Home > Residency > Marrying a UK Resident

Marrying a UK Resident

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 26 Apr 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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[Add a Comment]
Hi I live in England, and I've been in a long distance relationship for nearly 5 years with someone in Indonesia. We haven't met yet but we plan to meet soon will this affect her coming to see me in England? And affect if we make future plans to live together?
Liana - 26-Apr-17 @ 8:35 PM
Ginger - Your Question:
Hi can you advise.I am British and my partner is Lithuanian.We have been together for 9 years and have a six year old son with a British passport.What form of permit, if any does my partner need to ensure that she is able to stay in the UK.Thank you.Kind regardsSimon.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 26-Apr-17 @ 10:35 AM
Hi can you advise.I am British and my partner is Lithuanian.We have been together for 9 years and have a six year old son with a British passport. What form of permit, if any does my partner need to ensure that she is able to stay in the UK. Thank you. Kind regards Simon.
Ginger - 25-Apr-17 @ 8:20 AM
Soma - Your Question:
Hi , my friend has recently move to England and she has a full time job now,, she is an EU citizens,,recently she has met a Bangladeshi tourist who has 3 months visa,, she wants to marry that boy ,, is that boy live in U.K. After getting married or he has to leave the country first then get married in Bangladesh ,,,,

Our Response:
Your friend's partner would have to keep to the terms of his visa and return to his home country in order to be able to apply to live in the UK. This is regardless of where your friend and he marries.
AboutImmigration - 24-Apr-17 @ 2:48 PM
Hi , my friend has recently move to England and she has a full time job now,, she is an EU citizens,,recently she has met a Bangladeshi tourist who has 3 months visa,, she wants to marry that boy ,, is that boy live in U.K. After getting married or he has to leave the country first then get married in Bangladesh ,,,,
Soma - 23-Apr-17 @ 11:00 PM
can i return immediately with my british partner to the UK immediately after our marriage in my country?
shy - 22-Apr-17 @ 1:54 PM
I am currently an asylum seeker who was refused but is appealing my case, but my girlfriend who is british is pregnant can having that child change my situation to help me able to live in the UK?
jayugh - 22-Apr-17 @ 11:57 AM
I got married to an illegal immigrant from Ghana and he left me he didn't contact me for atleast a year and then when he did he has. Baby with somone else so he basically used me to get a visa and then when he couldn't get it he left me and made a baby now I can't get a divorce from him as he refuses and plays games is there anything I can do about this?
Gema - 20-Apr-17 @ 4:54 PM
OniSolo - Your Question:
My Nigerian fiance has just had his visa refused. We wanted to get married over here. If I go out to Nigeria and marry him there would he be able to have his visa then. We are both heartbroken today after this news please help

Our Response:
I'm afraid marriage is not the issue here as people who have lived together can still be accepted. You don't give the reason on what basis the visa has been refused. It is those aspects you will need to address.
AboutImmigration - 19-Apr-17 @ 12:04 PM
My Nigerian fiance has just had his visa refused. We wanted to get married over here. If I go out to Nigeria and marry him there would he be able to have his visa then. We are both heartbroken today after this news please help
OniSolo - 18-Apr-17 @ 8:55 PM
Hello,I am a EU citizen and have been married to a UK citizen for 20 years (3rd May will be 20 years).I arrived in the UK in May 1994 and got married in 1997.We moved to Switzerland but returned in April 2013.I qualify to apply for permanent resident status, believe: 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. How do I apply? Thank you,
Snowflake - 18-Apr-17 @ 1:41 PM
AbbyEdithElaine - Your Question:
Me and my partner have been together 4 years this June. We have a 2 year old son together and are desperate to live as a family. He has been granted a visit visa every year thank God and always abided by the rules. But we can't live our lives just seeing each other a few months a year. It is also starting to affect our son. Unfortunately I'm not working due to mental health issues. All we want is a chance to be a family and have our son be with his mother and father. Please is there anything we can do?

Our Response:
I'm afraid the only route is via the family visa route via the link here . In order to crackdown on immigration numbers, the Home Office has done all it can to limit applications. Unfortunately, despite many campaigns, the Supreme court justices recently unanimously backed the £18,600 minimum income rule for British citizens to bring non-European spouses into Britain.
AboutImmigration - 18-Apr-17 @ 12:47 PM
Cat Mandu - Your Question:
I am a German citizen, born in Hamburg. I moved to the UK in 1997 and married my Scottish husband in 2004. Since 1997 I have been fully resident in the UK and have not left for any considerable amount of time.I have held my N. I. No. since 1997 and have worked in the UK for most of the twenty years I have lived here. Thus far, I have not needed a document of Indefinitely Leave To Remain or any other permissions to reside here in the UK.Is this going to change? Will my personal circumstances change and if so, which documents would I have to apply for?Thank you very much for any sound information you may be able to impart on me.

