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British Citizenship

British Citizenship

British Citizenship

Requirements for Naturalisation if you are Married to or the Civil Partner of a British Citizen

The following information is given in order to provide you with a generalised overview of the criteria required for this application. However, if you do not meet all the criteria listed below, or you wish to engage our services and/or require further information regarding this particular application, please complete the details box further down the page to enable a member of our team, to contact you to give you more specific advice and information pertaining to your individual circumstances.

In order to obtain British citizenship there are certain steps which need to be completed:

  1. You need to be naturalised.
  2. Once you have become naturalised you will be sent a letter by the UK Border Agency confirming this and informing you, you need to arrange your citizenship ceremony within 90 days.
  3. After you have attended your citizenship ceremony you will be able to apply for your British passport.

Becoming Naturalised

There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:

  1. You are aged 18 or over; and
  2. You are of sound mind; and
    • The definition of ‘of sound mind’ is having the ability to make your own decisions and have some understanding of the meaning and consequences of your actions. In some circumstances discretion can be used when deciding if you can demonstrate that you are of sound mind.
  3. You can communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree; and
  4. You have sufficient knowledge of life in the United Kingdom; and
    • You can only be exempted from this requirement if you are over the age of 65, or have a serious physical or mental condition which prevents you from meeting this requirement for the foreseeable future.
  5. You are of good character; and
    • If you have been convicted of a criminal offence and the conviction has not yet become 'spent' in accordance with the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, or you have been declared as an un-discharged bankrupt it is likely your naturalisation application will be refused as it will be seen that you do not meet the requirement of ‘must be of good character’
  6. You intend to continue living in the UK; and
  7. You meet the residential requirement either as the spouse or as the civil partner of a British Citizen or as an individual.

If you are applying as the spouse or civil partner of a British Citizen, you must;

    • Have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least three years and
    • Have been present in the United Kingdom three years before the date of your application and
    • Have not spent more than 270 days outside the United Kingdom during the three-year period and
    • Have not spend more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in the last 12 months of the three-year period and
    • Have not been in breach of the immigration rules at any stage during the three-year period and
    • You must be free from immigration time restrictions on the day you make your application.

If you are applying as an individual, you must;

    • Have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least five years and
    • Have been present in the United Kingdom five years before the date of your application and
    • Have not spent more than 450 days outside the United Kingdom during the five-year period and
    • Have not spend more than 90 days outside the United Kingdom in the last 12 months of the five-year period and
    • Have not been in breach of the immigration rules at any stage during the five-year period and
    • You must have been free from immigration time restrictions for the last 12 months of the five-year period.

If you have been outside the United Kingdom for six months or more in any one of the three or five years of the residence period you will have broken your residence. This does not apply if:

  • The absence was due to military service; or
  • All absences were for under 12 months and were for compelling reasons
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UK Immigration application forms are available as a free download from UKBA Website. GR Law Immigration Services is an OISC regulated business providing advice on all aspects of UK immigration law. We are an independent company and not affiliated to any government body or department.


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