Marriage Visitor Visa UK: how to apply and meet requirements?

UK Marriage Visa Requirements

In the light of Appendix V and immigration rules, this guidance relates to UK marriage and proposed civil partner visitor visa. Accordingly, provides the details of how to apply for UK marriage visitor visa? And also the UK marriage visitor visa requirements relating to notice of intention, supporting documents checklist, application fee, processing time, extension etc.

  1. UK Marriage Visitor Visa: FAQs
  2. What are the UK marriage visitor visa requirements?
  3. UK Marriage Visitor Visa Supporting Documents Requirements

Moreover, for case processing and representation contact specialist UK immigration solicitors for appeals, administrative review, judicial review and reapplications.

1) UK Marriage Visitor Visa: FAQs

What is the purpose of marriage visitor visa UK?

Quite clearly, the marriage visitor visa UK is for enabling a marriage or forming a civil partnership in the UK. And also for giving notice of intention to marry or forming a civil partnership in the UK.

Can a visitor get married on a standard visit visa?

No, a visitor on a standard visit visa cannot get married or form a civil partnership in the UK. Therefore, a visa national, who has a valid standard visit visa can neither give notice of intention nor get marriage/civil partnership in the UK. Accordingly, a visa-national needs to apply for a UK marriage visa if he/she is visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of marriage/civil partnership in the UK.

How to apply for a marriage visitor visa UK?

A visa national or non-visa national can apply online. The application fee is £95. Furthermore, the marriage visa application processing time is usually 3-6 weeks. However, applicants can expedite the processing time by purchasing the priority service.

Can I apply for a marriage visit visa in the UK?

No, an applicant can only apply for a marriage visitor visa from outside the UK.

What is the duration of the marriage visitor visa UK?

The maximum duration of stay in the UK on a marriage visitor visa is 180 days or six months. And a marriage visitor is subject to multiple entry 180 days visa rules

What is the visa endorsement requirement for a marriage visitor?

In terms of paragraph V 6.2 of Appendix V, the visitor must have a valid visit visa endorsed with the purpose of marriage or civil partnership with the name of the visitor’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner in the UK.

Do non-visa nationals needs a visa for getting married in the UK?

Yes, in terms of paragraph V 1.3 of Appendix V, a non-visa national such as citizens of US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc need to apply for a marriage visitor visa UK if he/she is visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of marriage/civil partnership in the UK. Therefore, if a non-visa national is entering the UK for marriage, forming a civil partnership or giving notice of marriage/civil partnership without having a valid marriage visitor visa then is not eligible for entry clearance in the UK.

What if one is coming to the UK for giving a Notice of Intention?

If a person is intending to visit the UK for giving notice at a registered office then needs to clearly establish this fact in the marriage visit visa application. Apparently, by providing the details of such arrangements. Accordingly, an applicant needs to furnish the evidence of the confirmation of a provisional advance booking for giving the notice. Perhaps, the evidence may also include an appointment card or email correspondence with the registered office

What is the difference between marriage and fiance visa?

Apparently, a fiancé visa application is made under Appendix FM with a view to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK. Moreover, after the marriage/civil partnership, an applicant can apply for the leave to remain as a spouse or civil partner in the UK. And subsequently can get a permanent settlement (ILR) under the spouse visa 5 or 10-year routes in the UK.

However, an applicant applies for marriage visitor visa UK under Appendix V for Visitors. Therefore, like any other visitor, needs to return to the country of residence) at the end of the journey.

Can one converts civil partnership to marriage on standard visa?

Yes, a standard visitor can convert an existing civil partnership to a marriage in the UK. Therefore, does not require a marriage visitor visa UK merely to convert an existing civil partnership to marriage. However, a visitor can only change a civil partnership to a formal marriage if the civil partnership took place under the prevailing laws of England, Wales or Scotland.

Non-Visa Nationals

If a non-visa national is entering the UK to convert an existing civil partnership to a formal marriage, then does not need to have a marriage visitor visa UK for entry clearance. Therefore, such individuals can seek entry as a standard visitor- without a visa! However, needs to present the original certificate of a civil partnership at the border for entering the UK. And if the immigration staff find the certificate and bonafide of the person satisfactory for converting the civil partnership to a formal marriage then grant entry clearance at the border.

Visa Nationals

Visa nationals such as citizens of Pakistan, India, KSA, UAE etc. may apply for a standard visit 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.

Can an applicant extend the marriage visitor visa in the UK?

Well, in the normal circumstances it may not be necessary to apply for a marriage visit visa extension in the UK as a genuine marriage visitor may not need more than 2-3 months to perform all marriage related activities, including a post-marriage honeymoon. Therefore, the 6 months validity duration of a marriage visa is ample to cover all the marriage related activities. 

Please note: the requirements for marriage visitor visa are quite upfront, therefore, there is a little room for ifs and buts! Perhaps, if an applicant and his/her fiance or proposed civil partner have not done the homework properly before applying for the marriage visitor visa then there is a very little chance of getting the visa.

2) What are the UK marriage visitor visa requirements?

In order to get a UK marriage visitor visa, a visa national and a non-visa national needs fulfil the requirements enumerated in paragraph V6.1-6.3 of Appendix V for visitors. Accordingly, an applicant must:

  1. meet the requirements of paragraphs V 4.2 – V 4.10 of Appendix V for visitors
  2. be aged 18 years or over
  3. have a valid visit visa endorsed with the name of the holder’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner in the UK
  4. intend to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK or give notice of marriage/civil partnership in the UK
  5. not intend to give notice of or enter into a sham marriage or sham civil partnership, within the validity period covered by the marriage visitor visa

UK marriage visitor visa requirements under para V 4.2-4.10

Certainly, for getting a marriage visit visa, an applicant needs to meet all the visitor visa requirements under paragraph V 4.2-10. Accordingly, an applicant must have a genuine intention to visit the UK as a visitor and return home at the end of the trip. Accordingly, the applicant must have ready access to sufficient funds to cover the trip costs without recourse to public funds in the UK. However, like a standard visitor, a third party can sponsor the trip cost. The applicant doesn’t intend to undertake either work or study in the UK and avail medical treatment at public expense.

