British citizenship by marriage

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national and you are married to a British citizen, you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship by marriage. This process is known as British Naturalisation.

Naturalisation is the process of becoming a citizen of another country. Applying for British Naturalisation in the UK will mean you can live and work anywhere in the UK free from immigration controls. You can apply for British Citizenship by marriage if you are married or in a Civil Partnership with a British Citizen. To do this, you must have lived in the UK for a minimum of three years while holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

british citizenship by marriage

How can IAS help you get British naturalisation from a Spouse Visa?

Our team of immigration lawyers can help you on your journey towards gaining British Citizenship by marriage. We will make sure that you are fully prepared for the Life in the UK test, English Language requirements and the Naturalisation application process. One of our expert lawyers will work with you to ensure that there are no issues with your application and that it is completed to the highest standard before submission. He/she will also gather all your information and use it to write a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This will support your application, by citing any relevant immigration laws which back-up your case and discussing its merits. With IAS, your chances of success will be maximised.

British citizenship by marriage FAQs

Am I eligible for British Citizenship by marriage?

In order to make your application, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are 18 years-of-age or over at the time of your application
  • You demonstrate good character, which means you cannot have a criminal record
  • You have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or have EEA permanent residence
  • You have not have broken any immigration laws, including overstaying any visa
  • You are able to speak English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic
  • You meet the residential qualifying period of three years
  • You are married to a British Citizen

During the application, you must be able to demonstrate adequate knowledge of the UK by passing the ‘Life in the UK’ test and meeting the English Language requirements.

How do I start the British Citizenship by marriage process?

Your Naturalisation application can only be completed by post, so you will need to gather all of your supporting documents in advance of your Naturalisation application. You will need to complete Form AN, Application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen, which is 30 pages long and includes guidance notes and an accompanying booklet.

Before completing your Naturalisation application, you may need to complete a language test and the Life in the UK test. You will also need to gather your travel details for the past five years, so it’s worth gathering this information in advance of your application.

You should make a copy of your completed Naturalisation application before submitting it by post. Once you have submitted it, the UK Home Office will complete checks on your application, including looking into your criminal record to see if there is any reason you wouldn’t be eligible for British Naturalisation. If approved, you will be invited to a Citizenship ceremony where you will be presented with a Certificate of Naturalisation. After this, you will be able to apply for a British passport, which is the most popular proof of ID for British citizens.

How long does British Naturalisation take?

British Naturalisation processing times can vary. After sending your application it can take up to four weeks to receive confirmation. After that, a decision on your Naturalisation application will usually take around 6 months. You may be invited to attend an interview where you will need to speak without an interpreter during this process. After you have received your certificate of citizenship, you can apply for your first British passport.

How can IAS help?

Applying for British Naturalisation can be very complex and often very stressful. At IAS, our team of specialist lawyers are dedicated to helping relieve this stress.

We can:

  • ensure that you have all of the appropriate documents needed for the application;
  • confirm that you meet the requirements for British Citizenship;
  • make sure that you have adequate proof of your marriage or civil partnership;
  • make sure that all the information on your application form is filled out to the highest standard and that the chances of your Naturalisation application being accepted are maximised; and
  • prepare you for your Life in the UK test, which you will need to pass in order to proceed with your application.

Get in touch by calling 0333 363 8577 or making an enquiry online to speak with an immigration lawyer about your application for British Citizenship by marriage.

Our British Citizenship Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals


Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible


Fast Track Package

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Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals


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