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Marrying a UK Citizen

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Marrying A Uk Citizen

Marrying a UK citizen will generally entitle a foreign national to live and work in the UK. However, this entitlement is not automatic and there is certainly no immediate entitlement to citizenship for a foreign spouse.

Marriage Visitor Visas

If you want to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK, you can apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa. However, you will not be permitted to stay or settle in the UK after your marriage or civil partnership longer than the permitted six months. Any individual coming to the UK to marry must be 18 or over, be in a genuine relationship and plan to enter into a civil partnership in the UK within six months of arrival. Once the person leaves the UK at the end of the term, if they wish to apply to live in the UK they will need to apply for a new visa.

Family of a Settled Person Visa ('Spouse' Visa )

You’ll need a Family of a Settled Person Visa if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you want to come to the UK to live with your spouse, civil partner or partner, who is legally permanently resident in the UK. There are strict financial and other eligibility requirements attached to this visa and you have to ensure both you and your spouse fully meet these in order to be able to apply. With this visa you will be able to work and/or study, but you will not be entitled to apply for public funds.

If you come to the UK with this visa, then if you continue to meet the requirements of your stay, you can apply to extend your existing ‘family of a settled person’ visa to 'remain with family' in the UK.

New restrictions have been imposed because some foreign nationals marry British citizens, or residents, purely so that they will be granted leave to remain in the UK and subsequently be in a position to apply for citizenship. To reduce the incidence of foreign nationals marrying UK citizens to obtain leave to remain, people who are subject to immigration control are strictly scrutinised by the UKVI.

Forced Marriages Involving British Citizens

In recent years growing concerns have been voiced on the subject of foreign nationals marrying UK citizens in forced marriages. Typically these involve male British citizens going abroad and marrying a foreign national who he may not previously have met and then bringing her back to live in the UK. In many cases at least one member of the couple will not have been aware that they were to be married. Girls may be plucked out of a village, unable to speak English and with absolutely no knowledge of UK life, and brought to live in a foreign country with a complete stranger.

The British government has made it a stated intention, through its Forced Marriage Unit, to reduce the number of forced marriages involving British citizens. Further new rules for foreign nationals marrying UK citizens will include requiring the foreign national to agree, before they come to the UK and to learn English after they arrive. If it is discovered that a foreign national has misused the marriage visa system their leave to remain in the UK may be removed. The UKVI has been given greater powers to deal with those who abuse the system and more guidance in spotting possible victims of forced marriages. Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

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Hi! I am from the UK and have lived in Australia for the past 2.5 years. Myself and my Brazilian partner are now travelling to New Zealand where we will get married and live for a further 1.5 years. We then plan to come back to the UK in 2019..will he be entitled to a visa which allows him to work in the UK because of our relationship? and how would we go about applying for this? Thanks!!
Loz - 18-Oct-17 @ 9:56 AM
Smizzy - Your Question:
I was deported from the U.S. In 2009 and I have a girlfriend that lives in the UK. We plan to get married next year. Do I have any grounds in order to move to the UK so we can be together after we get married ?

