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Marrying a UK Citizen

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 21 Jun 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 a British woman with a good job and considerable savings. I have been seeing my Moroccan boyfriend for eight months. He came here in 2015 having married a British woman a few years before but that relationship has broken down. His VISA is with her although they are separated, but it is due to run out in a few months. We would like to be together and to try for a baby, but I can't marry him as he's already married, and divorcing her would see him chucked out. Equally, I'm not sure that she would vouch for him to extend his VISA, and they don't officially live together now. Although I'm British and live here permanently, I do have an Irish passport thanks to my mum being Irish. I'm a bit at a loss about what to do. Ideally, we want him to be able to stay here and not have to go home and reapply. I'm even thinking of setting up a business and employing him - but that might be a bit too mad! Any ideas?
Janey - 21-Jun-17 @ 6:08 PM
Bill - Your Question:
I am hoping to marry my partner or at very least unite with her via a fiancée statusHowever as I am unable to work & am on ESA Support Group benefit due to mental & depression issues BUT not PIP benefits I understand we can apply under a title of Incapacity To Work - if this is so, what is the procedure please

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you wish to also bring your fiancé to the UK to live. Applying to marry is the most straightforward part, please see link here . Bringing her into the UK to live is more complicated, please see link here and requires certain financial requirements before you can apply.
AboutImmigration - 19-Jun-17 @ 12:33 PM
I am hoping to marry my partner or at very least unite with her via a fiancée status However as I am unable to work & am on ESA Support Group benefit due to mental & depression issues BUT not PIP benefits I understand we can apply under a title of Incapacity To Work - if this is so, what is the procedure please
Bill - 16-Jun-17 @ 6:48 PM
I am a UK citizen living abroad.I want to marry a non-EEA national and return to the UK.He wants to do a Master's degree and can afford to do so.So we figured it's easier for him to apply for a student visa rather than a family of a settled person visa.I will be returning to the UK next year.I have already found employment that will pay more than the required £18,600. My question is this:if we get married before I return to the UK next year, will that affect whether or not he can apply for a student visa?I have read all the information available about student visas on gov.uk, and I don't see any reason why not.
EJ - 16-Jun-17 @ 2:09 PM
Tel- Your Question:
I applied for fiancee and got refused because of my history. I was a student overstayer for 4 years. Then applied partnership that didnt work so I left the relationship and found my husbandThis marriage took place in my home country after the refusal. The fiancee application was based on divorce that wasnt honored by the ukvi because it was done when I overtayed UK. Two months after I went home I received my copy of annullment. So we marry. I have the authenticated copies now and I think I have gathered a lot to support how genuine our relationship is. Given the infos, what should I do to make my reapplication as spouse strong? Please help

Our Response:
You would have to seek independent immigration advice regarding this as it is impossible to predict what the Home Office may decide. An immigration adviser will give you guidance on how to make the best of your application, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 15-Jun-17 @ 1:49 PM
I applied for fiancee and got refused because of my history.I was a student overstayer for 4 years. Then applied partnership that didnt work so i left the relationship and found my husband This marriage took place in my home country after the refusal.The fiancee application was based on divorce that wasnt honored by the ukvi because it was done when i overtayed UK.Two months after I went home I received my copy of annullment.So we marry.I have the authenticated copies now and i think i have gathered a lot to support how genuine our relationship is. Given the infos, what should i do to make my reapplication as spouse strong? Please help
Tel - 14-Jun-17 @ 4:06 AM
Rexs - Your Question:
Hi I live in the UK and am a British citizen along with all my brothers and sisters who are all married in their own home. I currently live with my elderly mum and dad who are fully dependent on me. I like some from Bangladesh who inwoukd like to marry. However it all seems impossible and unpractical. As marrying abroad means all my family can't be there. The person I am looking to Marry has family here. I work full time And my parents house is bought. I don't have any issues when it comes to supporting him. Can you please advise what the process is for Marriage Visa. I am really eager to do this but just don't know where to start. Can you also please advise if the ruling for marriage will change in the next 6 months. This is just due to starting a new job in September which is better paid.

