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Marrying a UK Resident

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 14 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Marrying A Uk Resident

UK residents who are over the age of 18 and are either permanently settled in the UK or are returning there to live may bring with them their wife, husband or civil partner. UK residents with more than one spouse may only bring one to live with them in the UK under these provisions.

Entry Requirements

Before the wife, husband or civil partner of a UK resident may join them in the UK they will have to obtain entry clearance. This should be applied for in their own country before they travel to the UK.

To be entitled to live in the UK as the spouse or civil partner of a UK resident the spouse will have to satisfy the relevant immigration authorities that they are legally married to, or have entered into a civil partnership with, the UK resident. In addition they will also have to prove that:

  • They are aged at least 18;
  • They will live with the UK resident permanently once they get to the UK;
  • They have actually met the UK resident; and,
  • Together with the UK resident they will be able to support and house themselves, as well as any dependents they may have, without having to rely on help from public funds.

The Immigration Status of a UK Resident’s Spouse

In most cases the wife, husband or civil partner of a UK resident will be allowed to live and work in the UK for an initial two-year period. If the couple is still together towards the end of the two-year period, the husband, wife or civil partner of the UK resident may apply for permanent UK residence.

In the case of couples who have been married or joined in civil partnership for at least four years the husband, wife or civil partner may be granted permanent resident status as soon as they arrive in the UK. However, the couple will have to prove that they spent the four years of their union living together and that they are now returning to the UK to settle there permanently.

Couples Who Wish to Get Married in the UK

The fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner of a UK resident who lives permanently in the UK, or is returning to the UK to live there permanently, may join them in the UK if they can prove that:
  • They intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership within a “reasonable period” after coming to the UK. A reasonable period is usually considered to be six months;
  • They intend to live with the UK resident permanently once they are married;
  • They have met the UK resident; and,
  • Pending the marriage or civil partnership they have somewhere to live and that they can support themselves and any dependents without having to work or rely on public funds.
They must also apply for fiancé / proposed civil partner entry clearance or a visa before travelling to the UK. The current fee for this is £500.

If they satisfy the above requirements they will be allowed to stay in the UK for an initial six-month period during which they are not allowed to work. Once they are married to the UK resident they may apply for further leave to remain in the UK. If the application is successful they will be given permission to live and work in the UK for two years. Towards the end of those two years they may apply for permanent residence if they are still married to or in a civil partnership with the UK resident.

The Certificate of Approval for Marriage

In some cases foreign nationals in the UK who wish to marry there will have to apply for a Certificate of Approval in order to do so. Foreign nationals who have permission to be in the UK for six months or more, and have three months of that permission remaining, may apply for a Certificate of Approval and must do so before they give notice to a registrar of their intention to marry. Obtaining a Certificate of Approval is only a preliminary step in obtaining permission to marry and live in the UK. A non-refundable fee of £295 is currently payable. Those who intend to marry in an Anglican church do not require a Certificate of Approval.

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@July - You can get married to the man and apply for a family visa as a spouse thereafter withdraw your application for asylum.
TJ. - 14-Jun-18 @ 9:39 AM
Hi am an asylum seeker with 4 children and have just been in the UK for two months and I met a man of my life.He is 63 years a pensioner and he wants us to get married.Should I wait for my case to be processed or should we notify the HOME OFFICE about our intention.Will this not effect my case. I really love him and want to share my life with him
July - 13-Jun-18 @ 9:00 PM
@Jess - Once you marry your partner she will be unable to continue living in the UK as a dependant of her son. However she can continue to live in the UK indefinitely in her own right if she is self sufficient either on her own or through you.
TJ. - 12-Jun-18 @ 7:05 PM
I am a British National, almost 80 years old. l plan to marry a Belgian lady who is already over 75 years old.She has lived in UK for 3 years as a dependant of her son. Can I expect problems when she asks for right to remain in her own right ?
Jess - 12-Jun-18 @ 11:05 AM
Tinks - Your Question:
My son who is British and lives in the uk has a fiance in Turkey who wants to live in England. What are the requirements for both my Son and fiance

