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Marrying a UK Citizen

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Aug 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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Hello , i am Indian citizen and my fiance is UK born and raised. I am currently working in dubai and plan to leave my job and go back to India where my fiance will visit me in December andget married to me. I have been married to a Indian guy and divorced. After getting married i would like to accompany my husband to UK and stay with him as a spouse. can you please guide us on the procedure and time taken to do this spouse visa. Thanks.
remo - 17-Aug-17 @ 11:59 AM
Hi I would like to ask if you could help me, I am a British citizen,I married a South African some years ago and we both left for Australia for work but for family reasons we want to return to the uk but my husband has had a look andhis visa has run out for the uk.Please could you inform us of what to do please. Thanks Nicole.
Nickers - 16-Aug-17 @ 4:03 AM
Hi, I am a Indian married to a British living in Qatar. We have been married for almost 2 years and are living in Qatar. We both work here. We will be moving to UK in about 2 years from now to finally settle down there. We meet all the UK requirements for citizenship. I know for applying to citizenship I should fulfill the minimum criteria of 180 days/year which I am afraid I will not be able to fulfill till we are living in Qatar. I haven't been able to accompany him to his UK visits because I don't have a visa. I did not take the tourist visa option thinking it may contradict my spouse visa application. I haven't applied for spouse visa yet because I know I can't live there for 2 years for 180 days/year. I want to visit UK and see his family more often, so please suggest which route should I take. Which visa should I apply for? If I apply for spouse visa and not live there for coming two years and just visit occasionally, will it be a problem when I have to extend it after 33 months? Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and regards
Zara - 14-Aug-17 @ 6:51 AM
Hi! I'm an American citizen with an American passport. I am currently staying in Hong Kong and I'm engaged to my boyfriend who resides in Derry, Northern Ireland UK. We are planning to get married and get settled in the UK. We have enough savings to last us until we get married and I find a job, but my boyfriend makes under 18k a year and does not receive any public funds. We really want to get married and just start our future together but this the whole salary and sponsorship thing is the only thing getting in our way. Is there any alternative for me to move there?
Vanesza - 14-Aug-17 @ 4:57 AM
My U.K. partner and my South African self plan to marry in South Africa in November and having met in July 2016 and spent as much time together as visas, money , time off work to visit each other has allowed. Should we wait sometime after our marriage before applying for spouse / settlement visa as this would be a better reflection of a long time together and more proof that our relationship is in fact legitimate? If I applied for an entry clearance visa to visit him again in the UK once married and should we have all finances, documentation & after a wait apparently for unabridged marriage certificate then be able to apply for spouse visa will I have to wait until the duration of my entry clearance visa expiring or will this have no bearing? And I can only apply for spouse visa outside the UK correct?
Dee - 13-Aug-17 @ 1:13 PM
Hello there! I need help here I overstayedin the uk for 2 years and then left voluntarily to my home country and later then I moved to France holding residencycard here my partner is from uk and I want to get marriedwith her can I apply for marriage vistor visa ordoes she has to come here to get married and how long this whole process will take ?Thankyou
Man - 13-Aug-17 @ 12:40 PM
Ari - Your Question:
Hi what if he goes here in the UK as a visit and then we get married here Again can he stay in here ?

Our Response:
If your partner comes to the UK on a marriage visa, he would have to keep to the terms of the visa and leave when the visa ends. He may be able to extend the visa for a time. But in order to apply to live in the UK on a family visa, he would have to leave the UK and apply for a new visa afresh.
AboutImmigration - 11-Aug-17 @ 10:51 AM
Hi what if he goes here in the UK as a visit and then we get married here Again can he stay in here ?
Ari - 10-Aug-17 @ 3:52 PM
Milan - Your Question:
Hi. I am a 19 year old South African Citizen. I am dating a 21 year old who holds both a UK and South African Passport. We have been living together in SA for 10 months and intend on getting married in the next few years. I would like to live and work there so that I can be with him. Which visa should I get?

