We have previously written about the Organ Donor, Private Medical Treatment, Academic and Permitted Page Engagement and Child Visitor visa routes. Today’s article will be on the renowned UK Marriage Visitor Visa. The Marriage Visitor Visa is another subdivision of the Standard Visitor Visa which has replaced the former General Visitor Visa. The Marriage Visitor Visa is one of the more popular visitor visa routes. It is used by overseas migrants who would like to marry in the UK or register a civil partnership in the UK with a person who is settled in the UK.
Who should apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa?
The primary purpose of the Marriage Visitor Visa is to allow overseas citizens to marry or register their civil partnership in the UK. In normal circumstances, Applicants who apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa only have the intention to marry in the UK and not settle. One of the main reasons why Applicants choose to marry in the UK is due to the historic and famous wedding locations. Applicants who wish to marry and then settle in the UK usually opt for the Fiancé visa as it is an easier route to settlement in the UK. To apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa the following requirements must be met:
- Applicants must demonstrate that they are 18 or over and they are free to give notice of marriage or enter into a civil partnership in the UK;
- Applicants must demonstrate that they are in a genuine relationship;7
- Applicant must demonstrate that they are visiting the UK for less than 6 months and will leave the UK at the end their visit; and
- Applicants must demonstrate that they will be maintained (financial support) in the UK and will have no recourse to public funds and meet the cost of return.
Applicants should seek legal advice from specialist Immigration Solicitors and Barristers before submitting any UK Visas and Immigration application. The earliest an Applicant can apply is 3 months before you travel and a decision in most cases is made within 3 to 4 weeks of submission.
Deciding between a Marriage Visitor Visa or Fiancé Visa
It is not uncommon for Applicants to confuse the Marriage Visitor Visa with the UK Fiancé visa. Whilst both visas allow Applicants to marry in the UK, there are noteworthy differences between the two visa categories. The main difference being that the Marriage Visitor Visa only allows Applicants to marry in the UK and would require Applicants to leave the UK and apply for a UK Spouse Visa following their marriage. The benefit of applying for a Fiancé visa is that Applicants can apply within the UK to switch their Fiancé visa to a Spouse visa.
In addition to this, Applicants applying for a Marriage Visitor Visa must meet the Standard Visitor Visa requirements whereas Applicants applying for a Fiancé Visa would need to meet the minimum income requirement of £18,600 under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. However, an important similarity between the two visas is that they both do not allow Applicants to engage in employment in the UK. Applicants who are found to be guilty of working on a Marriage Visitor Visa or Fiancé Visa will have their leave curtailed.
What you can and can’t do on a Marriage Visitor Visa
It is crucial that Applicants are aware of what activities they are entitled to engage in on their Marriage Visitor Visa. As Applicants who are guilty of breaching their visa conditions will suffer harsh consequences and it is likely to have a severe impact on future UK Visas and Immigration applications.
You can carry out the following activities under a Marriage Visitor Visa:
- Applicants can enter the UK to marry or enter into a Civil Partnership in any location licenced for this purpose.
You cannot carry out the following activities under a Marriage Visitor Visa:
- Applicants cannot get public funds or social benefits under the welfare system;
- Applicants cannot engage in activities in relation to work or studying;
- Applicants cannot bring their family members to the UK unless they apply separately; and
- Applicants cannot switch into another visa within the UK.
If you are unsure of whether you need to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa or Fiancé visa, our specialist Immigration solicitors and barristers can advise you on your options in an initial consultation meeting.
Using Legal Representation to submit a Marriage Visitor Visa Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a Marriage Visitor Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Marriage Visitor Visa application succeeds and meets all the rules, the necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your Marriage Visitor Visa application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Marriage Visitor Visa Application
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your Marriage Visitor Visa Application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Marriage Visitor Visa Application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Marriage Visitor Visa Application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.