British Citizenship by Marriage

Wedding rings - citizenship by marriage

For an initial consultation call us on 0044 161 234 6800


If your partner is a British citizen and you see your future in the UK, you may be considering gaining British Citizenship by Marriage. This type of naturalisation application is dependent on satisfying a number of requirements, so it’s smart to seek legal help when you begin your application. Latitude Law has helped a wealth of people successfully gain citizenship through marriage, and will be happy to assist you through the process.

For expert legal advice on how to secure British Citizenship by Marriage, speak to our expert immigration team. Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

Illustration - romantic couple

Who can apply for Citizenship by Marriage?

You can apply for Citizenship by Marriage if you are married or in a civil partnership with someone who is a British citizen. You must also:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have lived in the UK for the past three years, and do not have excessive absences in that period
  • Have been granted indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence here
  • Be of good character, proven by two referees

You must also prove that:

  • You can speak English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an intermediate level, B1 CEFR
  • You were in the UK exactly three years before the day the Home Office receives your application
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test
  • You have not lived in the UK in breach of immigration laws for a period of up to 10 years preceding the date of your naturalisation application
  • You are of good character, details of which are found in naturalisation guidance

If you’re from the European Economic Area (EEA), you must be able to produce confirmation that you hold permanent residence in the UK in accordance with EEA regulations and have since obtained settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Illustration - couple with papers

What is the process of getting British Citizenship by Marriage?

After you have made sure you are eligible, you must make an online application to the Home Office. You must provide supporting documentation and pay the relevant fee.

Applications typically take four to six months to be decided; there is unfortunately no priority option available. You are permitted to travel abroad while waiting for a decision on your citizenship application.

If your application is successful, you will be required to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will swear allegiance to His Majesty the King and receive a certificate of British citizenship. Following this, you must send a biometric residence permit (BRP) to the Home Office within five working days. Your solicitor will help you to arrange this. If you fail to send this to the Home Office within this deadline, you may receive a fine of up to £1,000.

Business women with papers

How long does the application process take?

The time frame for processing British citizenship applications can vary and is subject to a range of factors, such as the complexity of your case and the current volume of applications. However, it generally takes around three to six months from the time you submit your application to when you receive a decision. This does not include the time it may take to gather all your documents, pass the Life in the UK test, or meet any other pre-application requirements.

Complex British citizenship application

"Many thanks to the amazing Latitude Law team, especially Gary McIndoe and Anna Sullivan, for expertly handling my passport application. Mine was a very complicated and multi-faceted case, but thanks to the wonderful Latitude Law, I succeeded in getting my passport in a timely manner and would definitely recommend Latitude Law for any immigration or citizenship matters. When working with them, you can rest assured that you are in good hands."

Ms BFebruary 1, 2024
Illustration turquoise - couple talking

How we can help

Our immigration experts will help you and your partner understand how to obtain Citizenship by Marriage in plain English. They can advise and assist you at every step, ensuring your application isn’t rejected due to an oversight or technicality.

We also know applying to the Home Office can make you feel like just a case number. So we work hard to understand your application on a personal level because we believe your unique circumstances as a couple are key to unlocking your future in the UK.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Applying for citizenship through marriage can sometimes be a stressful and worrying process. So it helps to have reliable legal guidance on board. Latitude Law has a wealth of knowledge in this area of law, allowing us to provide expert support with Home Office policy, case law and the laws that govern citizenship by marriage in the UK. We make sure that we pull out all the stops to ensure your application has the best chance of success.

Thanks to our extensive knowledge of immigration rules, we are able to provide pragmatic advice and meet your needs. We have connections with the Home Office and other immigration authorities so we can advise you with confidence and ensure the entire immigration procedure runs smoothly and efficiently for you and your spouse.

Working with a law firm can be a big decision, which is why we ensure that our clients are at the heart of everything we do. We are a highly driven team that is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice.

As a boutique law firm specialising in UK-inbound immigration, our experts understand the complexity and uncertainty that constantly shifting citizenship and residence policies create for spouses wanting to be together in the UK with their life partners. Our lawyers can provide up-to-the-minute legal advice on how any changes will impact your application.

We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of your Citizenship by Marriage application so you can start your married life together in the UK today.


How long do I need to be married before applying for citizenship?

If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, you can apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’ if you have lived in the UK for at least three years before the date of your application. You should also have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Remember, immigration rules and policies can change, so it is advisable to consult expert immigration lawyers – such as those at Latitude Law – for the most current information on how to obtain British citizenship.

Can I apply for citizenship if I’m in a civil partnership or unmarried partnership?

You can apply for British citizenship if you’re in a civil partnership. The requirements are generally the same as those for people who are married to British citizens. You would typically need to have lived in the UK for at least three years and have indefinite leave to remain or settled status.

For those in an unmarried partnership, the situation is slightly different. Being in an unmarried partnership does not grant you any specific advantages for citizenship applications. You would generally need to meet the standard requirements for naturalisation, which usually include living in the UK for at least five years and having indefinite leave to remain for at least one year before applying for citizenship.

Who can be a British citizenship referee?

You will require two referees to confirm that you are of good character. One must be a British passport holder over the age of 25; the other must be a professional person, not necessarily British.

A referee cannot be your British spouse or anyone personally related to you. They also cannot be the lawyer who is handling your citizenship application.

Illustration laptop - white

Contact us

Successful applications for British Citizenship by Marriage are dependent on satisfying a number of requirements. Let Latitude Law’s specialist settlement & citizenship lawyers can guide you through the process and ensure that your application has the very best chance of being granted.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future together knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.

Related posts

December 12, 2022

Naturalisation applications by EU citizens and their family

Explore the pathway to British citizenship with our expert guidance. If you're an EU or EEA national who settled in the UK before Brexit, navigating the naturalisation process can present unique challenges. Our specialized services address common issues and uncertainties specific to your situation, ensuring a smooth transition to becoming a British citizen.

Trusted experts in immigration law

Google logo
159 reviews

Latitude Law is a boutique law practice specialising exclusively on UK-inbound immigration law. With offices in Manchester, London and Brussels, our team of expert lawyers is experienced in all aspects of immigration law from helping multinational corporations manage their global talent to guiding entrepreneurs invest & work in the UK; from ensuring frictionless travel for skilled workers fulfilling work commitments to reuniting family members; from securing citizenship to successfully appealing deportation orders.

Our work is recognised by internationally renowned, independent legal directories such as The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Legal 500 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024: meaning you can be confident in our ability to competently and successfully handle your immigration matter, no matter how complex.

For a consultation with Gary McIndoe, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Meet our experts

Latitude Law logo

Contact us now to arrange a FREE initial consultation with an experienced UK-inbound immigration lawyer

Call on 0300 131 6767 or complete our contact form and we will get back to you within 1 working day

Your information will be used in accordance with the privacy policy