British naturalization based on marriage is one of the three major grants for British citizenship. It has been a common belief that marrying a foreign citizen is an easy route to be granted with a foreign citizenship. The marriage in itself is not the only requirement to acquire British citizenship through this route.
Here are the requirements for naturalization when married to a British citizen.
The applicant must have resided in United Kingdom for 3 years on any legal visa status and the ILR must be indicated on the application.
The applicant must have presence in the United Kingdom on the date 3 years before the application is received by the Nationality Directorate.
The applicant must not have been outside of United Kingdom for more than 270 days within 3 years.
The applicant must not have been out of the United Kingdom for more than 90 days in the past 12 months prior to the application.
The applicant must have good moral character.
The applicant must pass the “Life in the UK Test”.
The applicant must have the sufficient knowledge of the English and Welsh or Gaelic language.
The applicant must have the intention to live in the United Kingdom.
The applicant must be 18 years old and above.
With the requirements presented above, the length of residency required is shorter compared to the requirement of British naturalization based on residency. It is then easy to assume that the requirements are easy to meet or fulfill. Yet over the years, the success of British naturalization based on marriage is slim.
Over the period of 11 years from 2002 to 2012, the grant rate of British naturalization based on marriage is less than 50%. The highest approval rate was achieved in 2004 at 32%. This is still a measly percentage compared to naturalization based on residency. Within that period, the grant approval rate is very erratic so it is quite hard to establish a trend. With the figures indicated, the approval for British naturalization based on marriage is not encouraging at all.
Currently, there is no study or literature that could explain what are the factors involved why the approval rate of British naturalization based on marriage is low. For the meantime, to increase the chances of British naturalization through this route is for the applicant to be armed with sufficient information. One can visit a British embassy office. Information is also readily available on the internet but one must be careful as to where the information came from online. The websites https://www.gov.uk/ and www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ provide useful and concise information about British citizenship application. An interested applicant can refer to these websites so that requirements can be easily prepared. In whatever endeavor that anyone wants to take, preparation is still one of the key ingredients to achieve a certain goal.