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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I'm Australian and I've been in the UK since May 2004

Customer Question

I’m Australian and I’ve been in the UK since May 2004 (11 years). I started on a 2 year work visa then switched to an ancestral visa. I think I’ve renewed the ancestral twice I think, once when it changed from the paper visa stuck in my passport to a biometrics residence card, and once more when that card had to be renewed.
I am marring my Welsh partner of 7 years on the 16th of July in Europe. As my current visa was expiring on the 20th of May this year, I needed to get something sorted before it expired. I looked on the internet and after what I’d read, I believed I could apply for naturalization and that it would only take 2 months for a decision. I passed the life in the uk test, paid £906, and submitted my application for naturalization before my visa expired.
I received a letter from the Home Office on 20/3/15 that my fee had been received and my application was being considered. As the wedding is fast approaching I called the home office on 8/5/15 to see when a decision is likely to be made. To my horror I learnt that not only will a decision take 6 months, that I also need indefinite leave to remain for 1 year before I can apply for naturalization.
The home office told me the best course of action would be to withdraw my application for naturalization and once I have my documents back, apply for ILR as there is a premium service I can pay to receive a decision in one day. When I asked what would happen when I applied with an expired visa, they advised that I would still be able to apply as the visa expired in there possession.
Does this sound right?
I am a home owner with a mortgage, I own a uk business that turns over £600,000 a year and employs 15-20 people, and have family and friends traveling to Europe from all over the world in june – july.
Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
You have been advised correctly by the Home Office.
You need ILR before you become eligible for British Citizenship.
You should do as advised I.e. Withdraw your naturalisation application and apply for ILR using the premium service. You are lucky that you have been given the option to withdraw your naturalisation application as it can be refused without you having been given the option to withdraw it.
As soon as you marry your partner and provided you hold ILR, you may apply for Naturalisation and you do not need to wait for 1 year after ILR as there is no waiting period for ILR holders who have been in the UK for more than 3 years and who are married to UK citizens.
Hope this helps