge of English language, and be able to demonstrate it. How to meet the language requirement is extensively explained in a series of posts in this blog. You can satisfy this requirement if you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, or by having a speaking and listening qualification in English, or if you have an academic degree equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above, taught in English. Check if you may be exempt from satisfying this requirement because of your age or because of a physical or mental condition.
You must also have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK and you must be able to provide the required evidence to support this. You can find extensive information about the Life in the UK test on this website. See here how to complete the Life in the UK test, how much it costs, and where to sit the test. Check if you may be exempt from satisfying this requirement because of your age or because of a physical or mental condition.
If you want to apply for British citizenship or for a British passport and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.