Our Response:
If you wish to come to the UK to live, then you would have to be eligible to apply for a family visa, please see link here . However, much depends upon what the USA shares with the UK in terms of information and of course whether you tick the box asking have you ever been deported from another country?
AboutImmigration - 17-Oct-17 @ 12:25 PM
@MikeOrl she can apply for a marriage visit visa which can be changed once you get married to a family visa valid for 2.5 years and extendable.
TJ. - 15-Oct-17 @ 1:30 PM
@Hev if you are a British/EU citizen wishing to marry a foreign national then you must give the Home Office up to 90 days notice during which your circumstances will be investigated. My experience shows that it is a lot less stressful to get married abroad in a ceremony recognized by the UK.
TJ. - 15-Oct-17 @ 1:26 PM
@smizzy if your partner is a British citizen then you may eligible for the family visa which can be quite costly and the process quite lengthy. If your partner is an EU citizen living in the UK then you may be eligible for the EU residence permit which is a lot less stressful. However the circumstances surrounding your deportation from the USA will be factored into your application.
TJ. - 15-Oct-17 @ 1:21 PM
@Dodo your partner should voluntarily leave the UK and apply for the correct visa to re enter. If caught and deported he could face a re entry ban lasting up to 10 years.
TJ. - 15-Oct-17 @ 1:12 PM
My partner visit visa expired couples years now and he stayed in Uk instead of going back. We been living together for 2 years and engage. I been in uk 6 years and i am british.I would like to say which application form should we applied for him to have right to stay in Uk?. Please help.
Dodo - 14-Oct-17 @ 7:12 PM
I was deported from the U.S. In 2009 and I have a girlfriend that lives in the UK. We plan to get married next year. Do I have any grounds in order to move to the UK so we can be together after we get married ?
Smizzy - 14-Oct-17 @ 4:55 AM
Hi my tunisia boyfriend and want to marry here in England just need some help on what we need to do first can we marry on his visor Visa and what’s the best way to start we been together along time now it’s not about money or a permanent visa we just two people who love each other get on great together and want to spend our lives with each other can any help and guide us what to do thank you
Hev - 13-Oct-17 @ 2:28 PM
Hello. I am UK citizen permanently living in the UK, having also Israeli citizenship. My girlfriend lives in Israel. We are going to marry in the UK, after which she will stay with me of course. It is very unclear for which kind of visa she should apply before travelling to the UK. It looks like Marriage Visiting visa will not let her stay. Does it mean she should apply for Dependent Family Member visa, even though we are not married yet? She is also going to continue her University studies in the UK. Should he apply for Student visa instead ? Thanks a lot
MikeOrl - 13-Oct-17 @ 7:16 AM
gary - Your Question:
Hey. !!I got married to a person of Indian origin who is now citizen of uk now. its been almost 2 yrs since we got married. and have not visited him till now. because he told me due to his poor financial status he can't sponsor spouse visa. I am working as a veterinary doctor in state government of India. so want to ask if I can go and visit him on tourist visa. ?? does he need to send me any sort of invitation or so. ???

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 12-Oct-17 @ 9:49 AM
hey.... !! I got married to a person of Indian origin who is now citizen of uk now... its been almost 2 yrs since we got married... and have not visited him till now... because he told medue to his poor financial status he can't sponsor spouse visa.... I am working as a veterinary doctor in stategovernment of India.. so want to ask if I can go and visit him on tourist visa.. ?? ... does he need to send me any sort of invitation or so.... ???
gary - 11-Oct-17 @ 12:57 PM
@William - yes, you can apply to marry if yourpartner is on a student visa and she can continue to study.
Jas - 9-Oct-17 @ 1:01 PM
As a follow up to my previous comment.I would also like to stay in the UK to continue my studies and am applying for programs that could conceivably last for 3-4 more years.Judging by Giovanni's comment, it would seem as though you're saying that one can get married on a tier 4 student visa, with the only major problem being the requirement to leave when the course ends.My main concern, that I would appreciate your help advising, is just the legal possibility of getting married, my second concern is how to stay/settle.Also, do you know if we were married if she could come to America with me if/when I have to leave?
William - 7-Oct-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hello, I'm currently living in the UK on a study visa for as a postgraduate.I've fallen in love with a UK national and the marriage notice/registration/marriage visa sections on the gov website haven't been entirely clear.The marriage visa stipulates that one cannot study while in the UK on a marriage visa.But can I marry while I'm here as a student?I would really appreciate any information you could provide on this.I can tell already that if my proposal was accepted we would need to follow the procedure, which could take months.Again, I am American and residing here through 2019 and my beloved is English.Willing to follow a 10-year track to settlement, we're both fairly young and it's unlikely I'll have a job that pays that well, but I have some savings and a good career path.I really don't want to lose her.
William - 7-Oct-17 @ 1:32 PM
@Giovanni - you can still hold your visa and you can get married. If you have been in the country for longer than five years by the time your course finishes, you can apply for ILR. If you haven't, then you would have to return to your home country and apply for a family visa (if you are eligible) as there plenty of hoops to jump through.
Nisha - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:13 PM
I am Malaysian and my British boyfriend been seeing each other since I was doing postgrad in London. I am doing a research degree now. Research degree is going to take years and my boyfriend proposes a marriage to be held next summer. How can we get married when I am international student with tier 4 general student visa? Would I no longer hold a tier 4 visa after marriage?
Giovanni - 4-Oct-17 @ 7:26 PM
Olrak - Your Question:
Hi there, Im a Filipino Citizen and I live in the Philippines and my wife is a British Citizen living in London we'll gonna have a baby either December or January. However we dont have any idea how I'm going to be in U.K for good to take care of them and permanently live there. Is it gonna be hard for me to get there? Thanks!

