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Marrying a UK Citizen

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 21 Mar 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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dido - Your Question:
I met a lady on the internet approx 1 month ago,she wants to come to the UK for 3 months for us to meet,if we decided we wanted to get married she wants to stay here,her friend told her that it would be easy to do,I have tried to explain to her that it is not going to be that easy,as the UK have certain rules which have to be carried out,but she is convince her friend is right in what she has told her,where can I find out the information needed

Our Response:
It is not easy to bring a partner to live in the UK - please see here. You would have to fulfil all the eligibility requirements in order to be able to apply. Your partner may be able to apply for a standard visitor visa, please see link here. However, she would not be able to apply from the UK to stay in the UK as a family member, she would have to travel home and apply from there. You then both would have to satisfy all the financial and other requirements.
AboutImmigration - 22-Mar-17 @ 10:50 AM
I met a lady on the internet approx 1 month ago,she wants to come to the UK for 3 months for us to meet,if we decided we wanted to get married she wants to stay here,her friend told her that it would be easy to do,I have tried to explain to her that it is not going to be that easy,as the UK have certain rules which have to be carried out,but she is convince her friend is right in what she has told her,where can I find out the information needed
dido - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:49 AM
Savvy- Your Question:
Am married to a British citizen for 15 years but we are living in india. We want to relocate back to U.K. & work. What visa do I need to apply for?

Our Response:
In order to apply to bring you to the UK, your spouse would have to be living in the UK and earning a minimum of £18,600 for at least six months in order to be able to apply (or have savings of over £62,500) - please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 20-Mar-17 @ 2:21 PM
Am married to a British citizen for 15 years but we are living in india. We want to relocate back to U.K. & work. What visa do i need to apply for?
Savvy - 18-Mar-17 @ 2:17 PM
Hi! I am Malaysian currently in UK, we got married in Singapore with uk citizen since 2010 with two childrens. My spouse decided to move back here for good and mean time he is looking for a job here. How do I extend the stay over whilé waiting for him to find a job and also taking care my both boy age 3 and 6 years old.
Dawn - 15-Mar-17 @ 4:12 AM
Good evening . I am a French citizen I have been living in London for 20 years but from 2014 to 2016 I have lived with my partner in Guernsey Channel Islands. We are now back living in London since December 2016. My partner is a British citizen.We did our civil partnership in 2008 in the UK. Can I apply for a British passport?. Thanks
Fab - 13-Mar-17 @ 10:01 PM
I am a british citizen and I have been seeing my cambodian girlfriend since july 2016 we have been engaged for 1 month, we want to marry in the uk in 2018. i want us to live together in the uk after we marry, she will have to be able to work after we marry (i work full time already). her english is ok as she started to learn it around a year ago, she is not fluent yet but can understand me most of the time. she is coming to the uk for a few weeks holiday in september/october this year to have a look for herself. we want to marry early 2018, what do we need to do to make all this happen?
steve - 8-Mar-17 @ 12:27 PM
Hi there, I've been married to a UK citizen and have applied for spouse visa since2.5 months and he is earning well over the threshold set by the government in the latest judgement. Still I received response that my application is on hold. Why is that so? Also they will be returning my documents till the hold is taken off and at the same time they will be processing my application and try to give response as early as possible. Last statement is very confusing. Can anyone guide me how to make next move?
Riddhi - 7-Mar-17 @ 4:25 AM
I'm a UK citizen and wish to marry my fiance, who is an indian national. He currently lives in India and I am finishing my university studies here in uk this may. We plan to marry in July, but have come across the issue that as a UK citizen, I need to be earning £18,600 pa before I can marry an international. Unfortunately I've been a student for last 3 years, so those earnings haven't been possible. However, if we are both planning to emigrate to Australia, can we still marry in uk without myself earning£18,600?
Lozzie - 6-Mar-17 @ 10:21 PM
Jonathan - Your Question:
I am planning to get married to my Polish partner of 2.5 years, who has been living and working in the UK continuously for the past 6 years. Does our getting married confer additional residency rights on her?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 6-Mar-17 @ 12:07 PM
I am planning to get married to my Polish partner of 2.5 years, who has been living and working in the UK continuously for the past 6 years. Does our getting married confer additional residency rights on her?
Jonathan - 5-Mar-17 @ 1:12 PM
I am a UK citizen and have been married to my wife who is French for the last 8 years. During this period we have never lived in the UK and I was wondering how she could apply for UK citizenship and thus a UK passport. The official sites seem to cater for questions for the foreign national married to a UK passport holder who reside in the UK.. I can find no information for my scenario.. many thanks for any advice.
Froggy - 4-Mar-17 @ 3:00 PM
Hi, it's been 10 years that I've been married to my french wife and we now have two children. We got married in France and have been relicated around europe for work related. I work for an EU organisation. Following Brexit, I wish for my wife to have a Britsh citizenship. What are our chances and how can we proceed? Thanks
Jey - 3-Mar-17 @ 2:48 PM
I'm polish married to british citizen what to i have to do do get British passport?
Babsk - 2-Mar-17 @ 9:38 PM
Thelightlotus - Your Question:
Hi I have been with my partner for the past 3 years and January we got married in her home town in Thailand and got our marriage certificates we have tried 4 times now to get her a visitor visa for the Uk and each time we get a refusal letter stating why she has been turned down and each time we have gone away and provided extra evidence of our relationship and finances to satisfy the embassy but this latest application was refused because they did not believe she would go home after her 10week trip we are both law abiding citizens and have no criminal records and understand the dangers of overstaying your visa which is why we would never do this but trying to prove this I writing on a visa application near impossible any help on this matter much appreciated cheers

