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Marrying a UK Resident

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 13 Aug 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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[Add a Comment]
SarahG - Your Question:
Hi. I am a UK citizen who has fallen in love with a Turkish man who has come over here on a student visa. we want to get married. His visa is up in January 2019.what are the steps for us to get Married.would he have to go home first to change to a marriage visa. what are the requirements.how would we go about doing this ? Thank you

Our Response:
Your boyfriend would have to return to his country within the terms of his visa. The link here and here are his options to return on the basis of your relationship.
AboutImmigration - 14-Aug-18 @ 10:52 AM
Hi ... I am a UK citizen who has fallen in love with a Turkish man who has come over here on a student visa .. we want to get married. His visa is up in January 2019 ..what are the steps for us to get Married ..would he have to go home first to change to a marriage visa.. what are the requirements ..how would we go about doing this ? Thank you
SarahG - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:31 AM
Moty - Your Question:
Hi. My Ukrainian girlfriend is pregnant and is illegal here in uk. She’s been in uk for 6 years now. I’m a French citizen living in uk for the past 10 years. So what to do to legalise her situation, as it also very difficult to go to hospital as they charge you 150% of the nhs tariffs. Thank you

Our Response:
If your girlfriend is illegal, she would not be able to regularise her legality in the UK. She would have to leave the country and apply for a fresh visa. A person has to be residing in the country legally in order to be eligible to apply to become a British citizen.
AboutImmigration - 10-Aug-18 @ 3:26 PM
Hi. My Ukrainian girlfriend is pregnant and is illegal here in uk. She’s been in uk for 6 years now. I’m a French citizen living in uk for the past 10 years. So what to do to legalise her situation, as it also very difficult to go to hospital as they charge you 150% of the nhs tariffs. Thank you
Moty - 10-Aug-18 @ 1:53 PM
Dario - Your Question:
Hello,I’m from albania and I’m an immigrant in U.K. I came here with out visa,my Fiancé she’s Italian and we live together!what I have to do to get visa ?thanks

Our Response:
If you do not have a visa to live in the UK, then you would have to leave the UK and apply for one.
AboutImmigration - 6-Aug-18 @ 12:15 PM
Pls i am a nigerian currently on a tourist visa in te US, my boyfrnd of 2yrs is a resident of UK his nationalty is German. We are ready to marry but the first question is, can we marry in the US? ( this is because my family members are here and they will loke to be present) the second question is, can he invite me from US to UK as his wife after the marriage? Or do i have to go back to my hom country.
Beepir - 4-Aug-18 @ 11:18 PM
Hello,I’m from albania and I’m an immigrant in U.K. I came here with out visa,my Fiancé she’s Italian and we live together!what I have to do to get visa ?thanks
Dario - 4-Aug-18 @ 6:23 PM
FT - Your Question:
I’m from Malaysia and my boyfriend is from England. If we do intend to get married and stay in the UK, what should we do other than the marriage visa and the family visa as I understand they only provide for me to stay for 6 months. What about after that?

Our Response:
You would have to return to your home country in order to apply for a spouse visa, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 2-Aug-18 @ 10:27 AM
I am a female UK citizen (age 19) currently living and working in Cyprus. Whilst here I have met and married my Gambian husband. He has an Article 12 'yellow slip' giving him residency in Cyprus. We want to move to England what process do we need to follow does he need a visa?
Elise - 1-Aug-18 @ 10:35 AM
I’m from Malaysia and my boyfriend is from England. If we do intend to get married and stay in the UK, what should we do other than the marriage visa and the family visa as I understand they only provide for me to stay for 6 months. What about after that?
FT - 1-Aug-18 @ 9:47 AM
I’m a uk citizen and live in the uk permanently but I want to marry a Frenchman here in the UK.Is the procedure any different. He works in Paris so has no need to apply for work here.
Mr - 29-Jul-18 @ 9:56 PM
@David - If you can show that you have the required savings in your name, you can apply for a spouse visa.
TJ. - 29-Jul-18 @ 1:06 PM
I am a dual nationality UK citizen, moved to the UK at the age of 15 from Hong Kong, solely for education purpose, now 23, and currently still a master student, and haven't worked before in the UK. As I haven't worked before in the UK and have been lived here solely for education purpose, but planning to stay in the UK to work for the next few decades. Can I still apply for the spouse visa successfully for my other half with my £62.5k saving route given from my family living in HK?
David - 29-Jul-18 @ 9:05 AM
Hi ive been dating an asylum seeker for 4 months now im just abit weary cause we living together in his shared place i have my own house and he wants me get job were he lives and been talking about marriage if this is the case and he just wants all this to get visa and then leave me.to go back to his country he says he cant go back cause of trouble there like they all say how can i be sure its all true
Maz - 28-Jul-18 @ 11:20 AM
MarieR - Your Question:
I want to marry my Israeli boyfriend. We met online but I have visited him in Israel. We are constantly in contact and I plan to visit him again in Israel and he wants to visit me on the UK. What visas does he need to come firstly for a holiday and secondly to marry me and eventually live here with me please.

