Apply for citizenship if your spouse is a British citizen

Home Office Building - London - by .Martin. via Flickr

Apply for citizenship if your spouse is a British citizen

You can apply for British citizenship by ‘naturalisation’ if you:

  • are 18 or over
  • are married to, or in a civil partnership with, someone who is a British citizen
  • have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before the date of your application

You must also:

You’re from the European Economic Area (EEA)

You must have one of the following:

  • a permanent residence card to prove you have permanent residence status
  • indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • indefinite leave to enter the UK

You may have lost your indefinite leave to remain or enter if you’ve been away from the UK for more than 2 years at any time since you got it.

You’re from outside the EEA

You must have either:

  • indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • indefinite leave to enter the UK

’Indefinite leave to enter’ is permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad – for example, on a Returning Resident visa.

Residency requirements

You should not have:

  • spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the 3 years before your application
  • spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • broken any UK immigration laws (for example working illegally in the UK)

You may be exempt from the residency requirements if your partner works abroad either for the UK government or an organisation closely linked to government.

How much it costs

It costs £1,330 to apply.

If you send the wrong fee your application will not be processed and you’ll have to apply again.

After you’ve applied you must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be sent a letter explaining what to do.

Children under 18

Your child is usually automatically a British citizen if they were born in the UK and when they were born either:

  • their other parent was a British citizen
  • you had indefinite leave to remain in the UK or permanent residence status

Otherwise, check if your children are eligible to apply for citizenship in another way.

If your partner has died

You cannot apply for citizenship as the partner of a British citizen if your partner has died. Check if you’re eligible another way – for example if you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or permanent residence status.

Tags: