Expats getting Married in the UK

To many people, the idea of getting married in the UK seems to be very a romantic notion. However, before you hop on a plane, you will first have to apply for the Marriage Visitor Visa. It is not possible to get married in the UK while on a standard visitor visa.

So, if you want to do any of the following you will have to apply for the Marriage Visitor Visa;
• Getting married in the UK or register a civil partnership in the UK, or
• Give notice of a marriage or civil partnership.
Should you only wish to convert your Civil Partnership into a marriage, you need only to apply for a Standard UK Visitor Visa.

Staying after getting married in the UK

It is very important to note that one of the main prerequisites for this type of visa is that you do not plan to stay or settle in the UK after getting married in the UK or entering into a civil partnership. It will thus not be possible to stay in the UK after the marriage or civil partnership. If you do decide otherwise, you will have to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance from your home country.

The only exception to this is if you are getting married in the UK to an EU citizen. If the holder of the marriage visitor visa gets married to an EU national, he/she could make an application for an EU Residence card, without having to leave the UK. You will, of course, have to be able to fulfil the requirements of the EU Residence card.

In cases where you will be getting hitched to a British citizen or holder of Indefinite Leave to Remain, and you do intend to stay or settle afterwards, it will be better for you to apply for the Fiancé visa. The Fiancé visa will enable you to apply for the Spouse visa after the marriage or civil partnership.

What you can and cannot do on the UK Marriage Visitor Visa

This visa will allow you to marry or enter into a civil partnership while in the UK. You have to get married or enter into a civil partnership within six months of your arrival. The visa will only be granted for a maximum of six months.

You will not be allowed to work. The only exception is if it is work related to your work or business overseas. This may however not be the main reason for your visit.

You may not bring any dependents on the Marriage Visitor Visa. They will have to apply in their own right for a relevant visa.


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