Our Response:
You can see more via the family visa link here and the marriage visitor visa link here .
AboutImmigration - 11-Jun-18 @ 12:50 PM
Hi i have just married my vietnamese wife. She is currently on a student visa. I am just wondering how she can stay in the uk permantly what documents she would need. And is there a way her visa can be extended because her visa expires in 3months. If i need to sort documents out how long is proccessing time Thanks much apprieciated
Jeff - 10-Jun-18 @ 5:03 PM
My son who is British and lives in the uk has a fiance in Turkey who wants to live in England . What are the requirements for both my Sonand fiance
Tinks - 9-Jun-18 @ 10:54 AM
I live In UK on a 6 Months visa as a family member to my step mum who is EEA citizen, and my dad holds an Indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but my application depends my step mums status, and she has refused giving her documents for me to apply for a permanent resident . Please what should I do to apply for permanent residence and if I get married to a UK citizen, will I be asked to go back to Africa to make a new application for a visa ? Thanks
Riki - 8-Jun-18 @ 4:05 AM
Hello. I am a UK Resident and Citizen and my fiancee is a NZ Citizen. We are due to be married in a Church in the UK in October. We currently live either offshore or in Spain and do not plan on living in the UK for at least 6 months after marrying. Will my fiancee still need a Marriage Visitor Visa or another Visa and when should we apply? And are we able to obtain the Visa from the UK office? Many thanks
KP - 6-Jun-18 @ 12:12 PM
Hi there, I am marrying my fiance in August in Singapore where we both currently live.. She is Singaporean, and we intend to move back to the UK by the end of the year. I am a British Citizen from birth. What kind of visa would we apply for so that she can move to UK with me and she would also be able to work?
NS - 6-Jun-18 @ 2:21 AM
My fiancé is in New Zealand. He lived in the UK from 2002-2009 and had a Residence Permit with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. We would like to marry in the UK and he is coming over in August. What are our options?
Dee - 5-Jun-18 @ 7:35 PM
Good day, I have 5years PR and i have only spent 3yrs and i put a student in a family way and she was out of status. Our baby is 1year old, her visa will expiry 2019. And i will apply for my ILR in 2020. What can i do to make her get her PR as she is pregnant with my 2nd child.
Ireola - 30-May-18 @ 10:45 PM
a question for a family member.a husband has lived in the uk legally for the last almost 6 years. he met his wife here and they lived together, got married when first child was boen. they now have 3. he was given 3 years visa and then another 3 years. he needs to send in to apply for indefinite leave to remain by august 2018, but him and his wife have been arguing how to parent their children the last year and now she is refusing to help him with the paper work. whats his best option?
tam - 30-May-18 @ 1:46 AM
@Amii - Spouse visa decision takes between 6 - 12 weeks
TJ. - 28-May-18 @ 10:04 PM
Hello am British citizen And I am married to Somali we have been married for 6 moths from today, I have proof of our marriage certificate and pictures and video. Although we have been married for 6 months we have only spent 2 months together since then we haven’t seen each other but we talk everyday we find it hard being apart. So my question is how long will it take If I apply for spouse visa?
Amii - 28-May-18 @ 5:16 AM
I'm a UK resident I've been with my boyfriend for 6 months he lives in brazil how do I go about getting him here to live in uk
steve - 24-May-18 @ 9:44 PM
Lauren Calvert- Your Question:
I am a British citizen and am engaged to an Ivorian man he has recently served a 12 month sentence and is at risk of being deported, can I still marry him and if we are married will he still be deported? We also have a 8 month old daughter

Our Response:
Your partner will still be deported regardless of whether you are married or not. Deportation is automatic for those who have served a prison sentence of 12 months or more.
AboutImmigration - 24-May-18 @ 10:25 AM
I am a British citizen and am engaged to an Ivorian man he has recently served a 12 month sentence and is at risk of being deported, can I still marry him and if we are married will he still be deported? We also have a 8 month old daughter
Lauren Calvert - 23-May-18 @ 12:26 PM
mars - Your Question:
Hi, I'm an american citizen currently in the UK. I've met a UK citizen and we want to marry. I still have a few months left on my 6 month stay here in the UK. Do I need to return to America only to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa or can I just apply for it (or the Spouse Visa) while I'm already here? It would be a shame to have to fly back when we've just moved into a flat in the UK.Thanks for any information.