Our Response:
We are purely a general guidance-based website and therefore we cannot advise on what you can do if the Home Office has made a decision, apart from suggesting you to seek professional legal immigration advice.
AboutImmigration - 2-Mar-17 @ 1:44 PM
I married a Chinese man recently in China. However I could not stay due to health reasons. I am 8 months pregnant. He only has a tourist visa and obviously he wants to come and stay in Britain to live and work for his family. What can we do? We're very young and have no savings for a settle visa and I've been unemployed for almost a year
married - 1-Mar-17 @ 7:22 PM
Hi there, my wife came as a student in 2007 January,I joined her in October 2007 as a dependent.she finished her studies in 2012 got 2 yrs post study.we had our first born on the 08/08/08 which she is going to be 9 years old come August this year.her younger was born on 24/6/2010 she will be 7yrs in June.Now we applied for 7years route for my first child when she turned 8yrs,Home office refused,we appealed now they gave us date in June to come for hearing.PLEASE WHAT IS OUR CHANCE ?
Ollyman - 1-Mar-17 @ 6:09 PM
Hi I have been with my partner for the past 3 years and January we got married in her home town in Thailandand got our marriage certificates we have tried 4 times now to get her a visitor visa for the Uk and each time we get a refusal letter stating why she has been turned down and each time we have gone away and provided extra evidence of our relationship and finances to satisfy the embassy but this latest application was refused because they did not believe she would go home after her 10week trip we are both law abiding citizens and have no criminal records and understand the dangers of overstaying your visa which is why we would never do this but trying to prove this I writing on a visa application near impossible any help on this matter much appreciated cheers
Thelightlotus - 1-Mar-17 @ 3:33 PM
dick - Your Question:
L am a english,l married my wife who is romanian.in england,at a local register office.we have been married for 8 years my wife has been working since she came here,with all the required documents.my wifes daughter came over in 2011 aged 14years.she went to secondary school and from there to college at age 19 years she went to nottingham trent university where she is at present.can you tell me my wife and step daughters rights if we leave the eu.thank you

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 1-Mar-17 @ 11:33 AM
pedro - Your Question:
I have heard and read in the news about case of people married for several years to British citizens with kids and they can to leave the UK.I found a bit odd and I confess it sounds illegal to me.not a lawyer.but I see myself in similar situation. I am Portuguese, my wife is British (through naturalisation). He are married for 25 years back in my country.and we have a daughter. Currently, we live outside the UK to take care of her mother.but planning to return to the UK. What to expect? I understand my daughter who was born outside the UK is fully entitled to British citizenship but my case.isn´t 25 years of marriage enough??? I would be very grateful if you shed some light what will be the best solution and what should we do right now.ps: we can´t go back right now.but it should be within a 1 or 2 years time.

