This relates to Marriage Visitor Visa UK as per Part V6 of Appendix V Immigration Rules. Apart from Fiancé(e) Visa, the Marriage Visitor Visa enables an applicant to apply entry clearance for marriage or civil partnership in the UK. Accordingly, it is mandatory for a visitor who intends to enter the United Kingdom for the purpose of marriage or entering into civil partnership or giving notice of an intention to marry or forming a civil partnership to have Marriage Visitor Visa. Since it is a visitor visa, therefore, the applicant must not intend to live in the UK for an extended duration through frequent visits.
Here it is important to distinguish that UK Fiancé Visa under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules enables a Leave to Enter to a Fiance(e) or Proposed Civil Partner with a View to Marriage or Civil Partnership and Permanent Settlement in the United Kingdom. The requirements of UK Fiance Visa are more or less same as that of a spouse/partner visa; whereas, the requirements of Marriage Visitor Visa is more akin to Standard Visitor Visa.
UK Marriage Visa Requirements
A visitor already holding a valid visitor visa to enter the UK can not visit the United Kingdom for the purpose of marriage or civil partnership. Such individuals are required to apply for UK Marriage Visa before entering the UK for the purpose of marriage and civil partnership.
Genuine Intention to Visit
The applicant must be over 18 years of age with a genuine intention to visit the UK and leave the United Kingdom at the end of the visit.
The applicant doesn’t intend to undertake either work or study in the UK and avail medical treatment at public expense.
Availability of Funds
The applicant must have ready access to sufficient funds to cover costs of travelling, living and incidentals for the proposed trip without recourse to either public funds or work.
Endorsement of Purpose and Name of Fiancé(e)
The visitor must have a valid visit visa endorsed with the purpose of Marriage or Civil Partnership and the name of the visitor’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner in the UK.
In terms of Paragraph V1.3 (a) of Appendix V, Non-Visa Nationals have an obligation to apply for marriage visitor visa if they are intending to enter the UK for marriage or forming a civil partnership or to give notice of this. Therefore, entry of a non-visa national, who does not hold a valid Marriage Visitor Visa, will be refused if that person is entering the UK for marriage, forming a civil partnership or giving notice of marriage/civil partnership without having a valid marriage visitor visa.
V 1.3 A non-visa national may apply for a visit visa, but is not required to unless they are: (a) visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this; or (b) seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.
Notice of Intention
It is mandatory for a person visiting the UK for marriage or forming a civil partnership in the UK to furnish a formal notice at a register office before marriage, or civil partnership can be effectuated.
In England and Wales, a formal notice is required to be given in person; however, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, such a notice can be sent by post.
The applicant in his/her application for a marriage visitor visa is required to provide necessary evidence that the marriage/civil partnership is bonafide and not a SHAM marriage/civil partnership. Since the onus of proof is on the applicant, therefore, an applicant is required to clarify the following points in his/her marriage visitor visa application:
- necessary arrangements made for the undertaking marriage or forming a civil partnership;
- how strong and genuine is the relationship of the couple – how and when they have met, what is their background, interests, education level, etc.;
- their future plans;
- what will be their living arrangements for marriage/civil partnership?
In case an applicant is unable to satisfy the ECO regarding the genuineness of intention for marriage/civil partnership then the application is likely to be refused under Paragraph V 6.3 (c) of Appendix V of the UK Immigration Rules for visitors.
- Notice of Intention – Details of Arrangements – If a person is intending to visit the UK for giving a notice at a register office then he/she is required to clearly establish this fact in the marriage visitor visa application by providing details of such arrangements. Therefore, the applicant is required to furnish the evidence of confirmation of a provisional advance booking for giving the notice. The evidence may include an appointment card or email correspondence with the register office;
- Marriage/Civil Partnership – Details of Arrangements – For individuals visiting the UK for forming marriage or a civil partnership need to give conclusive evidence regarding the necessary arrangements that have been made for effectuating marriage or civil partnership in the UK. The evidence that an individual may provide with his/her marriage visitor visa application must/may include:
- Payment Receipts for the Marriage/Civil Partnership Venue;
- Correspondence details with the register office for booking confirmation;
- Correspondence with Church/Mosque etc.;
- Any other relevant arrangements.
Converting Existing Civil Partnership to Marriage
Marriage visitor visa is not required for converting existing civil partnership to marriage. However, it is important to note that in the UK, a civil partnership can only be changed to a formal marriage if it takes place under the prevailing laws of England, Wales or Scotland.
If a non-visa national is entering the UK to convert an existing civil partnership relationship to a formal marriage, then the visitor is not required to hold a marriage visitor visa. Such individuals can seek entry as a standard visitor. The original certificate of civil partnership is required to be presented at the border at the time of entering the UK. If the ECO finds the certificate and bonafide of the person satisfactory for the purpose of visiting the UK for converting the civil partnership to a formal marriage then permission to enter may be granted to such a non-visa national at the border.
Visa nationals such as citizens of Pakistan, India, KSA, UAE etc. may apply for a standard visitor visa for the purpose of converting a civil partnership to marriage. The applicant is required to present the original civil partnership certificate as evidence to establish that a valid civil partnership exists.
Part V6 of Appendix V, Immigration Rules, relating to eligibility requirements of marriage/civil partnership visa UK, the details of which are as under:
PART V6. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR A MARRIAGE OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP VISIT VISA
V 6.1 An applicant for a marriage or civil partnership visit visa must satisfy the decision maker that they meet the requirements at V 4.2 – V 4.10 and must be aged 18 or over.
V 6.2 On arrival in the UK a visitor coming to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of this, in the UK must have a valid visit visa endorsed with this purpose and the name of the holder’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner.
Additional eligibility requirements for a marriage or civil partnership visit visa
V 6.3 An applicant seeking to come to the UK as a visitor who wishes to give notice of marriage or civil partnership, or marry or form a civil partnership, in the UK during that visit must satisfy the decision maker that they:
(a) intend to give notice of marriage or civil partnership; or
(b) intend to marry or form a civil partnership; and
(c) do not intend to give notice of or enter into a sham marriage or sham civil partnership, within the validity period covered by their visit visa.