Our Response:
There is a difference between applying for a marriage visa which can be used for a person to visit the UK for up to six months, please see link here and a visa to apply for your partner to come to the UK to live. If you wish to apply for your partner or husband to live in the UK, you would have to fulfil all the requirements listed in the link here.
AboutImmigration - 12-Jun-17 @ 11:07 AM
PrettyBubble - Your Question:
MY wife is british born and we recently got married outside uk, I'm not brit national or born, my wife is 18 this year I would want to know if I'm eligible to apply for spouse visa and move Uk or there is certain age limit to do that ? I heard she needs to be atlas 21 in order for me to move there.

Our Response:
You can find all the information you would need to know via the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 12-Jun-17 @ 10:35 AM
Hi I live in the UK and am a British citizen along with all my brothers and sisters who are all married in their own home. I currently live with my elderly mum and dad who are fully dependent on me. I like some from Bangladesh who inwoukd like to marry. However it all seems impossible and unpractical. As marrying abroad means all my family can't be there. The person I am looking to Marry has family here. I work full time And my parents house is bought. I don't have any issues when it comes to supporting him. Can you please advise what the process is for Marriage Visa. I am really eager to do this but just don't know where to start. Can you also please advise if the ruling for marriage will change in the next 6 months. This is just due to starting a new job in September which is better paid.
Rexs - 11-Jun-17 @ 7:22 PM
MY wife is british born and we recently got married outside uk, I'm not brit national or born, my wife is 18 this year i would want to know if I'm eligible to apply for spouse visa and move Uk or there is certain age limit to do that ? i heard she needs to be atlas 21 in order for me to move there.
PrettyBubble - 11-Jun-17 @ 9:52 AM
Hi I would like to know what i need to do to apply for British passport? I live in uk since 2009. Get marriedto Britishcitizen 2016. 2017 march get permanent rezident card which said, i been already permanent rezident since 2016 ,16May. Do i need do the test aswell? Thank you Irita
Irita999 - 9-Jun-17 @ 2:48 PM
Hi I am doctor from somalia and i received italian refugee travel document also my wife is british citizen and she doesnt work. How we can reunite or live together in uk
MOHAMED ABUKAR MOALL - 8-Jun-17 @ 4:04 PM
Im born in britian with an entirly british family passport we all live in a house in nice house in London ect.. Currently studying Law going into my third and final year. I have had an online friendship with an asian lady for about a year, we were helping eachother with language studdies as I had planned to teach in asia for a while after I get my degree. Recently I took a holiday there and she agreed to show me around help with the culture gap. Not usually an emotional type but she really stole my heart and I'm planning on asking her to marry me and if she wanted wants to live with us, were both still young and i figure we could have a better life in the uk, we both like dancing ect.. I can get her work with my brothers cleaning company in the immediacy until we worked out somthing better and I could get a car and thesably get work as an estate agent or somthing that paid reasonably well. Point being we are not looking to milk the system we just want to be togther enjoy life and plan for a future. Can any one help with a super basic step by step guide as to the process best for securing our time toghter.
Franky - 8-Jun-17 @ 9:04 AM
Loggie - Your Question:
Hi, I've been with my partner for nearly 4 years. He came from South Africa to be with his then girlfriend of a family permit. Two years after they were in this country, he split with her. 3 years later he met me and we've been together as I say nearly 4 years. His passport is due to expire early next year and we want to stay together. Do you think the British Government will allow this and give him PR? He has family in South Africa and hasn't seem them for such a long time as he is afraid that if he leaves the UK, he will not be allowed back in. We have a great relationship and he is my soul mate. Please can you advise.

