If you’re planning to get married or enter a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, you’ll likely need a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa. This essential document allows non-UK residents to visit the UK for the purpose of marrying or forming a civil partnership. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the key requirements, application process, and important information regarding the Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa.
Key Requirements for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa
To be eligible for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa, you must meet specific requirements set by UK Visas & Immigration:
- Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old.
- Purpose: You should intend to give notice of marriage or civil partnership in the UK, or actually marry or form a civil partnership in the UK within six months of your arrival.
- Genuine Relationship: Your relationship must be genuine, not a sham.
- Permitted Purpose: You must genuinely seek entry to the UK for a purpose allowed by visitor routes.
- Prohibited Activities: You cannot engage in any prohibited activities during your stay.
- Sufficient Funds: You must have adequate funds to cover all reasonable costs related to your visit, such as travel, maintenance, and accommodation, without relying on public funds or employment.
- Duration: Your visit should be for less than six months, and you must leave the UK at the end of your stay.
- Not Settling in the UK: You should not intend to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits or make the UK your primary residence.
- General Grounds for Refusal: Ensure that your application does not fall under the general grounds for refusal.
Please note that specific requirements may vary depending on your circumstances, so consulting a knowledgeable immigration lawyer for personalised advice, such as ours at DJF Solicitors, is recommended.
Entry Clearance Requirement
If your purpose for visiting the UK is to marry or form a civil partnership or give notice of such, you must apply for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa before your arrival. This applies to both visa nationals and non-visa nationals.
Some exceptions include British citizens, Irish citizens, individuals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and those with pending EUSS applications submitted before July 1, 2021. These individuals can marry or form a civil partnership in the UK without prior entry clearance.
Non-visa nationals who want to enter the UK for marriages not recognised under UK law can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. Visa nationals also have the option to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa for this purpose.
Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa holders are allowed to:
- Marry or form a civil partnership.
- Give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
You may also engage in activities permitted under other visitor routes, but studying is not allowed.
Genuine Intention Requirement
To qualify for this visa, you must genuinely intend to give notice of marriage or civil partnership in the UK or intend to marry or form a civil partnership within the allowed visitor period. The proposed marriage or civil partnership must not be a sham.
For notice at a register office, evidence like appointment cards or email confirmations may be required. If you plan to marry or form a civil partnership, provide proof of arrangements, such as email confirmations or venue payment receipts.
The Home Office will assess your application considering factors like the arrangements, your relationship, future plans, and living arrangements. If they suspect a sham relationship, your application will be refused.
Intention to Leave the UK
In addition to meeting the permitted purpose, you must demonstrate your intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit. Factors like your immigration history, financial circumstances, and ties to your home country are considered.
Few or no family and economic ties to your home country, having several family members in the UK, past attempts to deceive the Home Office, and discrepancies in statements may raise doubts about your genuine visitor status.
You need sufficient funds to cover all costs related to your visit, such as travel, maintenance, and accommodation, without working or accessing public funds. Your funds should be held in an authorised financial institution. A third party may cover these costs if they have a genuine relationship with you, are not in violation of immigration laws, and can support you throughout your stay.
English Language Requirement
Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa applicants are not required to meet an English language requirement.
Visa Validity Period
For those coming to get married or form a civil partnership or give notice, the Visit Visa can be valid for up to 6 months. You can enter and leave the UK multiple times during this period, unless it’s endorsed for single or dual entry. The total length of your visit must not exceed 6 months.
Right to Work
Marriage or Civil Partnership Visitors are not permitted to work in the UK or receive payment from a UK source for any activities undertaken in the UK. They can undertake remote work related to their employment overseas but should primarily visit the UK for a permitted activity, not to work remotely.
The Home Office application fee for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa for a short stay of up to 6 months is currently £115.
Giving Notice of Intention to Marry or Enter into a Civil Partnership
Visitors planning to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK must give notice at a register office. The notice period is 28 clear days, during which there’s no need to remain in the UK.
Choosing the Right Visa
If you don’t intend to settle in the UK after marriage, the Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa is the correct choice. If you plan to stay in the UK with your partner, consider applying for a Fiancé Visa or Proposed Civil Partner Visa.
In conclusion, obtaining a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa is a crucial step for those planning to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK. By meeting the specific requirements and understanding the application process, you can ensure a smooth and memorable journey to your special day in the United Kingdom. For personalised advice and assistance with your visa application, consider consulting with experienced immigration lawyers such as ours at DJF Solicitors.
Why Instruct Our Specialist Immigration Solicitors?
At DJF Solicitors, our team of specialist immigration lawyers will always act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meetings, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a visa application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
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 your visa application.