Our Response:
The link here , here and here will help answer your questions.
AboutImmigration - 23-Jul-18 @ 11:47 AM
I want to marry my Israeli boyfriend. We met online but I have visited him in Israel.We are constantly in contact and I plan to visit him again in Israel and he wants to visit me on the UK. What visas does he need to come firstly for a holiday and secondly to marry meand eventually live here with me please.
MarieR - 21-Jul-18 @ 8:02 PM
Hello Good Day... i am from Philippines and My Fiancee is from England, a British Citizen... we are planning to Get married here in the Philippines this year... what type of Visa i can apply so i can join him in the UK?How long it possibly take?Is all our Marriage is acknowledgeable in the UK also? Thanks
Love-love - 19-Jul-18 @ 5:17 AM
Mysteries - Your Question:
My British boyfriend and I recently got engaged and he wants me to join him and get married in the UK.please what type if visa do I need and how are my chances of getting the visa?

Our Response:
You must apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if you want to get married in the UK. You can use this visa to visit the UK for up to six months. You can see the eligibility requirements via the link here . If you fulfil the eligibility requirements, then you have a good chance of getting the visa. The Home Office will want to be assured that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and you are able to financially support yourself without working or help from public funds.
AboutImmigration - 10-Jul-18 @ 10:17 AM
@Flintstone - Your daughter in law's current EEA family visa granted in France is also valid in the UK under the "Surinder Singh" route. She does not leave the EU to apply again.
TJ. - 10-Jul-18 @ 12:21 AM
My British son met his Mexican wife at a French university’s d courted for 2 years before marrying in France in 2016. They have a son born in France in 2017 and he has a British passport (British by descent). They applied for and received a French family visa. All 3 have been visiting us (British family) for 3 months - my daughter in law (A) did not need to apply as she had the French visa. They have decided they would like to make their home here. Does A have to return to France (or Mexico)to apply. Should the application say she is applyingfrom Uk, France or Mexico? They both speak Spanish French and English. As A is looking after their 15 month old she is not working. My son will get job in Uk if they can both settle here. Do we need specialist help to apply? We are finding it difficult to follow? Flintstone
Flintstone - 9-Jul-18 @ 5:42 PM
My British boyfriend and i recently got engaged and he wants me to join him and get married in the UK...please what type if visa do i need and how are my chances of getting the visa?
Mysteries - 9-Jul-18 @ 10:46 AM
My USA partner and I wish to enter into a civil partnership, she currently in the UK on a visitor visa, we wish are Union to be in September, I'm classed as disabled and medically retired, so she also acting as my carer whilst here without claiming a carers allowance due to not being able to work, what do we need to do help required.
DA - 3-Jul-18 @ 7:00 PM
L12345 - Your Question:
Hi. Nu boyfriend îs Albanian and we would like to get married. Can anybody tell me what are the requirements to get the certificate of approval?

Our Response:
Pleasee see the link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 2-Jul-18 @ 2:19 PM
Hi. Nu boyfriend îs Albanian and we would like to get married. Can anybody tell me what are the requirements to get the certificate of approval?
L12345 - 30-Jun-18 @ 8:35 PM
Hello. My husband an I have been together since 2016. We got married this year April I've been living with him in Nigeria but now I'm ready to go back home (England) with him. My only problem is the time it'll take for me to get work and apply for a spousal visa. What other options are there so we can leave together? How do we make sure we get the visa?
Beezz - 30-Jun-18 @ 4:28 PM
andrew - Your Question:
My wife and I who is a Jamaican and I am British we wish to relocate to the uk soon , we have been married for approx. 9 years we live in the Turks and caicos islands and have 2 children who have British passports what is the procedure to enable her to come and live with me in the uk

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a spouse visa for your wife. Please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 26-Jun-18 @ 2:50 PM
my wife and I who is a Jamaican and I am Britishwe wish to relocate to the uk soon , we have been married for approx. 9 yearswe live in the Turks and caicos islands and have 2 children who have British passports what is the procedure to enable her to come and live with me in the uk
andrew - 26-Jun-18 @ 12:15 AM
My ex-wife, who's US citizen, just married a Italian Citizen resident of UK. They live together in UK and my son (13), who's US citizen moved too. He stayed more than 4 months without be able to study at public school and I don't know what is his status. I'm planning an Europe trip and his Mom said he can't leave UK. I don't get why. Could you tell me if this could be true?
Villanova - 23-Jun-18 @ 4:57 AM
@Naina - You will not be allowed to marry in the UK unless you are both free to marry
TJ. - 21-Jun-18 @ 9:45 AM
Hi, I am british citizen and in love with an indian married man with two children. We both intend to marry and live together in UK. Can he keep both wives?
Naina - 21-Jun-18 @ 5:09 AM
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