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Marriage visitor visa – Help with your visa application

If you would like to visit the UK to get married, register a civil partnership or give notice of a marriage or civil partnership, you’ll need to apply for a marriage visitor visa. Get in touch and let us help you apply for your marriage visa to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Marriage visitor visa UK - AWH Solicitors

Coming to the UK to get married

When you’re visiting the UK on a standard visitor visa you can’t give notice of a marriage, get married or enter into a civil partnership, you must apply for a marriage visitor visa to be able to do so. In addition, you may not apply for any other visas while you are in the UK on any type of visitor visa, including the marriage visitor visa.

You can apply for a marriage visitor visa if you plan to come over to get married, then leave the UK within 6 months of arrival. You can’t apply for a marriage visitor visa if you plan to live in the UK.

If you’re planning on getting married in the UK before applying for another visa you should apply for a fiancé visa instead of the marriage visitor visa. If you are in the UK on the marriage visitor visa you must leave the country after six months, and you are not allowed to apply for another visa while you are here. The marriage visitor visa is not intended for those who intend to remain in the UK.

Marriage visitor visas vs fiancé visas

The marriage visitor visa allows you to visit the UK to get married.

Both the marriage visitor visa and the fiancé visa are valid for six months and allow you to get married in the UK, but there is a significant difference. Unlike a marriage visitor visa, a fiancé visa allows you to apply for a spouse visa once you’re married.

Fiancé visas are designed for anyone getting married in the UK with a view to settle down for the long-term. After your fiancé visa expires you would generally apply for a spouse visa, and once you have been in the UK for five years you may then apply for permanent residence.

Marriage visas on the other hand, only give you entrance to the UK for six months. After this, you must leave the country. You can’t apply for an extension or a spouse visa from within the UK.

If you’re not sure which visa is best for your situation, our expert solicitors are here to help. We can advise you on the right visa and support your visa application from beginning to end. This means that you can proceed safe in the knowledge that everything has been done right.

You can read more about fiancé visas here, or

How to apply for a marriage visitor visa

General requirements

You will be eligible to apply for a marriage visitor visa, and come to the UK to get married, register a civil partnership or give notice of a marriage, as long as you meet the following requirements.

To apply for a marriage visitor visa UK, you need to be:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Free to give notice of marriage, to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within six months of your arrival
  • In a genuine relationship
  • Visiting the UK for less than six months
  • Leaving the UK at the end of your visit
  • Able to support yourself without working or help from public funds, (or supported and housed by relatives or friends)
  • Able to fund your return or onward journey
  • Not in transit to a country outside the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

Proof of your relationship

If you want to visit the UK in order to give notice of marriage or civil partnership, or marry or form a civil partnership here, you need to prove your relationship is genuine. The Home Office must be satisfied that you:

  • Fully intend to give notice of marriage or civil partnership or intend to marry or form a civil partnership
  • Do not intend to give notice of or enter into a sham marriage or sham civil partnership

We can advise you on the kind of evidence you may need, and what to expect in any interviews.

Documents you need to provide

You will also need to provide the following documents to support your marriage visitor visa UK application:

  • A current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Proof that you can support yourself during your trip, for example with bank statements or payslips for the last six months, as you won’t have access to public funds
  • Proof of future plans for your relationship, for example documents that show your intended living arrangements
  • Details of where you might stay, as well as any travel plans

There are other documents that could further support your application, if you have them:

  • Details of your marriage or civil partnership and proof of payments for this
  • Proof of your wedding plans in the UK – these could be booking confirmations or emails from the venue

If you have been married before

If you have been married before you will need to prove that you are now free to marry or enter into a civil partnership again.

You can do this with either:

  • A decree absolute
  • The death certificate of your previous partner

If any of the documents you provide aren’t in English or Welsh, you will also need to provide a certified translation.

Marriage visitor visa restrictions

During your stay in the UK on the marriage visitor visa, you cannot:

  • Access public funds
  • Bring in any dependants
  • Live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits
  • Extend your visa or switch to another visa
  • Work – except for permitted activities related to your work or business overseas such as attending meetings
  • Study for more than 30 days – studying cannot be the main reason for your visit

You must be in a genuine relationship when you apply for this visa to enter into marriage or civil partnership.

Just like with the standard visitor visa, you cannot apply for another visa whilst you’re in the UK on the marriage visitor visa. If you want to remain in the UK, you must first leave the country, before making a visa application from overseas. Once your visa application has then been approved, you can return to the UK.

Extending your stay and settling down

If you have come to the UK on a marriage visitor visa you can’t apply for an extension or another visa whilst you’re still here.

To apply for another visa you first need to return to your home country, then apply for the most appropriate visa from there. You can’t return to the UK until you have been provided with a new, valid visa.

Exactly which long-term or permanent visa is most suitable to you depends on your situation and background. Our expert solicitors can help advise you at every step of the way. Simply get in touch to speak to a member of our team, or request a call back at a time that suits you.

FAQ

  • Will I need a marriage visitor visa or a fiance visa?

    It can be a confusing choice, as both a marriage visitor visa and a fiance visa allow you to come to the UK for a period of six months to get married. However, there is a very important difference between these two types of visas.

    If you are granted a marriage visitor visa, you MUST after that six month period leave the UK. You can not stay, you can not apply for another type of visa and you can not extend your visa either. If you are granted a fiance visa this is not the case, as you can apply to remain in the UK once your six month visa comes to an end.

    So should you wish to stay and live in the UK with your new spouse, a marriage visitor visa is not for you and you should apply for a fiance visa instead. If you want to get married in the UK, then travel back or onwards, the marriage visitor visa is probably perfect.

  • Can I apply for a UK marriage visitor visa?

    You can apply for a marriage visitor visa as long as you meet the below minimum requirements. You will have to be:

    • Over 18
    • Free to marry (not already married)
    • In a genuine relationship with your fiance
    • Leaving the UK at the end of the six month period
    • Able to support yourself without working or access to public funds
    • Able to afford your return or onward journey
    • Not in transit to a country outside the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

    At AWH Solicitors we can provide you with the immigration advice and guidance you need to submit a strong marriage visitor visa application.

  • How long can I stay in the UK on a marriage visitor visa?

    You can stay in the UK on a marriage visitor visa for a maximum period of six months. You cannot extend your visa or apply for a different visa while you are in the UK.

    If you want to remain in the UK after your marriage you should apply for a fiance visa instead of a marriage visitor visa.

  • Can I extend my marriage visitor visa?

    No, you can not extend your marriage visitor visa. You can stay in the UK for a maximum of six months, after which you must leave the country.

    If you want to remain in the UK after your marriage you should apply for a fiance visa instead of a marriage visitor visa.

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