Our Response:
EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least five years automatically have a permanent right to reside. This means that they have a right to live in the UK permanently, in accordance with EU law. There is no requirement to register for documentation to confirm this status. EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least six years are eligible to apply for British citizenship if they would like to do so. The eligibility requirements can be found here. I hope this helps answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 18-Apr-17 @ 10:06 AM
mima - Your Question:
Hi I'm a british citizen and was born in Kenya, I live in somalia but Im planning on giving birth in uganda and then settling back in England. My husband is a somali citizen and is currently studying in uganda. I wanted to know if I do give birth in uganda will my child obtain a british passport or do I have to give birth in the uk. Also how can I bring my husband to england and if he does come how many years will it take for him to get a british passport.

Our Response:
You must register your child’s birth according to the regulations in the country where the child was born. Once you’ve registered locally you may also be able to register the birth with the UK authorities, please see link here. In order to be able to bring your husband to the UK, you as his sponsor would have to be classed as 'ordinarily resident' in the UK, please see link here. This will tell you the process which you have to go through to obtain both the family visa and indefinite leave to remain.
AboutImmigration - 18-Apr-17 @ 9:59 AM
Me and my partner have been together 4 years this June. We have a 2 year old son together and are desperate to live as a family. He has been granted a visit visa every year thank God and always abided by the rules. But we can't live our lives just seeing each other a few months a year. It is also starting to affect our son. Unfortunately I'm not working due to mental health issues. All we want is a chance to be a family and have our son be with his mother and father. Please is there anything we can do?
AbbyEdithElaine - 17-Apr-17 @ 10:20 PM
Hi I'm a british citizen and was born in Kenya, I live in somalia but Im planning on giving birth in uganda and then settling back in England . My husband is a somali citizen and is currently studying in uganda. I wanted to know if i do give birth in uganda will my child obtain a british passport or do i have to give birth in the uk. Also how can i bring my husband to england and if he does come how many years will it take for him to get a british passport.
mima - 17-Apr-17 @ 3:40 AM
SARAH COLEMAN I'm not sure if you have noticed, this is a site for people to pose their serious concerns about migration. If you want to partake in writing some Creepy Pasta or tell someone about your flim flam paranormal nonsense, this is not the platform. Here, people deal with immigration issues, not love spells and Voodoo dolls. Please find another place for this rubbish. Thank you. P.S.: I think an English grammar course wouldn't go amiss, either. Good luck.
Cat Mandu - 13-Apr-17 @ 6:16 PM
I am a German citizen, born in Hamburg. I moved to the UK in 1997 and married my Scottish husband in 2004. Since 1997 I have been fully resident in the UK and have not left for any considerable amount of time. I have held my N. I. No. since 1997 and have worked in the UK for most of the twenty years I have lived here. Thus far, I have not needed a document of Indefinitely Leave To Remain or any other permissions to reside here in the UK. Is this going to change? Will my personal circumstances change and if so, which documents would I have to apply for? Thank you very much for any sound information you may be able to impart on me.
Cat Mandu - 13-Apr-17 @ 6:04 PM
If your partner doesn't have the right to stay in this country but he's been living in the country more then a decade, will the home office allow him to get married with me legally at the register office.?
Diamond - 13-Apr-17 @ 3:59 PM
jam - Your Question:
Can some one on a visa in the uk marry a uk resident after being together for 2 and a half monthes

Our Response:
Yes, but they cannot stay/live in the UK on the basis they are married. They would have to keep to the terms of their visa and return home before on on the visa's expiry. Please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 13-Apr-17 @ 12:40 PM
Kay Kay- Your Question:
Hey m, I really need some advice as have looked up things myself but I am so confused! I have a partner in Ghana I am from UK but I spend more than half of the year here in Ghana with him as I work from my laptop it works well.I have just found out I am pregnsnt and am so worried as he has never visited the UK &I I got sure would want to bring my child up in the UK for school etc apart from reading the giv website where could I go to really understand how I could bring him to the UK now that I am having his child, we do want to get married towards end of year but until we get ideas of how to go about things best I really need help.Thanks,Kayla, 26, UKO and I will add I live with my parents in there own brought house and they both have good fixed permanent jobs.