Our Response:
To date, there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum. The UK will remain a member of the EU throughout the Brexit process until Article 50 negotiations have concluded. Therefore, for the time being you still have freedom of movement. However, you, being married to a British citizen does not give you British citizenship rights and once the Brexit negotiations have concluded, you would more than likely have to apply for a visa to live in the UK via the gov.link here, which is not a straightforward process. Please be aware at the moment this is an assumption, as everything is still very much up in the air. Please also see link here for more information about the current rights of EU citizens.
AboutImmigration - 1-Mar-17 @ 11:26 AM
l am a english,l married my wife who is romanian.in england,at a local register office.we have been married for 8 years my wife has been working since she came here,with all the required documents.my wifes daughter came over in 2011 aged 14years.she went to secondary school and from there to college at age 19 years she went to nottinghamtrent university where she is at present.can you tell me my wife and step daughters rights if we leave the eu.thank you
dick - 28-Feb-17 @ 2:00 PM
I have heard and read in the news about case of people married for several years to British citizens with kids and they can to leave the UK...I found a bit odd and I confess it sounds illegal to me...not a lawyer...but I see myself in similar situation. I am Portuguese, my wife is British (through naturalisation). He are married for 25 years back in my country...and we have a daughter. Currently, we live outside the UK to take care of her mother...but planning to return to the UK. What to expect? I understand my daughter who was born outside the UK is fully entitled to British citizenship but my case...isn´t 25 years of marriage enough??? I would be very grateful if you shed some light what will be the best solution and what should we do right now...ps: we can´t go back right now...but it should be within a 1 or 2 years time.
pedro - 28-Feb-17 @ 12:24 PM
Mellie - Your Question:
Hello, my husband is Sri Lankan we both live the UAE, this summer we wish to have a religious ceremony in the UK, therefore I am applying for a marriage visa? After the wedding we will both return to the UAE to continue working ? What's the likely hood of this being approved?

Our Response:
We can't predict whether the marriage visitor visa will be approved. However, if you fulfil all the entry requirements, it shouldn't be a problem.
AboutImmigration - 28-Feb-17 @ 11:53 AM
triss - Your Question:
Hello I'm a British Citizen and my children were both born in the UK. We have British Passports. My husband is Italian. We got married in the UK in 1994. We had to move back to Italy in 2000 due to my father in law becoming ill. We want to move back to the UK. Will it be difficult for us? We both have national insurance numbers too. My children want to continue their studies there.

Our Response:
There has currently been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum. While the UK remains a member of the EU throughout this process, and until Article 50 negotiations have concluded, it means your husband currently has free movement in the UK. However, this will change once negotiations have concluded and it will make it considerably more difficult to apply, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 28-Feb-17 @ 11:41 AM
Jani Bagulho - Your Question:
Hello, I am a portuguese citizen but have lived and worked in the Uk for 14 years. I am now travelling with my british partner for about 7 months in southeast asia and south america. Will I be refused entry in the UK when we go back? I also have family in the uk that have lived there for a few years now. Will I need to apply for visa or permit? Im so worried!

Our Response:
The UK remains a member of the EU throughout the Brexit process, and until Article 50 negotiations have concluded. Please see gov.uk link here for further information.
AboutImmigration - 28-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hello, I've been living in UK since June 31st 2014. I've acquired the UK Tax residency (document indicating i'm a permanent resident of UK) and got married in June 2016 to a British national. When am I eligible to apply for a passport? Thank you.
Michael_G - 28-Feb-17 @ 6:09 AM
Hello, my husband is Sri Lankan we both live the UAE, this summer we wish to have a religious ceremony in the UK, therefore I am applying for a marriage visa? After the wedding we will both return to the UAE to continue working ? What's the likely hood of this being approved?
Mellie - 27-Feb-17 @ 5:12 PM
Hello I'm a British Citizen and my children were both born in the UK. We have British Passports. My husband is Italian. We got married in the UK in 1994. We had to move back to Italy in 2000 due to my father in law becoming ill. We want to move back to the UK.Will it be difficult for us? We both have national insurance numbers too. My children want to continue their studies there.
triss - 27-Feb-17 @ 4:33 PM
Hello, i am a portuguese citizen but have lived and worked in the Uk for 14 years. I am now travelling with my british partner for about 7 months in southeast asia and south america. Will i be refused entry in the UK when we go back? I also have family in the uk that have lived there for a few years now. Will i need to apply for visa or permit? Im so worried!
Jani Bagulho - 27-Feb-17 @ 11:49 AM
Steph - Your Question:
Hello, I am a Brtish citizen and my fiancé is a US citizen. We plan on getting married ans living in the UK. I understand we would have to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa, which enables us to get married. My questions is whats the next step? What must we do in order for him to stay and work in the UK once we're married?

Our Response:
If your partner is successful obtaining the marriage visitor visa then they would have to leave the UK at the end of the terms of the visa. If you wish your partner to return to live in the UK, then you would have apply for the visa via the link here. In order to be able to apply, you as the sponsor would have to satisfy all the eligibility requirements.
AboutImmigration - 24-Feb-17 @ 12:34 PM
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