Our Response:
Please see the gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know, including the financial and other requirements needed to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 29-Sep-17 @ 12:26 PM
Hi! I am from the Philippines and married now with my English husband but it’s taking so long to process my visa. I just wanted to know if you can help . I overstayed here and after 2 or 3 Year’s meet my husband and finalise my divorce here and got married they refuse my first application but still waiting for the second one. Can you tell how Long does it take to process the second application .thanks
Liza - 29-Sep-17 @ 11:46 AM
Hi there, Im a Filipino Citizen and I live in the Philippines and my wife is a British Citizen living in London we'll gonna have a baby either December or January. However we dont have any idea how I'm going to be in U.K for good to take care of them and permanently live there. Is it gonna be hard for me to get there? Thanks!
Olrak - 28-Sep-17 @ 7:52 PM
I am from Chile my fiance from Uk living and working in Singapore , we have been together for 3 years an half. we pretend to get marry in U.K. and as soon as we get the marry certificates go to live in Singapore. could you help me with specific certificates I have to bring to get marry just the civil ceremony ?
Danni - 24-Sep-17 @ 3:10 PM
Hi, I'm a U.K. Citizen born and bred here, I live in an appartment alone.I met my Brazilian girlfriend back in march online, she doesn't speak very good English but google translate is very useful. I've recently been to Brazil to meet her and we really hit it off, we both like each other and would like to continue the relationship. I would rather her come to the Uk as my Português is limited also I work for myself here. She would like to come here for a few weeks for a start to see if she likes it. I will put her up whilst she's here and support her financially that's no problem. I figure this is the best route and hopefully would satisfy immigration to show them we are not just jumping into a relationship and are taking it slowly to enable it to work properly.What sort of documents would she need to pass immigration at the airport? We want to do everything by the book and put it all in order before she travels. Then if she does decide she likes it here and wants to be with me how long would we have to wait to apply for a visa. As I understand it Brazilians do not require a visa for up to six months. I just would like to know the waiting time between her travel and getting a visa. Thanks and Regards.
Gaz - 19-Sep-17 @ 5:20 PM
Gaz - Your Question:
Hi, I'm a U.K. Citizen born and bred here, I live in an appartment alone. I met my Brazilian girlfriend back in march online, she doesn't speak very good English but google translate is very useful. I've recently been to Brazil to meet her and we really hit it off, we both like each other and would like to continue the relationship. I would rather her come to the Uk as my Português is limited also I work for myself here. She would like to come here for a few weeks for a start to see if she likes it. I will put her up whilst she's here and support her financially that's no problem. I figure this is the best route and hopefully would satisfy immigration to show them we are not just jumping into a relationship and are taking it slowly to enable it to work properly. What sort of documents would she need to pass immigration at the airport? We want to do everything by the book and put it all in order before she travels. Then if she does decide she likes it here and wants to be with me how long would we have to wait to apply for a visa. As I understand it Brazilians do not require a visa for up to six months. I just would like to know the waiting time between her travel and getting a visa. Thanks and Regards.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is not that easy to bring a spouse or partner to the UK to live. If she wishes to apply for a visitor visa, then she can via the link here . However, she will have to return to her home country after six months. After this, it becomes more tricky and of you wanted your girlfriend to live in the UK, you would have to satisfy the requirements in the visa here .
AboutImmigration - 19-Sep-17 @ 3:31 PM
sunshine - Your Question:
Hi I am scottish and my turkish boyfriend is coming to scotland on a student visa can we marry while he is here studying.and if so what documents will he need to bring with him so we can marry thanks any information will be so helpful tia

