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Marrying a UK Resident

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 26 Feb 2017 | 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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Query, I'm unclear if I can use Property to meet the saving threshold, to move back to the U.K with my Chinese National wife of four years. I am a British Citizen, who has worked on and off in Asia, mainly China, since 2007. I married my Chinese wife in 2013 and now have a Child of 18 months, who is a Hong Kong national, soon to become British, (summer 2017). I'm currently a house husband, but wishing to return to the U.K permanently by the summer of 2019, therefore I will get well paid employment from September 2017 for 2 years. I wish to settle in the U.K and provide support to my aging parents. I don't wish to split-up my family while I go and get work in the U.K for 2019, therefore I would like to return with savings. I am unclear of how much money in savings I need to return to the U.K... My question is:-can I use a combination of savings in a bank account and the value of my houses that I own to meet the threshold? I own over seventy thousand, over two houses. Kind regards, thank you for any advice.. Mr Adams
Mr Adams - 26-Feb-17 @ 9:35 AM
Hi. I'm from Asia and have been engaged to my British fiancé for a year (known him for over 3 years) and have been visiting him every year (I don't need a visa as I can stay as a visitor up to 6months). Can I apply for a Visa to join a family member in the UK as a fiancée and then register to get married there and settle there afterwards?
Ali L - 25-Feb-17 @ 1:40 PM
Kath - Your Question:
Hi! I am currently a resident in the UK, and I am working here under a working visa, is it possible for me to get my fiancé here and get married here?

Our Response:
You don't say what visa you are on. But, for instance if your are on a Tier 2 working visa, your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. You can see more regarding other visas via the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 24-Feb-17 @ 2:22 PM
Rosy - Your Question:
Thank you god your information. I just don't understand I'm going to be working and have money of my own saved up when I move there why would she have to support me. I plan on getting a good job and helping her with cost of stuff. Thank you

Our Response:
The Home Office takes into consideration that circumstances could at any point change. Therefore, your partner has to be able to support you, should this happen. The laws do not make exceptions - they are implemented across the board. However, if you read the guidlines you can apply if you savings of over £62,500.
AboutImmigration - 24-Feb-17 @ 2:10 PM
Sorry for my last message and I'm not sure how to edit them but I didn't mean thank you god your information I meant thank you for your information sorry bout that
Rosy - 24-Feb-17 @ 6:54 AM
Thank you god your information. I just don't understand I'm going to be working and have money of my own saved up when I move there why would she have to support me. I plan on getting a good job and helping her with cost of stuff. Thank you
Rosy - 24-Feb-17 @ 3:51 AM
Hi! I am currently a resident in the UK, and I am working here under a working visa, is it possible for me to get my fiancé here and get married here?
Kath - 23-Feb-17 @ 9:04 PM
Hi i have met a guy who was born in ghana but lives in uk his visa as run out we are thinking of geting married later in the year i was born in the uk what will we need to do and can we get married hope you can help
Kcp - 23-Feb-17 @ 8:33 PM
Rosy - Your Question:
I have a few questions, I hope someone could help. First of all before I ask them let me explain a little bout my situation, I am a US citizen and my girlfriend is a UK citizen. It will be a year we have known each other, we talk everyday almost all day on line and we video chat 2-3 times a week. I plan on visiting her in June of this year and she plans to visit me in Sept of this year. We are planning to get married on New Years Eve in 2018, she will again visit me and we will marry here in the US. Now we understand she will be going back before me because I have to get the last name on my passport changed ( I'm taking her last name) also apply for a spouse visa because I can't apply for that of course until we are married. I am a Certified Nurses Aide and going to start school to be a medical assistant. So I will have a nursing back round before I move over there I am emialing job firms about jobs already so I have them to contact when I get over there as a matter of fact one or two are interested in me already with just my CNA but I want to futher my nursing before I move over there with a medicial assistant licence, when I get there and settled in I plan on going futher in my nursing carreer to an RN ( registered nurse) so I have more of a back round. I will have a place to live of course with my wife and I speak and understand the English language. My questions.1. I understand that I have to have a certain amount of money in my bank account to move to the UK could you please tell me what that amount is?2. Will being married to a British citizen and having a place to live make it easier to move to the UK?3. Will I have to have a job lined up for me to start when I move to the UK or do I have so long to get a job when I have moved?4. How long would it take to get a spouse visa after applying for it? If it did take a few months to get would I still be able to move to the UK and just have it mailed to my address where I will be living?5. Where would I stand when I move here married with a visa and working and you need to go drs will I have to pay for treatment from doctors? Would I be eligible to pay for my treatment till I become a uk citizen?6. How would I get a national insurance number when I start work in the UK?7. When we marry my income will also be considered hers also correct? Example her income and mine would be combined as one income?8. Would I need an entry clearance? I do have the copy of my police report ( I needed a copy for nursing class) it's all clear, never did nothing wrong or unlawful. My girlfriend and I really hope you could help us with these questions. I just want to be with her and get a job over the England and go over there the right way following all what I have to do

Our Response:
I can only give you the spouse visa link here which tells you all about the eligibility requirements your sponsor (girlfriend) needs in order to be able to apply to bring you to the UK. Only your girlfriend's income will be considered as she has to be able to financially support your stay in the UK. With regards to NHS treatment, as you have no recourse to public funds and are not considered 'ordinarily resident' you would have to pay for treatment. You can only be considered ordinarily resident if you have been given the immigration status of indefinite leave to remain (the right to live here on a permanent basis). Please see link here. Please also see NI link here which you would have to contact if you move to the UK. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 23-Feb-17 @ 2:45 PM
@Debbie - is he working? If he's working and living with you you're not allowed to claim benefits.
Missy67** - 23-Feb-17 @ 10:54 AM
I have a few questions, I hope someone could help. First of all before I ask them let me explain a little bout my situation, I am a US citizen and my girlfriend is a UK citizen. It will be a year we have known each other, we talk everyday almost all day on line and we video chat 2-3 times a week. I plan on visiting her in June of this year and she plans to visit me in Sept of this year. We are planning to get married on New Years Eve in 2018, she will again visit me and we will marry here in the US. Now we understand she will be going back before me because I have to get the last name on my passport changed ( I'm taking her last name) also apply for a spouse visa because I can't apply for that of course until we are married. I am a Certified Nurses Aide and going to start school to be a medical assistant. So I will have a nursing back round before I move over there I am emialing job firms about jobs already so I have them to contact when I get over there as a matter of fact one or two are interested in me already with just my CNA but I want to futher my nursing before I move over there with a medicial assistant licence, when I get there and settled in I plan on going futher in my nursing carreer to an RN ( registered nurse) so I have more of a back round. I will have a place to live of course with my wife and I speak and understand the English language. My questions. 1. I understand that I have to have a certain amount of money in my bank account to move to the UK could you please tell me what that amount is? 2. Will being married to a British citizen and having a place to live make it easier to move to the UK? 3. Will I have to have a job lined up for me to start when I move to the UK or do I have so long to get a job when I have moved? 4.How long would it take to get a spouse visa after applying for it? If it did take a few months to get would I still be able to move to the UK and just have it mailed to my address where I will be living? 5. Where would Istand when Imove here married with a visa and working and you need to go drs will I have to pay for treatment from doctors?Would I be eligible to pay for my treatment till I become a uk citizen? 6.How would I get a national insurance number when Istart work in the UK? 7. When we marry my income will also be considered hers also correct? Example her income and mine would be combined as one income? 8. Would I need an entry clearance? I do have the copy of mypolice report ( I needed a copy for nursing class) it's all clear, never did nothing wrong or unlawful. My girlfriend and I really hope you could help us with these questions. I just want to be with her and get a job over the England and go over there the right way following all what I have to do
Rosy - 23-Feb-17 @ 1:28 AM
I wish to marry my Mexican girlfriend of 5 years who has a working visa, she has a tier 2 intr company visa with 3 years remaining.Can she Change her visa from tier 2 intr skill to spouse visa without leaving U.K.?
Smart - 22-Feb-17 @ 8:47 PM
Hi please i really need advice my partner is from nigeria and we got baby together he has applocation with home office and he move in with me this year january since then my tax credit stop and now my income support stop also just because he move in with me and i explain to them before he move in
Debbie - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:50 PM
Love2love - Your Question:
I have a question.my partner lives in the UK we got marry in the USA and am back in Liberia we want to settle in the UK. He is self employed how do we go about filing in my paper work to move to the Uk?not forgetting hes a british citizen been living in uk all his life.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:42 PM
Laura84x - Your Question:
I am a U.K. Resident and my partner of 2years is Rwandan but stays in Uganda. We would like to get married in either Uganda or Rwanda so I was looking for more information. Will the marriage be valid in the UK, do I need any documents and then how do we arrange for my partner to move here to live with me? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

