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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I've been spending some time looking through the threads but unfortunately haven't been able to find similar circumstances to mine...

I am an Australian living in the UK on an Unmarried Partner visa. I arrived October 2016 and am eligible to apply for an extension in March next year (at which it will be 30 months less 28 days). We are still together, and there is no problem I foresee with us extending the visa. We actually got engaged in June this year and are looking to legally marry June-Aug 2019 (i.e. Summer).

My two questions are:

1. Is there any benefit in us getting married in January/February next year? (e.g. would I be able to apply for a passport or naturalisation earlier than the 5 years required to live in the UK for ILR?)

2. If there are benefits, and we decide to legally marry in the UK early next year, rather than extending my current visa, is there another visa I should apply for instead?

Thanks in advance!
 

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1. If you’re married or civil partner then you don’t have to wait for 12 months between getting ILR and naturalisation. So effectively you can apply to be British citizen the day you have your ILR approved which in normal scenario is 5 years of legal residence via partner route.
2. You can get married on unmarried partner visa and when you apply for ILR and then naturalisation you need to select married/civil partner instead.


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that Toby1988!

Just so I’m clear ... So come March, if we are legally married by then, I should still apply to extend my unmarried partner visa?

And once the visa is approved, the only difference is rather than waiting another c.2.5 years, I could actually apply for IRL and naturalisation at the same time, straight away?
 

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You have to have ILR before you can be naturalised.

Toby1988 isn’t quite right. As a spouse of a UK citizen you can appply to be naturalised when you have ILR AND you have met the residency requirement which is 3 years of living in the UK as a spouse of a UK citizen.

If you marry in January 2019, in March you will apply for FLR (M) as a spouse. In September 2021 you can apply for ILR. In January 2022, you can apply to be naturalised.
 

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Nyclon, are you sure? These requirements (having lived in the UK for at least 3 years, and in a marriage/civil partnership with a British citizen) are listed as separate requirements, there's nowhere I can see on the gov.uk page or naturalisation guidance which suggests that one has to have been married for those 3 years: https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-spouse

The requirements listed on pages 3-4 only say you need to be married to a British citizen at the date of application.

https://assets.publishing.service.g...data/file/751828/an-booklet-November_2018.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Nyclon and Clever Octopus! So... it sounds like there are 2 options:

1. I could get married in January and then apply straight away for naturalisation per Clever Octopus.

On a side note - a question - does this mean I should to be safe apply for an extension of my current visa (so I can stay in the UK), then apply for naturalisation?

2. If I can’t apply straight away per Nyclon, then it sounds like as I’ve been in the UK already for just over 2 years but not as a spouse, there’s no point in rushing to get married as I’ll reach the 5 year mark as an unmarried partner earlier than the 3 years married to be eligible to apply for IRL. Once that’s granted I can apply straight away for naturalisation...

Only one of them is right... if anyone has any further comments feel free to help out!
 

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Indefinite Leave to Remain is a prerequisite for naturalisation as a British citizen for non-EU nationals, and ILR requires 5 years' residence on the same visa type (spouse or unmarried partner are the same visa type). Logistically, this 5 year residence requirement for ILR will supersede the 3 year residence requirement for naturalisation. So you will need to apply for Further Leave to Remain in 2019, and then spend another 2.5 years here to qualify for ILR. Then you can naturalise as soon as you have it (as long as you're married)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great - thanks so much Clever Octopus, I misunderstood your earlier post - essentially you were saying that for naturalisation, the 3 year living in UK spousal rule may not apply for naturalisation (of which IRL is a prerequisite, meaning I need to be in the UK for 5 years anyways!)

In essence, you and Nyclon are saying the same thing in that, I still need to have 5 years in the UK to be eligible for IRL - which if I’m not married or married, gets me to Oct 2021.

Marrying in January just means I apply as a spouse rather than ‘unmarried partner’ in March this year - which like you said is the same thing!!!

Hopefully that makes sense - thanks again for your help!
 

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It's ILR not IRL

The difference in my post vs. nyclon is how long you have to be married before naturalising, regardless of ILR
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes sorry it was a typo - using my mobile for the last few posts which has autocorrected the spelling - ILR!! Thanks again!
 
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