Our Response:
If you wish to apply to live in the UK, your boyfriend would have to be living here in the UK before he would be eligible to apply. The visa you would need to get as his 'dependent' and him your 'sponsor' can be accessed via the link here.
AboutImmigration - 10-Aug-17 @ 11:33 AM
Hi, I am a Syrian refugee in the UK (Blue Travel Document) and I am dating a Canadian citizen. He can come to the UK without a visa because of his citizenship. My question is can we register our marriage in the UK when he is in the UK as a visitor (without a visa) or does he have to apply for a special visa for the marriage registration? Thanks
mynameis - 9-Aug-17 @ 4:47 PM
Hi. I am a 19 year old South African Citizen. I am dating a 21 year old who holds both a UK and South African Passport. We have been living together in SA for 10 months and intend on getting married in the next few years. I would like to live and work there so that I can be with him. Which visa should I get?
Milan - 9-Aug-17 @ 12:21 AM
Ari - Your Question:
Hi I'm British and my fiancé is from philippines and we're planning to get married in the philippines. How can I get him to live in the uk? And what requirements should I get? Thank you.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you whether you are eligible to apply.
AboutImmigration - 8-Aug-17 @ 12:46 PM
Ashley - Your Question:
Hello!I was hoping for some help! I am an American citizen working on my masters in social work. I have been dating my boyfriend, a UK citizen, for almost three years and we plan to get married. I want to be able to move to the UK to live with him and work as a social worker but I am unsure of the best path to take. Should we just get married in a court then apply for a family visa? Or should I continue to look into tier 2 work visas as social work is on the occupational shortage list. We are not sure which path to take but we want to be able to live together after I graduate my masters program. Thank you!!Ashley

Our Response:
If you apply for a family visa you would both have to satisfy all the requirements laid out via the link here. If you don't then you will not be allowed to apply. Therefore, looking at other routes may work better for you.
AboutImmigration - 7-Aug-17 @ 3:48 PM
Hi I'm British and my fiancé is from philippines and we're planning to getmarried in the philippines . How can i get him to live in the uk? And what requirements should i get? Thank you.
Ari - 7-Aug-17 @ 3:40 PM
Timtam - Your Question:
My fiancé is divorced due to ex wife cheating. He holds a British passport through marriage. Will I be able to join him in the uk and be given a family visa to live with him after marriage.

Our Response:
You will not be awarded a family visa on the basis that you are married. Both you and your fiancé would have to fulfil the requirements laid out in the gov. uk link here in order to be eligible to apply. You and your partner must also have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year if: you’re applying as a partner and/or you want to settle in the UK (get ‘indefinite leave to remain’) within five years.
AboutImmigration - 7-Aug-17 @ 11:31 AM
Hello! I was hoping for some help! I am an American citizen working on my masters in social work. I have been dating my boyfriend, a UK citizen, for almost three years and we plan to get married. I want to be able to move to the UK to live with him and work as a social worker but I am unsure of the best path to take. Should we just get married in a court then apply for a family visa? Or should I continue to look into tier 2 work visas as social work is on the occupational shortage list. We are not sure which path to take but we want to be able to live together after I graduate my masters program. Thank you!! Ashley
Ashley - 6-Aug-17 @ 4:22 PM
My fiancé is divorced due to ex wife cheating. He holds a British passport through marriage. Will I be able to join him in the uk and be given a family visa to live with him after marriage.
Timtam - 4-Aug-17 @ 7:37 PM
J_0803- Your Question:
My boyfriend is Jamaican, he is on a visiting visa at the moment in the UK. His mum has lived here for 12 years and now has a passport. He wants to live here to be with his mum and brother, and of course for our relationship. He also wishes to work in the UK. What is the best way around this? Thanks.

Our Response:
If your boyfriend is on a visitor visa, then he will have to keep to the terms of his visa and return home. He may be able to extend his visa as long as the total time he spends in the UK is less than six months (i.e if he applied for a three month visa, he can apply to extend it for three more months). Both you and he may be able to apply for a spouse visa on his return, if you fulfil the requirements, please see link here . This would allow him to live and work in the UK. Otherwise, he would have to apply independently from his country of origin for a work visa.
AboutImmigration - 4-Aug-17 @ 10:28 AM
Naya33 - Your Question:
Hi I am marrying in Pakistan I am British live in Britain my husband to be is Pakistan he has a good job in dubai. We haven't decided yet were we will live but is it possible he can live with me in Britain as I have 3 children settled here in England it's all very confusing and law is hard due to fake marriages it's unfair really on us who actually are for real.