Our Response:
I'm afraid I cannot advice about the marriage laws in Rwanda or Uganda. If you wish your partner to come to the UK to live with you, regardless of whether you are married or not, you would still have to fulfil the requirements laid out in the gov.uk link here in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 21-Feb-17 @ 2:46 PM
andyseam - Your Question:
I have met a girl and she is UK born and on her passport a British Citizen.she moved to Ghana 7 years ago with her parents and now wants to come back to UK and live and marry me.does she still have the right to abode and can live and work in UK.the Ghana immigration said she needed a visa to travel.how can this be when she is a British Citizen

Our Response:
If your girlfriend is a British citizen, she will not need a visa to return to the UK.
AboutImmigration - 21-Feb-17 @ 2:29 PM
Sami - Your Question:
Hi I'm a uk citizen, I have a passport through my father but was born in Canada. My passport says I am a full uk citizen. I have lived here for over a year and have a respectable job and a NI number and earn 17000 a year as well as a huge amount of savings. My partner is from Australia he is working on a tier 5 visa and has a respectable full time job as an engeneer at about 23 k isg. His visa expires may 1st, we would like to get married in the uk. His company has guaranteed him work so long as he finds a way to stay and only has to take a maximum of 30 days off. We have not been living together for 2 years but our realationship is very close and we do live together now, we would like to get married and apply for the remain in uk with family visa. Is this right? He needs to be able to work so the fiancé visa is no good. How do we go about this, we are running out of time !

Our Response:
Your partner cannot apply for the 'remain in the UK with family' visa unless he is already in the UK via a ‘family of a settled person’ visa here. As his sponsor, you would also have to be earning the minimum required amout of £18,600 in order to be able to apply for this visa.Your partner can apply to extend his Tier 5 visa, please see link here. Or apply for either an Ancestry visa (dependent uupon whether he has a UK-born grandparent) or Tier 2 visa, depending on his work situation and family ties. You may be advised to seek more specialist advice in order to explore around these options, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 21-Feb-17 @ 12:07 PM
I am a U.K. Resident and my partner of 2years is Rwandan but stays in Uganda. We would like to get married in either Uganda or Rwanda so I was looking for more information. Will the marriage be valid in the UK, do I need any documents and then how do we arrange for my partner to move here to live with me? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
Laura84x - 21-Feb-17 @ 7:36 AM
I have met a girl and she is UK born and on her passport a British Citizen. she moved to Ghana 7 years ago with her parents and now wants to come back to UK and live and marry me. does she still have the right to abode and can live and work in UK. the Ghana immigration said she needed a visa to travel. how can this be when she is a British Citizen
andyseam - 21-Feb-17 @ 5:39 AM
Hi I'm a uk citizen, I have a passport through my father but was born in Canada. My passport says I am a full uk citizen. I have lived here for over a year and have a respectable job and a NI number and earn 17000 a year as well as a huge amount of savings. My partner is from Australia he is working on a tier 5 visa and has a respectable full time job as an engeneer at about 23 k isg. His visa expires may 1st, we would like to get married in the uk. His company has guaranteed him work so long as he finds a way to stay and only has to take a maximum of 30 days off. We have not been living together for 2 years but our realationship is very close and we do live together now, we would like to get married and apply for the remain in uk with family visa. Is this right? He needs to be able to work so the fiancé visa is no good. How do we go about this, we are running out of time !
Sami - 20-Feb-17 @ 12:27 PM
I have a question.my partner lives in the UK we got marry in the USA and am back in Liberia we want to settle in the UK. He is self employed how do we go about filing in my paper work to move to the Uk?not forgetting hes a british citizen been living in uk all his life.
Love2love - 16-Feb-17 @ 10:53 PM
Neesee - Your Question:
My partner lives in Ghana and I've lived in the uk all my life, I have 3 children from a previous relationship and have raised them alone, I get child tax credits for two of my children and child benefits, my youngest also receives disability allowance for her illness, we got married last year in Ghana with our family and friends present, and I'm now pregnant, with my daughter being ill and me being pregnant I need him here, how do we apply and would I have to give up the benefits for the children before he can come, I am self employed and those are the only benefits we claim.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here. You both would have to satisfy all of the eligibility requirements before you can apply.
AboutImmigration - 16-Feb-17 @ 2:39 PM
GC - Your Question:
I'm a Male UK citizen and I am currently studying nursing at university. When coming to university I met my boyfriend who is indian and is in final year of his studies here in the UK. I'm stuck as to what our options are in the future for us to be able to stay together in the UK as a couple. I would appreciate your advice and help. Many Thanks!

