Immigration. Travel. Living.

How to get British citizenship through marriage

Great Britain is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, so it is not surprising that many people want to become its citizens. At the same time, it is not so easy to obtain British citizenship. In recent years, immigrants are refused because of a lack of high professional qualifications or unreliability.

Marriage to a British citizen

You can apply for citizenship three years after the date of official marriage, provided that the applicant resides in the British territory for a residence permit. From this period, you can stay outside the United Kingdom in aggregate no more than 270 days, while during the last year – no more than 90. Thus, you can become a British citizen in three years.

There is a special visa for brides/grooms, based on which one can come to the United Kingdom after an official engagement for marriage.

British law allows the union of two people of the same sex. To be considered official, such a relationship is formalized by the conclusion of a civil partnership.

Some people use a sham marriage to obtain citizenship, although this path is very unsafe. If the British authorities prove that the marriage is fictitious, the participants would have a hard time. You can spend some time in a British correctional institution, and immediate deportation with a permanent ban on the entry will seem like just a “slight fright” that you managed to get rid of. To prove to the immigration authorities the fact of a marriage, one should live under one roof, run a household and own joint property. 

What documents are required

Before applying, you must collect a package of documents. It should be treated with special care. Since correctly executed papers largely determine the further fate.

So, the basic package of documents includes:

  • Internal passport of the country of citizenship and its photocopy;
  • A valid foreign passport and all previous ones;
  • Police clearance certificate at home;
  • A document certifying the legality of stay in the UK;
  • Documentary evidence of a legal source of income. Its sufficient size implies the residence of the applicant and his family without attracting social subsidies from the state;
  • A certificate from the tax service of the country about the absence of debt;
  • Medical report of a British medical institution on the state of health;
  • A certificate from the British police about the lack of problems with the laws of the country;
  • Recommendations;
  • Four photos.

In addition to the documents, other documents may be required, it all depends on the chosen method of immigration. When submitting documents, they must be translated into the state language of the country. And this work can only be performed by an accredited translator or an appropriate bureau.

British mentality implies a positive reputation for a candidate for membership in English society. Therefore, in the legislative order, when obtaining citizenship, recommendations are required. Recommenders must be two native Britons who have known the applicant closely for a minimum of three years. At the same time, they must be over 25 years old, not be in kinship with the applicant and among themselves, not engage in law or agency practice, not be convicted within the last ten years (if the previous conviction has not been canceled).

Passing tests

The applicant must pass a mandatory test of knowledge of the English language and integration into British society. He/she must pass written and oral language exams, during which he/she must demonstrate knowledge of the rules of grammar, syntax, and punctuation, as well as the ability to communicate freely. It is based on the classic English language of Great Britain (not the USA). The level of integration into British society is determined by the applicant’s knowledge of the anthem text, constitutional norms, rules of behavior, and national traditions. 

Suggestion: During the interview, you should never tell a lie or distort the facts. Do not underestimate the capabilities and experience of the Home Office staff, who possess the skills of practical psychology and methods of effective information gathering. Any suspicion they have about the applicant can have a very negative impact on obtaining citizenship.

Possibility of second citizenship

UK law allows for second citizenship. It means that when you become a British citizen, there is no need to give up the previous one. However, a significant number of countries do not recognize dual citizenship. 

Why they can refuse and what to do next

Typically, the UK authorities refuse citizenship for several main reasons:

  • Criminal past;
  • Lack of a complete package of required documents;
  • Non-compliance with the rules and norms of British society;
  • Low income of the applicant, which does not allow an applicant and his family to live without social assistance from the state;
  • Violation of United Kingdom laws.

United Kingdom law does not allow an appeal against a negative decision to grant citizenship. But you can try to apply again, six months after the previous unsuccessful attempt. If the cause of the failure is known and recoverable.

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