Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I think this may be a silly question, but am I reading the UK immi site correctly that if you are married to a UK citizen, then you can apply for citizenship after three years? I was always of the opinion that you had to had to apply for FLR(M) (Further Leave to Remain) once married, then after 2.5 years you apply for an extension for another 2.6 years, at which point you can apply for citizenship.

Now I am reading in the Naturalisation Booklet (Booklet AN), that you can apply for naturalisation/citizenship, if you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen (section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981) and have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3 years before you apply (and meet the residence requirements, ie how long you can spend outside the country etc.):

In all my research and questions on forums, I swear I've not come across this before - I've always heard it's 2.5 + 2.6 years, which makes me think I've missed something here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
In order to apply for naturalisation you need Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which through the spouse route takes 5 years (2.5 + 2.5 years FLR(M)). So when you get ILR you can immediately apply for naturalisation as a spouse, because you've met the 3 year mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Hi,

That booklet AN is for old rule 3-year route applicants (prior to July 2012). All the other applications now are under new 5-year rule, which is entry clearance 2.5 + FLR 2.6 = ILR + naturalisation + British passport.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mrslowe

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,

That booklet AN is for old rule 3-year route applicants (prior to July 2012). All the other applications now are under new 5-year rule, which is entry clearance 2.5 + FLR 2.6 = ILR + naturalisation + British passport.
Oh really? I didn't see that written anywhere in the booklet - the booklet itself is an accompaniment to the AN Guide - both of which are posted on the UK gov site with no mention it's for the old route - unless I am totally missing something?
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-naturalise-as-a-british-citizen-form-an

As I said, I hadn't read or heard about this anywhere before, so I figured something wasn't right! Just seems odd that it's up there with no information about it being out-of-date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Another search did uncover this - which says five years as I originally thought...

https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/check-if-you-can-apply

But down the bottom it says "There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen."

- which leads me to that three-year route page: https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/if-your-spouse-is-a-british-citizen

EDIT: but wait...not I see a requirement is that "you’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK" which is the 2.5 years + 2.5 years.

Ok, have answered my own question. Apologies... :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Another search did uncover this - which says five years as I originally thought...

https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/check-if-you-can-apply

But down the bottom it says "There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen."

- which leads me to that three-year route page: https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/if-your-spouse-is-a-british-citizen
See my post above. It's the getting ILR which means you have to wait 5 years. It used to be you got ILR after 2 years on spouse route, and then you'd wait another year to naturalise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,103 Posts
It's normally five years for ILR and then naturalisation, but there are some who get settlement in less, like someone who gets indefinite leave to enter (ILE) visa, bereaved spouse, victim of domestic violence etc. For them 3 years' residence is required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's normally five years for ILR and then naturalisation, but there are some who get settlement in less, like someone who gets indefinite leave to enter (ILE) visa, bereaved spouse, victim of domestic violence etc. For them 3 years' residence is required.
Thanks hippoman and Joppa - I realise my mistake. I was missing "indefinite" part of the "you’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK" requirement.

Thought it was too good to be true! Thanks for taking the time to reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's normally five years for ILR and then naturalisation, but there are some who get settlement in less, like someone who gets indefinite leave to enter (ILE) visa, bereaved spouse, victim of domestic violence etc. For them 3 years' residence is required.
Joppa am I reading correctly that to apply for naturalisation you need to have "had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)" https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/check-if-you-can-apply

Which means the 2.5 years + 2.5 years (at which point ILR is granted) + 12 months - then apply?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Joppa am I reading correctly that to apply for naturalisation you need to have "had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)" https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/check-if-you-can-apply

Which means the 2.5 years + 2.5 years (at which point ILR is granted) + 12 months - then apply?
Unless you're a spouse of a British Citizen, then you can apply as soon as you have ILR - like I said above: https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/if-your-spouse-is-a-british-citizen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
See my post above. It's the getting ILR which means you have to wait 5 years. It used to be you got ILR after 2 years on spouse route, and then you'd wait another year to naturalise.
Thanks hippoman - it's just a tad confusing on the UK gov site when you go here: https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/check-if-you-can-apply and it says that "There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen" so when you click on that link, it takes you through to the three-year route info (https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/if-your-spouse-is-a-british-citizen) with links to the AN booklet and guide.

So does that mean you need to follow the five year or three year residency rules as a spouse of a UK citizen?

Five year
  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

Three year
  • lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received
  • spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Unless you're a spouse of a British Citizen, then you can apply as soon as you have ILR - like I said above: https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/if-your-spouse-is-a-british-citizen
Wait...that's what I'm asking - apologies if I haven't made myself clear, I realise I haven't actually mentioned this fact until this point. I'll marry my British citizen (by birth) partner this year - so do I still have to follow the three or five year rules. I'm so sorry for the confusion!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Right, it's simple:

You begin with an initial spouse visa for 2.5 years, you then have to renew for another 2.5 years under current rules. This is because you need 5 years of Further Leave to Remain before you qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

As you are the spouse of a British Citizen, you can apply for Naturalisation after 3 years of residency once you have ILR. There's no minimum time on ILR.