Our Response:
You can see all you need to know via the gov.uk site here, as it will be you as the British resident who will have to sponsor him.
AboutImmigration - 13-Apr-17 @ 12:23 PM
can some one on a visa in the uk marry a uk resident after being together for 2 and a half monthes
jam - 12-Apr-17 @ 7:43 PM
Hello I'm asylum seeker , I have lived in uk more than 6 years. I'm going to marriage next month. What I need to do for apply for visa status? Home office gives us permission for marriage. Thanks Best regards
Ali - 12-Apr-17 @ 6:47 PM
Hey m, I really need some advice as have looked up things myself but I am so confused! I have a partner in Ghana I am from UK but I spend more than half of the year here in Ghana with him as I work from my laptop it works well. I have just found out I am pregnsnt and am so worried as he has never visited the UK &I I got sure would want to bring my child up in the UK for school etc apart from reading the giv website where could I go to really understand how I could bring him to the UK now that I am having his child, we do want to get married towards end of year but until we get ideas of how to go about things best I really need help. Thanks, Kayla, 26, UK O and I will add I live with my parents in there own brought house and they both have good fixed permanent jobs.
Kay Kay - 12-Apr-17 @ 4:43 PM
hi am a pakistani nationality holder curruntly am staying here in south africa on refugee pappers. i have a girl friend from UK and she wants me to move with her to england being a couple . is this possible to fly with refugee status plsthanks for your time
ali - 10-Apr-17 @ 1:33 PM
My life was destroyed when my husband sent me packing, after 13 years we have been together. I was lost and helpless aftertrying so many ways to my husband back to me. One day at work, I was distracted, not knowing that my boss called me, so hesat and asked me what it was all about, I told him and he smiled and said it was no problem. I never understood what hemeant by it was no problem getting back my husband, he said he used a spell to get back his wife when she left him foranother man, and now they are together till date and initially I was shocked hearing something from my boss. He gave me anemail address of the Prophet Abuvia which helped him get his wife back, I never believed that this would work, but I had nochoice coming into contact with the sayings that I get done, and he asked for my information and that my husband was ableto propose to throw him the spell and I sent him the details, but after two days, my mother called me that my husband waspleading that he wants me back, I never believed, because it was just a dream and I had to rush off to my mother's placeand to my greatest surprise, was kneeling my husband beg mefor forgiveness that he wants me and the child back home, whenI gave prophet Abuvia a conversation regarding sudden change of my husband and he made clear to me that my husband willlove me until the end of the world, that he will never leave for another woman. Now me and my husband is back together andstarted doing funny things he has not done before, he makes me happy and do what it is supposed to do as a man withoutnagging. Please if you need help of any kind need, please contact Prophet Abuvia for help. His email is prophet.abuvia AT gm a i l . com his website is prophetAbuviasolutiontemple . webs . com
Sarah Coleman - 7-Apr-17 @ 8:39 PM
Hello, I am 100% Canadian and my bf is a Scotsman. I've been living abroad in south east asia for more than 3 years now and this is where we've met.He is coming often but now I decided that im ready to leave Asia. We wanted to elope at his last visit but decided to wait as to include our families. He left last week and i was planning on going to join in a month and a half time to pack and take care of my things here. Being Canadian I was sure that i wouldnt have any problem to go join him but now all the website are really confusing me. I worked for 6 years dealing with visa and immigration matters for different country (international recruitment) and its the first time that the stated regulations are so confusing. If my bf have a criminal reord in the Uk can i still join him? I am able to work but was also considering higher education, but planned on deiding after having settle with him. What are my options here ?
Maely - 7-Apr-17 @ 6:35 AM
stg2542 - Your Question:
My gf is from UK and I am from Turkey. We met online and talked/skyped for a long time but never saw each other in real life. Can I still get married to her and move in with her in UK ?

Our Response:
While you can marry, it is unlikely you would satisfy the requirements for your girlfriend/wife to bring you to live in the UK. In order to do so, as your sponsor, both she and you would have to fulfil all the requirements laid out in the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 5-Apr-17 @ 1:49 PM
My gf is from UK and I am from Turkey. We met online and talked/skyped for a long time but never saw each other in real life. Can I still get married to her and move in with her in UK ?
stg2542 - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:58 PM
Jo - Your Question:
My boy friend cheated with me and he lives with English girl who is British citizens here but my boy friend illegal her from one and helf year can he get married with her and stay in uk

Our Response:
If your boyfriend is an illegal immigrant and he has contravened immigration laws, then he wil be deported if found. He would be unable to marry in the UK, as he would need proof of legal residency.
AboutImmigration - 31-Mar-17 @ 2:23 PM
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