Min age requirement for UK marriage visitor visa

For a marriage visitor visa UK, an applicant must be 18 years or above. Please note, for min age of the applicant and UK sponsor (partner) is also 18 years or more at the time of application for UK spouse visa, spouse visa extension and fiance visa. However, the marriage visitor visa does not specify the min age of the fiance or proposed civil partner in the UK.

Please note: in England and Wales, the minimum age for marriage or civil partnership without parental or other third-party permission is 18. However, the minimum age for marriage or civil partnership in Scotland is 16 {Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977 section 1, Civil Partnership Act 2004 section 86}, and there is no requirement for parental or third-party permission.

Is it necessary to give notice of marriage or civil partnership?

Yes, 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 registered office before marriage, or civil partnership can be effectuated.

Perhaps, in England and Wales, a formal notice is required to be given in person. Accordingly, for marriage/civil partnership in England or Wales, both of the parties need to give formal notice of marriage/civil partnership at a local register office. However, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, one can also send a notice of marriage or civil partnership by post.

When one can give a notice of marriage in the UK?

Apparently, one can give notice of marriage from 30 days to 12 months prior to the date of the marriage. For instance, if the date of marriage is April 30, 2020, then one can give notice of marriage between May 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020. And the notice must be given at a registered office in the district where an applicant’s fiance or proposed civil partner have resided for 8 days prior to the appointment.

Moreover, both the parties need to be in England or Wales for at least seven days immediately before giving the notice of marriage. However, it doesn’t matter if either party moves to a different address after giving the notice.

How to establish that the purpose is not a sham marriage?

Certainly, an applicant needs to provide all the necessary evidence that the marriage or civil partnership is bonafide and not a sham marriage. In fact, the onus of proof is on the applicant. Therefore, an applicant needs to clarify the following points in the UK marriage visitor visa application:

  1. that necessary arrangements made for the undertaking marriage or forming a civil partnership
  2. how strong and genuine is the relationship of the couple? For instance, how and when the applicant has met with the fiance or proposed partner. What is their background, interests, education level, etc?
  3. the future plans after getting married
  4. what will be the living arrangements after getting marriage or civil partnership?

In case an applicant is unable to satisfy the ECO regarding the genuineness of intention for marriage or civil partnership then the application is likely to be refused under Paragraph V 6.3 (c) of Appendix V of the UK

3) UK Marriage Visitor Visa Supporting Documents Requirements

Apparently, like any other visit visa application, for marriage visitor visa UK an applicant needs to provide the supporting documents with the application form.

Mandatory Supporting Documents for UK Marriage Visitor visa

In fact, for a marriage visitor visa UK, an applicant needs to provide the following mandatory documentary evidence:

  • Travel documents such as an applicant’s passport
  • If an applicant is coming to the UK for giving a notice of intention then confirmation of a provisional advance booking for giving the notice or/and
  • If an applicant is coming to the UK for marriage or a civil partnership then evidence for necessary arrangements in the UK
  • Translation of all documents, which are not in English and Welsh

Other types of supporting documents

Perhaps, apart from the aforesaid mandatory evidence, depending on personal circumstances, an applicant also needs to provide evidence relating to:

  • Income, employment and self-employment in the home country
  • Ties to the home country such as assets and property
  • Sufficient funds to meet the trip expenses i.e. cost of a return ticket, accommodation and living expenses in the UK
  • If a sponsor is paying full or partial trip costs then a sponsor’s undertaking along with the evidence of funds and accommodation in the UK

Evidence of the arrangements for marriage or civil partnership

Applicants need to give conclusive evidence regarding the necessary arrangements for effectuating marriage or civil partnership in the UK. Accordingly, the evidence that an individual may provide with his/her marriage visit visa application must/may include:

  • Payment Receipts for the Marriage/Civil Partnership Venue
  • Correspondence details with the registered office for booking confirmation
  • Correspondence with Church/Mosque etc.
  • Any other relevant arrangements

UK Marriage Visitor Visa Supporting Documents Checklist

Perhaps, a tentative documents checklist for UK marriage visa application may include:

  1. Print out of the online application form
  2. Current passport of the applicant
  3. If available, previous passport(s)
  4. an appointment card or email correspondence with the registered office- if an applicant is coming to the UK for giving a notice of intention
  5. For marriage or civil partnership arrangements:
    • Payment Receipts for the Marriage/Civil Partnership Venue
    • Correspondence details with the registered office for booking confirmation
    • Correspondence with Church/Mosque etc.
    • Any other relevant arrangements
  6. Fiance or proposed partner’s copy of the British Passport or permission to live in the UK
  7. Evidence of relationship with the fiance or proposed civil partner
  8. Evidence of future plans after marriage/civil partnership
  9. Employment letter, payslips and tax documents/certificate
  10. Business registration and tax certificates for self-employed applicants
  11. Evidence of funds to cover trip cost such as bank statements, term deposit receipts
  12. Evidence of assets
  13. If the applicant was previously married then either divorce or death certificate of the previous spouse
  14. If applicable, sponsor documents

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Country-specific details:

Moreover, to know the country-specific details of UK visa applications please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and the USA.