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 19-Sep-17 @ 2:14 PM
Hi, I'm a U.K. Citizen born and bred here, I live in an appartment alone.I met my Brazilian girlfriend back in march online, she doesn't speak very good English but google translate is very useful. I've recently been to Brazil to meet her and we really hit it off, we both like each other and would like to continue the relationship. I would rather her come to the Uk as my Português is limited also I work for myself here. She would like to come here for a few weeks for a start to see if she likes it. I will put her up whilst she's here and support her financially that's no problem. I figure this is the best route and hopefully would satisfy immigration to show them we are not just jumping into a relationship and are taking it slowly to enable it to work properly.What sort of documents would she need to pass immigration at the airport? We want to do everything by the book and put it all in order before she travels. Then if she does decide she likes it here and wants to be with me how long would we have to wait to apply for a visa. As I understand it Brazilians do not require a visa for up to six months. I just would like to know the waiting time between her travel and getting a visa. Thanks and Regards.
Gaz - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:54 AM
Hi, I'm a U.K. Citizen born and bred here, I live in an appartment alone.I met my Brazilian girlfriend back in march online, she doesn't speak very good English but google translate is very useful. I've recently been to Brazil to meet her and we really hit it off, we both like each other and would like to continue the relationship. I would rather her come to the Uk as my Português is limited also I work for myself here. She would like to come here for a few weeks for a start to see if she likes it. I will put her up whilst she's here and support her financially that's no problem. I figure this is the best route and hopefully would satisfy immigration to show them we are not just jumping into a relationship and are taking it slowly to enable it to work properly.What sort of documents would she need to pass immigration at the airport? We want to do everything by the book and put it all in order before she travels. Then if she does decide she likes it here and wants to be with me how long would we have to wait to apply for a visa. As I understand it Brazilians do not require a visa for up to six months. I just would like to know the waiting time between her travel and getting a visa. Thanks and Regards.
Gaz - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:30 AM
hi i am scottish and my turkish boyfriend is coming to scotland on a student visa can we marry while he is here studying .and if so what documents will he need to bring with him so we can marry thanks any information will be so helpful tia
sunshine - 17-Sep-17 @ 8:30 PM
Hi I was born in India 1981 moved to the U.K. With my parents in 1984, I have indefinite leave to remain in the U.K. (I have a Indian passport) In 2002 I married my husband British citizen. What do I need to do to get a British passport?
Sonu - 17-Sep-17 @ 11:36 AM
Hi there, Thanks in advance for your help. My partner has a dual citizenship (Scot & Australia). We are planning to get married in Scotland. Will both he and I still need to apply for a Marriage Visa?
Jules - 16-Sep-17 @ 11:04 AM
Tom - Your Question:
Hi,I have an indefinite leave to remain in the UK. My wife is holding a spouse visa as she has not been in the UK long enough for the ILR. Both of us are from Thailand.I have applied for the British Citizenship and will attend the citizenship ceremony next month. What will happen to my wife's spouse visa when I become British Citizen and is there any action I need to take?Many Thanks in advance for your advice.

Our Response:
There is no action you need to take. Your wife's visa will continue as it stands currently.
AboutImmigration - 15-Sep-17 @ 3:12 PM
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