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Thread: British Passports for Foreign Spouses

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    British Passports for Foreign Spouses

    Hi all:

    Many years ago it used to be the case that a foreign spouse of a British passport holder could apply [not necessarily get] for a British passport upon marrying a British national. This application could be done regardless of where the couple actually resided at the time of the marriage or thereafter. I'm almost certain that successive Tory governments of the 1980s changed this law so that marriage to a British national no longer gave a foreigner the automatic right to apply for a British passport. Furthermore, I'm equally sure that in order to be entitled to apply, the foreign spouse needs to reside in the UK for a certain length of time (I don't know why, but 4 years keeps jumping to the front of my mind).

    Anyhow, at dinner last night I was told this was a load of crock, and that a foreign national was still entitled to apply for a British passport upon marrying a British national and he/she did not need to actually reside in the UK - but that there was a certain period that the couple needed to be married before the application could be accepted (i.e. you couldn't just apply on the day you married, you had to be married for, like, two years or so beforehand).

    As a farang with a Thai better half who has absolutely no intention whatsoever of ever residing in the UK again in this life time (although I may have done enough bad things in my life to warrant another try next time around ), but who intends to travel frequently in the future with the love of his life, this news has sparked a certain interest in me. Up to now I've always told her-in-doors that the price of a British passport was just too high (i.e. residency) and that if she wanted it that badly she'd better find someone new. Now this may not be the case.

    So, a very long winded way of asking: anyone else out there in the same shoes as me - and I know there are many - heard anything on this?

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    Re: British Passports for Foreign Spouses

    Quote Originally Posted by Just William

    Anyhow, at dinner last night I was told this was a load of crock, and that a foreign national was still entitled to apply for a British passport upon marrying a British national and he/she did not need to actually reside in the UK - but that there was a certain period that the couple needed to be married before the application could be accepted (i.e. you couldn't just apply on the day you married, you had to be married for, like, two years or so beforehand).

    I suspect your original view was right, that you have to be resident in the UK in order for your spouse to apply for a UK passport. But your spouse can apply for UK citizenship after 1 year's indefinite leave to remain, not 4 years. Have you tried the Immigration and Nationality Division (Home Office)'s website? The exact rules for applying/issuing passports should be on there.

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    Thanks Paully.

    I'll look it up and get back to you. I have to say though, if residency is in any way in the equation, the issue rapidly becomes a non-issue

    and the misses can have some of this

    But, if residency is no longer an issue, we may just be in for a little of this :twogirls:

    [I love these sticky things]

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    Sorry, mate it's the Passport Agency now, not the IND, try here www.ukpa.gov.uk. I had a quick look at the Foreign Office website but that only talked about issuing UK passports to UK citizens living overseas.

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    Married Women

    Women who are not British and who marry a British man after 1 January 1949 do not automatically acquire British citizenship by virtue of that marriage. This applies regardless of whether she married a man who was a United Kingdom Citizen before 1 January 1983 or a man who is a British Citizen after 31 December 1982.
    http://www.ukpa.gov.uk/_6_eligibility/6_who_is.asp

    Seems to settle that issue

    :bog:

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    They have to be having a laugh with this though:

    Important changes have been made to the way that British Citizenship is granted to people applying to register or naturalise. Under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, successful applicants will be expected to attend a Citizenship Ceremony, held in their local communities.

    All applications received on or after 1 January 2004 will be subject to these new arrangements. If your application is successful you will be told where to go for your ceremony.

    The heart of the Citizenship Ceremony involves prospective citizens making an oath/affirmation to Her Majesty the Queen and a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom, after which a certificate will be presented.


    - I'm not even sure I would do that!

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    JW, my missus will shortly be applying for a British Passport. The rules clearly state that the spouse must have resided in the UK for at least 3 years before applying. It took the home office the best part of 3 months to finally respond to my letter. At this time it costs 212 GBP to apply. Naturally there is a very long list of evidence you need to supply. You must have two referees in the UK who have known your spouse for at least 3 years. They will also be required to attend a naturalisation ceremony if the application is sucsessful. Any more questons PM me

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    HC:
    Thanks a million. No more questions. If it's a toss-up between 3 years in the UK and divorce...





    ...can anyone tell me what Nana plaza is like these days? :twogirls: :chug:

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    3 week holiday in LOF coming up, can't wait

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    The application also can take up to a year to process and the fees are non-refundable, but the small print is all pretty straightforward and I would have thought most applications would go through without a hitch, provided the residency requirements have been met.

    And the moral of the story is - don't belive the crap people tell you and go to the official sources :chug:

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    As long as your spouse has behaved herself there shouldn't be any problems..

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