Let us assess your right to claim British citizenship
We can help out in the following three situations:
- Married to (or in a relationship with) a British citizen
- Women married between 1 January 1949 and 31 December 1982
- Women married before 1 January 1949
You can qualify for a UK spouse visa if you are married to, or in a relationship with, a British citizen.
Women married between 1 January 1949 and 31 December 1982
A woman who married a British citizen (or a man whose father was born in the UK) before 1 January 1983 - and this woman was a Commonwealth citizen on 1 January 1983 - can claim the right of abode.
The right of abode is unique to the United Kingdom. It takes the form of a stamp in a passport and is considered the next best thing to a British passport. The right can never be lost. It allows the holder to live and work in the UK, and counts time towards naturalisation as a British citizen.
Please note the following important anomalies to the above requirements:
- Commonwealth nationality can come from one of the following:
So a South African-born woman could qualify if her father was born in Rhodesia (as an example).
- Birth in a country that remained a Commonwealth country on 1 January 1983 (so this excludes South Africa)
- Descent from the father (in most cases, his country of birth)
- Previous marriages can also convey the right of abode. So even though a woman may have remarried, divorced or become widowed, she keeps the right of abode from the previous marriage.
- The man can be British by birth or by descent. So the woman can get the right of abode from her father-in-law.
Read more about this right of abode to the wife of a British husband.
Women married before 1 January 1949
A woman became a British Subject on her wedding day if she married a British man (including a man whose father was born in the UK) before 1 January 1949. Find out more information on this historic right to British nationality through marriage.
Please note the following three important anomalies:
- Previous marriages also convey this transfer of British nationality. So even though a woman may have remarried, divorced or become widowed, she remained a British subject.
- Any children born to this woman after 1 January 1949 can claim British nationality.
- The husband can be British by birth or by descent.
A consequence of this old nationality law occurs where a person born after 1 January 1949 can have a claim to British nationality from a paternal grandfather born in the UK.
A strange consequence could arise if all three of these factors apply: A person born after 1 January 1949 can have a claim to British nationality from the father of his mother’s former husband.