With that: 2.5 FLR + 2.5 FLR = ILR at which point you can apply for Naturalisation as soon as ILR is granted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Wait...that's what I'm asking - apologies if I haven't made myself clear, I realise I haven't actually mentioned this fact until this point. I'll marry my British citizen (by birth) partner this year - so do I still have to follow the three or five year rules. I'm so sorry for the confusion!
You can't apply for Naturalisation without having ILR, and you can't apply for ILR until you have 5 years of FLR on spouse route. So there's isn't a question of which route you go on, it's pretty black and white. As Joppa mentioned above, there are situations where you don't need five years of FLR before ILR, such as if your spouse dies or you're a victim of domestic abuse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
You can't apply for Naturalisation without having ILR, and you can't apply for ILR until you have 5 years of FLR on spouse route. So there's isn't a question of which route you go on, it's pretty black and white. As Joppa mentioned above, there are situations where you don't need five years of FLR before ILR, such as if your spouse dies or you're a victim of domestic abuse.
Got it, thanks hippoman - that's what I have in my research notes - I just got sidetracked when I read the three-year thing.

So added to your equation above (2.5 FLR + 2.5 FLR = ILR at which point you can apply for Naturalisation as soon as ILR is granted) I need to adhere to these residency requirements:

  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

I think what's throwing me is the phrasing of the last point "had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK FOR the last 12 months" - which made me think you need to have ILR for 12 months before applying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Got it, thanks hippoman - that's what I have in my research notes - I just got sidetracked when I read the three-year thing.

So added to your equation above (2.5 FLR + 2.5 FLR = ILR at which point you can apply for Naturalisation as soon as ILR is granted) I need to adhere to these residency requirements:

  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

I think what's throwing me is the phrasing of the last point "had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK FOR the last 12 months" - which makes me think you need to have ILR for 12 months before applying.
No, you adhere to the spouse rules - it just so happens the 3 years residency is cancelled out by the fact you have to wait 5 years to meet the ILR requirement. Not sure how to make it any more clear!

"Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:

If you’re married to, or the civil partner of, a British citizen, you can apply for citizenship if:

you’re 18 or over
you’re of sound mind, you’re able to think and make decisions for yourself
you’re of good character, for example you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record
you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
you’ve been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave) or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national (and you have a permanent residence card or document that shows you have permanent residence)
you meet the residency requirement
Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:

lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received
spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years
spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
"

The difference is when you go to apply you only have to give evidence for the previous 3 years, rather than 5 years - and because you have to apply to renew your FLR after 2.5 years, it is assumed you met the requirements for the first part when you come to apply for ILR by the fact the second FLR was granted. You also need to pass the Life in the UK test, which is used for both ILR and Naturalisation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No, you adhere to the spouse rules - it just so happens the 3 years residency is cancelled out by the fact you have to wait 5 years to meet the ILR requirement. Not sure how to make it any more clear!
ok, thanks hippoman - don't mean to frustrate, but it's hard for people who haven't yet been through the process to know inherently that one thing cancels the other out, especially if there's no clear guidance online. I'm sure I'm not the first person who's been confused by this. I appreciate your help, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
ok, thanks hippoman - don't mean to frustrate, but it's hard for people who haven't yet been through the process to know inherently that one thing cancels the other out, especially if there's no clear guidance online. I'm sure I'm not the first person who's been confused by this. I appreciate your help, thanks.
Not a problem, we have only just got my wife's first FLR so I've only recently learned the process myself. And I agree, the way the text is worded is convolute to say the least!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not a problem, we have only just got my wife's first FLR so I've only recently learned the process myself. And I agree, the way the text is worded is convolute to say the least!
It certainly is - by the amount of people on forums such as these asking so many questions, day in, day out, it's clear the process is unnecessarily complex.

Do you know much about the residency requirements hippoman? For example, if I marry my UK citizen partner this year, then after 5 years and getting ILR I can apply for naturalisation, so long as I have lived in the UK for 3 years before my application application is received, have spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 year, and spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months prior to application - do those 270 days have to be spread out over the three years? Or could we, say, spend 270 living overseas in the first or second year?

And are there any residency requirements attached to the 2 x FLR and ILR required before naturalisation? Not finding much online at the moment to help with this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
I don't know too much about the exact residency requirements as me and my wife won't likely to be out of the country for that many days a year. But my assumption is that as along as you are within the days they set out for the prior 3 years and 12 months respectively, then you meet the requirement. How you spread that out is up to you - the whole point is that you are supposed to be residing here in the UK, and normal residents don't spend more time out than in. For example, if you went back home for 270 days in your 3rd of FLR and then didn't leave the country again until you apply for ILR, a case officer might not like that.

As for FLR, I don't believe there's any written limit, but like I said, the point is you're supposed to be a resident. So if you spent more time away from the UK than living in it, they may not look kindly on that. My advice would be to be sensible - if you're going away on normal holidays a few times a year then it won't be a problem.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top