Our Response:
Much depends upon what visa he is under currently. If he was on a family visa when he came into the UK, then he would have had to have informed the Home Office of the change in circumstances if his visa was dependent upon his then relationship, please see link here. You may need to seek independent immigration advice, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 1-Jun-17 @ 11:04 AM
Hi, I've been with my partner for nearly 4 years.He came from South Africa to be with his then girlfriend of a family permit.Two years after they were in this country, he split with her.3 years later he met me and we've been together as I say nearly 4 years.His passport is due to expire early next year and we want to stay together.Do you think the British Government will allow this and give him PR? He has family in South Africa and hasn't seem them for such a long time as he is afraid that if he leaves the UK, he will not be allowed back in. We have a great relationship and he is my soul mate.Please can you advise.
Loggie - 31-May-17 @ 11:39 AM
Rod - Your Question:
I have been in a relationship for three years Mary has been staying in Britain in the summer and I have been visiting her in the States She is coming over for three or four months again in the summer Can we get married when she is here

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 30-May-17 @ 2:54 PM
Aj - Your Question:
My husband is from Australia and his visa runs out soon. Can he apply for a resident card as I am an eu national? Which is the best Visa?

Our Response:
Much depends upon what visa he is currently on. If he is on a non-dependent visa, meaning he is not currently dependent upon you for sponsorship (i.e you sponsored his visa), then he would have to leave the UK and apply for a new visa, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 30-May-17 @ 12:20 PM
My husband is from Australia and his visa runs out soon. Can he apply for a resident card as I am an eu national? Which is the best Visa?
Aj - 29-May-17 @ 8:05 PM
@Jo if your boyfriend is not resident in the UK you cannot become resident in the UK based on a marriage to him.
TJ. - 29-May-17 @ 3:48 PM
Hi, I'm a filipina and my boyfriend is Indian fro Goa India, but he works inEngland for many years bbut not a resident there. He wants to marry me and he wants to bring me to England because of his work situation. What to do and how to make it without complications. THANKS
Jo - 29-May-17 @ 4:41 AM
I have been in a relationship for three years Mary has been staying in Britain in the summer and I have been visiting her in the States She is coming over for three or four months again in the summer Can we get married when she is here
Rod - 28-May-17 @ 7:12 PM
I am Filipina I and my bf was planning to get married here in Philippines.i just want to know what papers or documents need from my bf British and what papers need from me??thank you
Maffy - 27-May-17 @ 5:39 AM
Hi, I am a Romanian/British citizen and my Colombian partner and I are planing to get married in the UK soon. After marriage what will be his residency status, will he get immediate permanent residency ( live & work ) and when will he be able to apply for citizenship? Many thanks
Kala - 26-May-17 @ 5:29 PM
Rangers99 - Your Question:
Australian gf visa runs out in October. we were gonna end it and let her go home but now want to get married and reside in the UK. I'm Scottish. all the advise is confusing any help would be gratefully received

Our Response:
Dependent upon her visa type, it is likely your partner would have to leave the country to the terms of her current visa and apply for a fresh visa to join you, please see gov.uk link here. You would both then have to fulfil the requirements of the terms of the new visa in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 24-May-17 @ 11:11 AM
Australian gf visa runs out in October.. we were gonna end it and let her go home but now want to get married and reside in the UK.. I'm Scottish.. all the advise is confusing any help would be gratefully received
Rangers99 - 23-May-17 @ 2:37 PM
@diva - your b/f can move to Spain. There are no Brexit/EU restrictions of freedom of movement yet.
Assia21 - 23-May-17 @ 2:24 PM
Am a Nigerian and a refugee of Spain my boyfriend is a British national we intend getting married so we can live together please how can this work
diva - 22-May-17 @ 10:46 PM
Rabi - Your Question:
Hy.i am pakistani girl living in uae on visit visa.i want to marry a boy who is a u.k citizen but he is pakistani.how can v do nikkah?Plzz guide me in this

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 22-May-17 @ 2:14 PM
My son is a British citizen his wife is Ethiopian they have a child and were married in Ethiopia. The gvt has a policy that says he needs to be earning 18 500 pounds before his wife can join him. Also children can no longer take their fathers nationality so by birth the can not be British citizens. Is this ridiculous law true please ? Has the Supreme Court overturned the law regarding money to be earns before spouses can join their families as reported on the bbc? Thanks in advance. Thank you
Shirley - 22-May-17 @ 1:31 PM
Buds- Your Question:
Hi I want to marry in Uganda and bring my wife bk is that possible what do I need to do thanks she as a passport all ready I want to marry august thank if can help

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 22-May-17 @ 12:50 PM
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