I'm an EEA national who's been living in the UK since 2016 and I brought my non EEA wife here in 2017. We both have pre-settled status and I'll qualify for settled status in 2021. At that point, will my wife get settled status as well or does she also have to work 5 years before applying? She's been working consistently since 2018 and was my dependent for about a year.

We're just wondering if we could become British citizens at the same time, i.e. in 2022, which is one year after we get settled status.

  • 1
    Your wife's working or not is not relevant. She does need to qualify for settled status and naturalization independently, however.
    – phoog
    Feb 22, 2020 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Assuming that you meet all the other requirements, then you must be living in the UK with ILR (Indefinite leave to remain status) for a minimum of 5 years.

This is applied to both you and your wife individually. So as she arrived after you, then you would have to wait until she qualifies before you could both apply together.

But, assuming that you apply for and obtain UK citizenship when you are able to do so, then your wife as a wife of a UK citizen living in the UK would then only be subject to a 3-year stay before qualifying.

So then she could apply as soon as you have received your UK citizenship with more than 3 but less than 5 years residency in the UK.

See also: https://www.immigrationboards.com/british-citizenship/citizenship-joint-application-cost-saving-query-t187022.html



  • Even though she will be able to apply for British citizenship after 3 years of residence due to being spouse of a British citizen, wouldn't she still need to acquire ILR which means she would have to live in the UK for 5 years still?
    – kiradotee
    Mar 1, 2020 at 11:18
  • If you get British Citizenship you don’t need any ILR at all. At that point you are a British citizen and almost impossible to remove from the country.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 2, 2020 at 8:56

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