Our Response:
You would have to fulfil the requirements either in the visa application here which should tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 22-May-18 @ 10:25 AM
Hi, I'm an american citizen currently in the UK. I've met a UK citizen and we want to marry. I still have a few months left on my 6 month stay here in the UK. Do I need to return to America only to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa or can I just apply for it (or the Spouse Visa) while I'm already here? It would be a shame to have to fly back when we've just moved into a flat in the UK..... Thanks for any information.
mars - 21-May-18 @ 3:31 PM
H - Your Question:
Hello, I am a British citizen born in the UK who is engaged to a Maldivian man. We hope to return to the uk and get married. He has a 10 year old daughter and is divorced. Would we be able to do this and he get residency or how long could he live with me in the UK. We currently both work aboard but hope to return to the UK and love later this year.

Our Response:
If your fiancé is the primary carer of his child, then he would have to apply to court in his country in order to get permission from his ex to take his child abroad. If he is not the primary carer, then it is unlikely he would get permission to move the child to another country unless his child cannot be cared for by the other parent. You and your fiancé would also have to satisfy the requirements in the family visa link here in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 21-May-18 @ 9:43 AM
I'm a British citizen and engaged to a Burkina Faso national who currently lives in the USA. Can she apply for UK fiance visa from the USA and would she have to do A1 English language test?
Coldrum - 20-May-18 @ 11:42 PM
Hello, I am a British citizen born in the UK who is engaged to a Maldivian man. We hope to return to the uk and get married. He has a 10 year old daughter and is divorced. Would we be able to do this and he get residency or how long could he live with me in the UK. We currently both work aboard but hope to return to the UK and love later this year.
H - 20-May-18 @ 2:22 AM
Pauls - Your Question:
I'm getting married in Trinidad to a citizen of Trinidad. I am a British born citizen. How difficult will it be for my new husband to come to England to live with me. He doesn't have any dependent children and I have a 17 year old.

Our Response:
You would both have to fulfil the requirements laid out here, before you can apply.
AboutImmigration - 18-May-18 @ 3:40 PM
I'm getting married in Trinidad to a citizen of Trinidad. I am a British born citizen. How difficult will it be for my new husband to come to England to live with me. He doesn't have any dependent children and I have a 17 year old.
Pauls - 15-May-18 @ 6:09 PM
Dee - Your Question:
I am a british citizen born in uk and a divorcee with two children aged 16 and 18. I am planning to get married to a man born and living in india. He has got an adopted son aged 11. I work for the local council and have my own property.Please can you tell me after I get married would it be a very long and complicated issue to bring my husband his adopted son to uk permanently.Thank you

Our Response:
You would have to fulfil the requirements laid out via the link here, in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 14-May-18 @ 12:29 PM
Rajimo - Your Question:
Im a British citizen and I’m engaged to a girl from India, I’d like to bring her over this month how can I do that?

Our Response:
Please see link here, which will help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 14-May-18 @ 11:33 AM
Im a British citizen and I’m engaged to a girl from India, I’d like to bring her over this month how can I do that?
Rajimo - 13-May-18 @ 9:13 PM
I am a british citizen born in uk and a divorcee with two children aged 16 and 18.I am planning to get married to a man born and living in india.He has got an adopted son aged 11. I work for the local council and have my own property. Please can you tell me after i get married would it be a very long and complicated issue to bring my husband his adopted son to uk permanently. Thank you
Dee - 12-May-18 @ 7:51 AM
I am an American citizen, engaged to a French citizen who holds permanent residence in the UK (has lived there 15+ years). I have spent time there and he has visited often to the US. We’ve met each other’s parents, video call daily, etc. We plan to marry in the UK, but I will return to the US to complete school, and he will continue to work and save money before he moves with me to the US. I understand I need a marriage visa. What do we have to do at the french embassy in order to legally marry in the UK, since he is still a French citizen?
JK - 11-May-18 @ 10:28 PM
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