My family and I are British citizens. We moved to Kenya in 2011 for a change of atmosphere and new environment from our busy life in London. A few years on and in 2016, I got married to a Kenyan citizen and at the end of that year, I had a baby girl. My husband was working for an auditing firm but left his job to pursue a better salary.

We are living with his parents and, 10 months on, he still has no job and our savings are at an end. We realised that staying in Kenya is now more difficult than if we were to move to the UK and start life there. My husband would have more scope for better employment and even my daughter would be able to attend a good school.

Now the issue is how do I apply and what do I do? I have no job, no income and neither does my husband. How do we go about our situation and would the UK allow us to immigrate?

  • The statements "my family and I are British citizens" and "I got married to a Kenyan citizen" don't seem consistent. What is your citizenship, and what passport do you carry? What is your husband's citizenship, and what passport does he carry? Dec 9, 2018 at 23:55
  • Hi David, sorry if that was misunderstood. I am a British citizen with a British passport, he is a Kenyan citizen with a Kenyan passport. Dec 10, 2018 at 0:06
  • 2
    Were you born or naturalized in the UK? If so, your daughter is a British citizen. Getting your husband into the UK could prove difficult
    – phoog
    Dec 10, 2018 at 3:36
  • 1
    You have created two accounts (Ummi Leyyah and Ummi Leyyah), which explains why you were not able to add a comment to David's answer. You can merge them. After you do that, you'll be able to edit your question and post comments on your question(s) and any related answers.
    – phoog
    Dec 11, 2018 at 5:31

1 Answer 1


Whether you or your daughter or your husband can settle in the UK is a complicated question. The answer(s) depend(s) on the interaction of each of your individual citizenships, and the UK's visa policy.

  • UK Citizenship (called "British Citizenship" in UK governmental documents) is itself a complex issue, as British citizenship depends on the interaction of the date and location of an individual's birth (and sometimes the date and location of the individual's parents' birth(s), as well as any intervening processes (i.e., naturalization, adoption, or registration) that may have occurred, all within the framework of a changing set of UK laws applied to a changing set of what constitutes "the UK." A reasonable overview may be found in the Wikipedia article on British Nationality. You may also find this UK government webpage useful; it provides an automated response to the "Am I a British Citizen?" question.
  • UK visa policy are the laws that address which individuals require a visa to enter the UK (or may enter visa-free), and what activities (living, working, receiving public assistance) may be engaged in for what period of time. This too is complicated. A non-governmental overview can be found on this Wikipedia page. The UK government provides another click-through webpage to address an individual's need for a visa.

As a British citizen, you have a Right of Abode in the UK; that is, you may enter the UK to live, work, and so on. You do not need a visa; upon arrival in the UK, present your British passport to UK Immigration to demonstrate your British citizenship, and you will be allowed entry.

Your daughter may (or may not) be a British citizen, depending upon the circumstances surrounding your acquisition of British citizenship. If you were born in the UK, or naturalized in the UK, or adopted in the UK, or registered in the UK, then your daughter is a British citizen as well, and also has the Right of Abode. You can apply online for a British passport for her.

Marrying a British citizen, however, does not confer either British citizenship or a Right to Abode on your husband. As a Kenyan citizen, he will require a visa to enter the UK. You can check the UK Government's "Do I Need a Visa" page for more information.

Moving to the UK with (or to join) a British citizen spouse will be very difficult for your husband. Because a non-UK-citizen may obtain "settled status" (that is, a right to remain in the UK, and after even more hurdles, British citizenship) after some years' legal presence under a visa, visa requirements are very substantial. The legal requirements to obtain a Family Visa are shown on this UK government page. The application fees are significant. Note that a Family Visa cannot be sought (absent a few special circumstances) from within the UK, but can only be applied-for by an applicant outside the UK.

Your husband might instead seek a visitor visa for entering the UK. This will be an even more difficult road. UKVI will look for the applicant to demonstrate significant ties to his country of citizenship, such that he will actually leave the UK and return to his country when his visit is over. These ties are commonly family, job, ownership of property, investments, or other intangible connections to one's country of citizenship. With no job or savings or property in Kenya, and with his spouse and child in the UK, UKVI will conclude that he does not actually intend to return to Kenya, and that a visitor visa is a pretext for entering and staying in the UK with his wife and child. It is very unlikely he'd be successful in obtaining a visitor visa.

Finally, and again: this is a complicated subject. There are exceptions and variations (some are mentioned on the UK government web pages cited here) that aren't discussed in even this wordy Answer. Rather than trusting the views of random people on the net, you should consider a consultation with a UK solicitor familiar with the UK immigration process. This is a regulated profession in the UK, and you'll find several Stack Exchange - Travel and Stack Exchange - Expatriate threads that list the web portals for the licensing organizations.

  • "often called "British Citizenship" even in UK governmental documents": it is so called because that is the name officially given to it in the act of Parliament that created it.
    – phoog
    Dec 11, 2018 at 5:25
  • @phoog Thanks. Interesting that the name is not quite as inclusive as the jurisdiction. Dec 11, 2018 at 14:49
  • Arguably, the name is more inclusive than the jurisdiction. The Republic of Ireland is in the British Isles, but not part of the United Kingdom. Dec 11, 2018 at 15:20
  • @PatriciaShanahan Yes, the name is actually both more and less inclusive than the jurisdiction, an interesting historical imprecision. Dec 11, 2018 at 17:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.