I am a British citizen, married to a Bulgarian citizen, we married in Sofia Bulgaria in May 2007, my wife relocated to the UK in September 2007, and she has been working since March 2008 since she received her BR1.
I wonder whether you mean she worked as a self-sufficient (as I doubt many Bulgarians/Romanians get accession worker cards, those are hard to get!)
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/busin ... k-permits/
My wife would like to apply for British citizenship, but we have a couple of questions regarding the application form AN:
uestion 2.4 – EEC nationals exercising Treaty Rights, the questions asks for work history for the last 6 years, but as my wife is married to a British citizen, she can apply for citizenship after 5 years , so in my wife's case, how much work history do they require ?
She needs to have acquired Permanent Residence (PR) first before applying for British Citizenship (BC). PR is obtained by CONTINUOUSLY exercising Treaty Rights + residing in the UK for 5 years (in most cases of Bul/Rom, it is via self-employment, self-sufficiency, studying). I presume that you can prove that she exercised treaty rights since September 2007, when you first arrived. The problem I see is that, if she did not get the registration certificate straightaway (not until March 2008, as you say) the only way for her to have been exercising treaty rights since September 2007 would be if she also held a comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) even from Bulgaria!!! If so, you would not be losing time and the clock would not start from when she applied for BR1 but rather from when she first entered the UK.
however, if she did not have CSI but was simply in the UK and didn't apply for BR1, the clock would not legally have started until she applied for BR1.
Presuming there has not been a break in her work since March 2008, she acquires PR AUTOMATICALLY 5 years after she first applied for BR1 (I presume several weeks/a month before March 2008?) so, around Jan-Feb 2013. Once you can prove to the UKBA that she acquired PR having worked or otherwise exercised treaty rights in the UK for 5 continuous years, she can apply directly for British Citizenship as your spouse who has no immigration restrictions on her stay.
It would be a good idea to first apply to the UKBA in Liverpool on form EEA3 in order to confirm that she acquired PR and with that carton paper she can expedite and make it much easier to apply for BC as your spouse. She doesn't have to get PR confirmation, but it'd just help avoid any delays. What was she doing between September 2007 and when she applied for BR1?
Evidence of identity – we initially were under the impression that she could apply for citizenship after 3 years, so therefore took her Life in the UK test about 18 months ago using her passport as i.d. since then she has renewed her passport, do we need to get the old passport back from Bulgaria for i.d purposes, or will the new one suffice ?
The 3-year threshold is for those people who initially used the UK national laws when getting married, extending their stay etc. That is because those categories may obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (equivalent to PR) after 3 years (without going into much detail). Thus, they can apply for citizenship NOT because they have been married for 3 years, but because they had PR/ILR AND married to a British Citizen when they apply. If your wife had a PR and married you after, she could have applied for BC even having been married to you for a day! It is not the length of the marriage but rather the settled status of the person who is married to a BC on the day of application. It sounds very confusing, but just trying to make the distinction clear to you.
As regards your question, no need for the old passport (even though I don't understand why the old passport wasn't automatically returned after expiring/being annulled, most ministries of justice/embassies return those) as it is the name, DOB, nationality which describe the person. I don't know what the requirements are for the language knowledge in 2013, when she's due to apply, but logically and legally the statute only says that the person must have knowledge of life in the UK and of English language. Therefore, if someone tries to argue that it is too old (18 months-24 months when she applies) the response would be that the person proved her knowledge and no need to redo the test. But check the conditions for it nearer to the application time.