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Marrying a UK Citizen

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 12 Dec 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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i am getahun from ethiopia pleas contact me
spartacus - 12-Dec-17 @ 8:04 PM
@Life once you get married he will be able to apply for a family visa as a spouse which will be valid for 2.5 years and is renewable. Details of the visa and its requirement are found on the govuk website.
TJ. - 8-Dec-17 @ 8:01 PM
Hi . I am British citizen who has been dating a Ghanaian immigrant for one year in the UK. We want to get married here. If we get married here can he get permanent papers to live here?
Life - 8-Dec-17 @ 7:20 PM
Don't have one- Your Question:
I am a British citizen , I met and fell in love with a man from Jamaica while he was here last year October to visit his sick mother. He went back to Jamaica after his time here.I went out to Jamaica to see him and my family. Just over a year now we have been dating. He is here again to visit his family and also to see me. My question is Can we get married in the UK?

Our Response:
If either of you is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and subject to immigration control, you or your partner will need a visa to come to the UK to marry, please see gov.uk link here . Your partner can use this visa to visit the UK for up to six months.
AboutImmigration - 8-Dec-17 @ 12:28 PM
Nade - Your Question:
My partner of 4 half years which I have a daughter with has been incarcerated first offence and has been in the country for 15years , he had an application submitted to home office September 16 but was put on hold when sent to prison august this year. on his application going forward he has included our 3 year old daughter and myself. he is also doing well in prison and sticking to all rules and attending courses, what are his chances of being able to stay in the UK after his sentence

Our Response:
Much depends upon the length of his sentence. The Sec of State must make a deportation order in respect of a foreign criminal. A foreign criminal is someone who is not a British citizen, is convicted of an offence in the UK and receives a sentence of 12 months or more.
AboutImmigration - 8-Dec-17 @ 11:27 AM
@Don't have one - you can get married in the UK but it is preferable if he had a marriage visa and you will need to a give 28 days notice to the registry and 70 days further notice to the Home Office of your intended marriage.
TJ. - 8-Dec-17 @ 8:56 AM
I am a British citizen , I met and fell in love with a man from Jamaica while he was here last year October to visit his sick mother. He went back to Jamaica after his time here.I went out to Jamaica to see himand my family. Just over a year now we have been dating. He is here again to visit his family and also to see me. My question is Can we get married in the UK?
Don't have one - 7-Dec-17 @ 10:48 PM
my partner of 4 half years which I have a daughter with has been incarcerated first offence and has been in the country for 15years , he had an application submitted to home office September 16 but was put on hold when sent to prison august this year. on his application going forward he has included our 3 year old daughter and myself. he is also doing well in prison and sticking to all rules and attending courses, what are his chances of being able to stay in the UK after his sentence
Nade - 7-Dec-17 @ 2:09 PM
@Tracy your partner can apply for a family visa as a fiancee even if you do not meet the minimum income requirements because you are unable to work and are on disability and carer allowance. However you will have to prove to the case worker that he will not access public funds while in the UK and if it is approved he will not be allowed to work until you get married.
TJ. - 6-Dec-17 @ 7:25 PM
Hi there I'm currently in recipe of benefits and receive disability living allowance and carers allowance for my older son me and my partner are expecting are first child together I'm 34 week's pregnant he's from Algeria and really would like him to be here to help me raise are child together would bringing him here to marry be ok even though I'm in recipe of these benefits?
Tracy - 6-Dec-17 @ 3:58 PM
@Abi if your daughter was born after your husband became British you can apply for your her British passport using the printed online form and posting it with other required documents if you are in the UK. If your husband adopted your son in Nigeria this will not be recognized by the UK and your son is not a British citizen until an adoption order is given in the UK. You can apply for a family visa as an unmarried partner as long as you have been living together with your husband for at least 2 years.
TJ. - 6-Dec-17 @ 12:44 AM
Hi, I am a Nigerian Traditionally married to a British Citizen otherwise by descent. We have a 1year old daughter and i had an eleven year old son i had before we got married. He has adopted my son now . My question is this; can we apply for a British pasaport for both of our children in the Uk via post office or online? I am aware that the adoption certificate of my son and our daughter's birth certificate is needed. I just want to know if Nigeria's adoption is accepted. Qnt2) what can i apply for as we are yet to be married legally? Can i apply for a spouse visa pending? Anticipating your earliest reaponse. Thanks
Abi - 5-Dec-17 @ 9:11 PM
Shee - Your Question:
Hi I'm Kenyan dating a British citizen for one year we intend to get married in kenya this December.which is the best visa for me to apply to go to UK after we are married? Thanks alot in advance