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk site here. You would both have to meet all the eligibility requirements in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 15-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hello, I'm from Romania and my fiance is a permanent resident of UK. We want to get legally and are not sure on how to procede. Do I need to apply for any VISA/entry clearance? If not, where could I find info on the steps to follow? Thank you for your time!
Kate - 14-Feb-17 @ 1:06 PM
I'm a Male UK citizen and i am currently studying nursing at university. When coming to university I met my boyfriend who is indian and is in final year of his studies here in the UK. I'm stuck as to what our options are in the future for us to be able to stay together in the UK as a couple. I would appreciate your advice and help. Many Thanks!
GC - 14-Feb-17 @ 4:54 AM
My partner lives in Ghana and I've lived in the uk all my life, I have 3 children from a previous relationship and have raised them alone, I get child tax credits for two of my children and child benefits, my youngest also receives disability allowance for her illness, we got married last year in Ghana with our family and friends present, and I'm now pregnant, with my daughter being ill and me being pregnant I need him here, how do we apply and would I have to give up the benefits for the children before he can come, I am self employed and those are the only benefits we claim.
Neesee - 13-Feb-17 @ 8:15 PM
My husband and I were married in December. I've yet to receive a copy of my marriage license but I've been informed it has been processed. I'm hoping to move there in the summer if my visa gets approved (once I can apply, after I change my ss#). Do I have to apply for insurance, here in the USA? Or am I under the uk insurance because I'm married. I realize this might be far fetched because I'm not a citizen but I'm just wanting to make sure so I can have taxes filed correctly. Also, he's a student and doesn't work much, and I plan on applying for a visa to work, but the one we're looking at states he must make at least £18,000. Are there any ways to get around that, as I am working now and plan on working while in the uk, if I am approved for the working visa.
AGR - 13-Feb-17 @ 7:44 PM
Hi I was born in the UK my wife is Slovak she has been here for 19 years we have been married for at least 16 years now. I was wondering how we go about getting permanent residencey for her we also have 3 children between the ages of 10 to 15 years.
Mart 21 - 13-Feb-17 @ 6:33 PM
Hi, I have a boyfriend who's a UK citizen. He wants to propose to me but we would want to get married in England.I'm from the Caribbean by the way.Do you think I would be granted a visa for the marriage to take place in England even though we have only met once before...
Kay - 4-Feb-17 @ 1:01 PM
Hi, I have a boyfriend who's a UK citizen. He wants to propose to me but we would want to get married in England.I'm from the Caribbean by the way.Do you think I would be granted a visa for the marriage to take place in England?
Kay - 4-Feb-17 @ 12:57 PM
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