Our Response:
You would have to satisfy the requirements laid out in the gov.uk link here in order to be eligible to apply to live in the UK.
AboutImmigration - 3-Aug-17 @ 4:00 PM
My boyfriend is Jamaican, he is on a visiting visa at the moment in the UK. His mum has lived here for 12 years and now has a passport. He wants to live here to be with his mum and brother, and of course for our relationship. He also wishes to work in the UK. What is the best way around this? Thanks.
J_0803 - 3-Aug-17 @ 1:21 PM
Hi I am marrying in Pakistan I am British live in Britain my husband to be is Pakistan he has a good job in dubai.. We haven't decided yet were we will live but is it possible he can live with me in Britain as I have 3 children settled here in England it's all very confusing and law is hard due to fake marriages it's unfair really on us who actually are for real.
Naya33 - 3-Aug-17 @ 8:21 AM
Holy - Your Question:
Hi Am a British citizen and would like to marry my girl friend in Ghana and bring her to the UK to live with me permanently,what should I do to bring her here permanently

Our Response:
Your only recourse would be to apply for a spouse visa, please see link here . However, you would have to meet all the listed requirements before you are eligible to apply.
AboutImmigration - 1-Aug-17 @ 3:17 PM
Hi Am a British citizen and would like to marry my girl friend in Ghana and bring her to the UK to live with me permanently,what should I do to bring her here permanently
Holy - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:51 PM
Katie - Your Question:
Hi, I'm British Citizen not born or raised in U.K. and I am going to take a Japanese husband. He will be marrying into my family.In the future, I want to live in the U.K. not in Japan. A. I want my future child to have a British Citizenship. (I will probably give birth in Japan.)Is it possible? and how can I get that for my child. B. Is there any chance getting a British Citizenship for my futyre husband?

Our Response:
You can apply for your child (under 18 years of age) to be registered as a British citizen, for example if you’re a British citizen but your child was born outside the UK, please see link here . If you wish for your husband to come and live with you in the UK, you would have to firstly be resident in the UK in order to be able to apply. You would also have to fulfil all the requirements laid out in the gov.uk link here. Your husband would not be entitled to apply for British citizenship until he has been resident in the UK for at least five years.
AboutImmigration - 1-Aug-17 @ 10:48 AM
Immaculatereborn - Your Question:
I am a uk citizen. My girlfriend is from Iraq and is here studying. I want to marry her.What is the procedure please.Thanks.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 31-Jul-17 @ 4:08 PM
Hi, I have had the religious marriage ceremony in Italy and my husband has a blue refugee passport issued in Italy. I am a British Citizen with children from a previous marriage and work here. What is the best route to take for him to come and live with us, work here?
Nigo - 31-Jul-17 @ 1:09 PM
yinnasnk - Your Question:
Hello I'm moroccan citizen and my fiancé he's UK citizen we want to get married next month and I need to know how much time we need to be with each other in Uk

Our Response:
If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and subject to immigration control, you will need a visa to come to the UK to marry, please see link here . However, this visa only entitles you to visit the UK, not to reside here. If you wish to apply to live in the UK, both you and your fiancé would have to fulfil the requirements laid out in the link here.
AboutImmigration - 31-Jul-17 @ 11:44 AM
Hi, I'm British Citizen not born or raised in U.K. and I am going to take a Japanese husband. He will be marrying into my family.In the future, I want to live in the U.K. not in Japan. A. I want my future child to have a British Citizenship. (I will probably give birth in Japan.)Is it possible? and how can I get that for my child. B. Is there any chance getting a British Citizenship for my futyre husband?
Katie - 31-Jul-17 @ 6:13 AM
Hi I'm all British and my boyfriend is Tunisian we want to get wed and live happy together what is the best way is 6 months married in France the best way or get married here in Cheltenham then live in France for 6 months x
Kitty - 30-Jul-17 @ 8:30 AM
I am a uk citizen. My girlfriend is from Iraq and is here studying. I want to marry her. What is the procedure please. Thanks.
Immaculatereborn - 29-Jul-17 @ 11:21 PM
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