Our Response:
If you apply for the 'spouse' visa, please see link here , you must be able to prove one of the following: you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK, you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least two years when you apply, you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within six months of arriving.
AboutImmigration - 4-Dec-17 @ 12:22 PM
@Shee you can apply for a family visa as a spouse on the govuk website if your partner meets the requirements.
TJ. - 2-Dec-17 @ 9:11 AM
Hi I'm Kenyan dating a British citizen for one year we intend to get married in kenya this December.which is the best visa for me to apply to go to UK after we are married? Thanks alot in advance
Shee - 2-Dec-17 @ 7:34 AM
@jayze - There is no guarantee you will be awarded a visa if you marry. In order to apply for a spouse visa you would have to apply from your home country. The UKVI have got you over a barrel in terms of this.
Ish - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:28 PM
Hello, I'm an failed asylum seeker and have been with my partner for 4 years and planning to get married this Dec, will I be able to applyfor a spouse visa ?
jayze - 26-Nov-17 @ 4:14 PM
So why did they give the permission to us for married the first time? And to sort things here in UK, what’s the sense in sending him back there when we r husband and wife now
AL - 23-Nov-17 @ 2:45 PM
@AL the current Home Office policy on overstayers/illegal entrants is to deport first.If he is deported he will face a ban on reentry to the UK. Given that you are legally married I would suggest that your husband leaves the country voluntarily and re apply to enter legally on a family visa if you are a British citizen, an EEA family permit if you are an EEA national or a dependent visa if you are also on a visa.
TJ. - 23-Nov-17 @ 8:37 AM
Hi. My husband is Albanian he is illegal here in UK we asked home office for permission to get married they give it to us. So we r married now, he has never had any criminal record or anything, we have been waiting going for 10 months now and no decision yet so already we been waiting 10 months and he just received a letter to go to signevery 2 weeks and they stated that he isn’t allowed to work for 6 months until a decision is being made, its so stressful waiting and waiting when it could be years for a decision Any advice would be appreciated what we can do? Thank you
AL - 21-Nov-17 @ 9:17 PM
@Monty your best option if you are resident in Ireland is to get married in Ireland and obtain a 5 year EEA family permit for her at no cost and no additional requirements. This permit is recognized in the UK under EU Law and can be swapped for a UK issued EEA family permit. If you are not currently a resident in Ireland you will need to be resident there for at least 3 months, register as a voter, and engage in some kind of work if you are not self sufficient to qualify. Then you can both move back to the UK. All I have mentioned above will not apply if you also have Irish nationality.
TJ. - 18-Nov-17 @ 10:27 AM
I'm a UK citizen having lived in UK all my life. 4 years ago i met a beautiful Brazilian lady in Ireland. We want to marry and live in the UK. However, my financial situation is not great and i fall below the threshold for annual salary for sponsoring a foreign spouse. What are our options?
monty - 13-Nov-17 @ 9:07 PM
Len - Your Question:
May I ask.how will I bring my Filipino citizen child from my first marriage if I'm going on a spouse visa married to a British citizen? What are the requirements in order to bring her with me at the same time I'm applying for a spouse visa? I'm getting married with my British fiance here in the Philippines.

Our Response:
You can add children to your application as dependants if they are under 18, or were under 18 when you first applied and don’t live an independent life. If your British partner is sponsoring you to come to the UK, then as part of the minimum income requirement they would have to add another £3,800 to the minimum income requirement of £18,600, or savings declared, in order to sponsor your child.
AboutImmigration - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:44 PM
May I ask ...how will I bring my Filipino citizen child from my first marriage if I'm going on a spouse visa married to a British citizen? What are the requirements in order to bring her with me at the same time I'mapplying for a spouse visa? I'm getting married with my British fiance here in the Philippines.
Len - 13-Nov-17 @ 5:09 AM
moh - Your Question:
I want to marry my Chinese girlfriend in Britain I am 60 she is 56 she is currently living in China. who do we have to contact, I am working but she is a retired civil servant

Our Response:
You can find out all you need to know via the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 10-Nov-17 @ 11:10 AM
I want to marry my Chinese girlfriend in Britain I am 60 she is 56 she is currently living in China. who do we have to contact, I am working but she is a retired civil servant
moh - 9-Nov-17 @ 8:54 PM
gary - Your Question:
HelloHow can I apply for visitor visa so that I can visit my husband in UK. ??

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 7-Nov-17 @ 12:11 PM
@RDGT the requirements for a family visa will not change whether you get married in the UK or Canada, However I think it will be easier to register a marriage in Canada rather than the UK because of Home Office checks. After marriage a family visa will take 6-8 weeks to process.
TJ. - 6-Nov-17 @ 9:10 AM
@Ak the irony is that EU citizens living in the UK are allowed to live with their non EU spouses without meeting any of the requirements that British citizens must meet.
TJ. - 5-Nov-17 @ 5:06 PM
@Gary you can apply for a visit visa using govuk website.
TJ. - 5-Nov-17 @ 5:03 PM
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