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.
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. Keep in mind that immigration rules and policies can change, so it is advisable to consult expert immigration lawyers – such as those at Latitude – 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.