- Applying for British Citizenship through marriage
- British nationality by marriage requirements
- Applying for UK settlement status for South Africans
- Meeting the “residency requirement
- Proving your “good character”
- Attending the British citizenship ceremony
- Frequently asked questions
- How can I get help from the IAS
British citizenship by marriage for South Africans
Getting married to a British national or settled person does not automatically grant you citizenship in the United Kingdom. In fact, to become a UK national, you must first submit your Spouse Visa application and meet several eligibility requirements which may be based on your immigration history and current situation.
Before you become a citizen of the UK, you must have held Indefinite Leave to Remain in this country for at least three years.
IAS’ immigration attorneys are experienced in British residency applications and have already helped several clients submit successful requests. Get in touch with our team of professionals to learn more about your options to apply for UK British Citizenship by Marriage from South Africa.
How to apply for British Citizenship through marriage from South Africa?
You can submit your application for British citizen for South Africans online, by filling in the form AN.
Once your request is submitted, you need to pay your application fees and book an appointment at the nearest UK Visa and Citizen Application Services (UKVCAS). Here, your biometric details (fingerprints and photos) will be collected. Besides, you will be able to scan a copy of any additional documents that you wish to attach to your application.
If you don’t wish to apply online, you can submit your paper form. If you need further assistance, you can get in touch with our UK immigration attorneys.
What are the British nationality by marriage requirements?
If you are a South African citizen and you wish to apply for British citizenship, you must first ensure that you meet specific requirements.
To qualify, you must:
- Be aged 18 or over;
- Demonstrate your “good character”, meaning that you must never have broken any UK law;
- Have lived in the UK for a specific number of years, which may vary based on your immigration history;
- Have been granted ILR for South African citizens;
- Have proven or be able to prove your knowledge of English, by passing an accredited exam;
- Pass the Life in the UK test to prove your knowledge of British customs and traditions.
Our UK immigration specialists will be happy to review your case and advise you on what to do to meet the requirements. Call us today to find out more.
How to apply for UK settlement status for South Africans?
To qualify for British citizenship for South African nationals, you must first have lived in the UK for at least three years as a settled person.
Holding Indefinite Leave to Remain is one of the mandatory and preliminary steps to become a national of the United Kingdom.
By getting Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will be able to live, work and study in the UK free from any immigration restrictions. To qualify, you must demonstrate your English fluency and pass the Life in the UK test.
If you wish to apply for ILR through marriage, you may need to follow different immigration paths and the eligibility criteria may vary. Speak to our team of UK immigration experts to find out more.
What is the “residency requirement”?
To meet the British citizenship residency requirement, you must have lived in the UK as a lawful resident and settled person. Besides, you must not have:
- Spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the three-year qualifying period before your application
- Spent more than 90 days abroad in the last 12 months before you submit your forms
Most importantly, you must not have broken any UK immigration law at any time during your residency in the UK.
How do I prove my “good character”?
To prove your “good character” and qualify for British citizenship, you must have always respected UK law and fulfilled all your obligations as a residence since the day you arrived in this country.
If you hold severe or recent criminal records, including custodial sentences of more than 4 years, your British citizenship my marriage application will be automatically refused. The same applies to applicants who have been in breach of any immigration offence in the last 10 years before their application, or who have initially entered the country illegally.
What is the British citizenship ceremony?
Applicants who have acquired British citizenship and are aged 18 or over, will be invited to attend a proper ceremony at the end of their application process.
You must book your ceremony within three months of receiving your invitation from the Home Office. The even will then be organized by your local council. The cost of this ceremony is £80, and it will be a private event, where you would be allowed to take up only two guests.
If you are currently outside the UK, you can ask the UK embassy or consulate in South Africa if you can have your ceremony there.
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It costs £1,300 to apply for British nationality through marriage from South Africa.
However, they may be additional fees related to your application. This includes £19.20 for having your biometric information collected, the cost of your English language and Life in the UK tests, and the translations of any supporting document which is not written in English or Welsh (if needed).
Once you have submitted your request, the Home Office will need up to 6 months to review your case and disclose its response.
If you fail to provide relevant supporting documents or to fill in your form properly, your case may be delayed or even refused.
For this reason, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional UK immigration expert. Get in touch with IAS to learn more about our services for South African citizens.
Unfortunately, you cannot follow this UK residency route if your partner died before you submit your application.
However, if you already hold ILR, you may be eligible for UK nationality through naturalization or other immigration routes.
Once you receive British nationality through marriage or naturalization, you can apply for your first UK adult passport.
This document will be valid for ten years and can be used to demonstrate your status as a citizen of the United Kingdom when travelling abroad or within the UK.
It costs £75.50 to apply for a UK passport online, whereas you will be charged £85 if you submit a paper request.