Everything You Need to Know About the Marriage Visitor Visa UK

Marriage is an important milestone in one’s life, and the United Kingdom is a popular destination for couples planning to tie the knot. If you’re considering getting married in the UK, you’ll need to obtain a Marriage Visitor Visa. This blog post will provide you with all the necessary information to understand and apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa in the UK, from eligibility criteria to the application process and supporting documents.

Updated as of March 20, 2023, to ensure the latest UK Marriage Visitor Visa requirements are reflected.

Marriage Visitor Visa UK

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UK Marriage Visitor Visa Requirements

UK Marriage Visitor Visa Eligibility Criteria:

Before applying for a Marriage Visitor Visa, ensure you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Applicant must be 18 years or older.
  2. Intention to marry or enter a civil partnership in the UK within six months of arrival.
  3. No plans to live in the UK after the marriage or civil partnership.
  4. Proof of sufficient financial resources to cover the stay without needing public funds.
  5. Ability to meet the cost of return or onward journey from the UK.
  6. Compliance with all other UK immigration rules.

Note: As of 1 January 2021, EEA nationals also require a Marriage Visitor Visa if they are coming to the UK for marriage.

UK Marriage Visitor Visa Application Process:

Online Application: Visit the UK Government’s official website and complete the online application form for the Marriage Visitor Visa (Form VAF1F). Answer all questions accurately and honestly.
Supporting Documents: Gather all necessary supporting documents, which include:

  1. A valid passport with at least one blank page for the visa.
  2. Evidence of your relationship with your partner (e.g., photos, correspondence, or travel documents).
  3. If coming to the UK to give notice of intention, appointment card or email correspondence with the registered office.
  4. If coming to the UK for marriage or a civil partnership, evidence of necessary arrangements in the UK such as:
    • Payment receipts for the marriage/civil partnership venue
    • Booking confirmation correspondence with the registered office
    • Correspondence with religious institutions (e.g., church, mosque, etc.)
    • Any other relevant arrangements
  5. Proof of financial resources, such as bank statements, payslips, or savings documentation.
  6. Confirmation of your accommodation in the UK, such as hotel bookings or a letter from your host.
  7. Documentation of your return or onward journey, like a travel itinerary or airline tickets.

Visa Fee: Pay the visa fee, which is currently £100 (subject to change). Payment can be made online using a credit or debit card.

Biometric Information: After submitting your application, you will be required to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a digital photograph) at a visa application center in your country of residence.

Submission of Documents: Submit your supporting documents, either by post or in person at your nearest visa application center.

UK Marriage Visitor Visa Requirements
UK Marriage Visitor Visa Requirements

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    Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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    Genuine Intentions to Get Married in the UK

    To be granted a Marriage Visitor Visa, applicants must provide conclusive evidence regarding the necessary arrangements for effectuating marriage or civil partnership in the UK. To establish genuine intentions of getting married in the UK, the evidence may include:

    • Payment receipts for the marriage/civil partnership venue
    • Correspondence details with the registered office for booking confirmation
    • Correspondence with religious institutions (e.g., church, mosque, etc.)
    • Any other relevant arrangements

    If a person intends to visit the UK to give notice at a registered office, they need to clearly establish this fact in the Marriage Visitor Visa application. The applicant may furnish confirmation of a provisional advance booking for giving notice and include an appointment card or email correspondence with the registered office.

    Not a Sham Marriage or Civil Partnership

    An applicant needs to provide all necessary evidence to prove that the marriage or civil partnership is bona fide and not a sham. The onus of proof is on the applicant. Therefore, the UK Marriage Visitor Visa application should clarify the following points:

    1. Details of the arrangements made for undertaking the marriage or forming a civil partnership
    2. The strength and genuineness of the relationship, including how and when the applicant met their fiancé(e) or proposed partner, their background, interests, and education level
    3. Future plans after getting married
    4. Details of living arrangements after marriage or civil partnership

    If an applicant cannot satisfy that the intentions of getting married or forming a civil partnership are genuine, the application is likely to be refused under Paragraph V 6.3 (c) of Appendix V.

    Processing Time

    The processing time for a Marriage Visitor Visa can vary depending on the country where you apply. Generally, it takes around three weeks for a decision to be made. However, it’s advised to apply at least three months in advance of your intended travel date to allow for any potential delays.

    Duration of Stay

    A Marriage Visitor Visa grants you a stay of up to six months in the UK. You must leave the UK before your visa expires, and you cannot extend your stay or switch to another visa category while in the UK.

    Restrictions

    While in the UK on a Marriage Visitor Visa, you are not allowed to:

    • Access public funds
    • Work or study
    • Bring dependents – they must apply separately
    • Live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits

    UK Marriage Visitor Visa Extension Requirements

    A genuine marriage visitor may not need more than 2-3 months to perform all marriage related activities. This 2-3 month period may also include a post-marriage honeymoon. Therefore, normally it is not appropriate to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa extension. If there are exceptional circumstances, then a marriage visitor may apply for an extension. However, the chances of a successful UK Marriage Visitor Visa extension are very remote.

    Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership

    If you plan to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK, you must give notice of marriage or civil partnership. In England and Wales, you must give notice in person at a local register office at least 29 days before the wedding or civil partnership ceremony. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can give notice by post.
    The notice of marriage or civil partnership must include details about you and your partner, including your full name, date of birth, occupation, nationality, and current address. You will also need to provide evidence of your name, age, and nationality, such as your passport or national identity card.

    Once you have given notice, you will need to wait at least 28 days before the ceremony can take place. If you or your partner are not British or Irish citizens or are subject to immigration control, the waiting period can be extended to 70 days.

    UK Marriage Visitor Visa Extension Requirements

    A genuine marriage visitor may not need more than 2-3 months to perform all marriage related activities. This 2-3 month period may also include a post-marriage honeymoon. Therefore, normally it is not appropriate to apply for a marriage visit visa extension. If there are exceptional circumstances, then a marriage visitor may apply for an extension. However, the chances of a successful UK marriage visitor visa extension are very remote.

    Difference Between Spouse and Marriage Visitor Visa UK

    While both the Spouse Visa and Marriage Visitor Visa are designed for couples who want to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK, there are some key differences between the two.
    Purpose: The Spouse Visa is for those who wish to join their partner in the UK and settle there. In contrast, the Marriage Visitor Visa is for couples who want to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK without intending to settle there.

    Duration: The Spouse Visa is granted for an initial period of 33 months (if applied from outside the UK) or 30 months (if applied from within the UK) and can be extended. The Marriage Visitor Visa is valid for up to six months and cannot be extended.

    Right to Work and Study: Spouse Visa holders have the right to work and study in the UK, whereas Marriage Visitor Visa holders do not.

    Access to Public Funds: Spouse Visa holders may be eligible for public funds after meeting certain requirements, while Marriage Visitor Visa holders are not allowed to access public funds.

    Application Process: The application process for the Spouse Visa is more rigorous and requires more documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency and evidence of your relationship. The Marriage Visitor Visa application process is simpler and requires fewer documents.

    Difference Between Fiancé(e) and Marriage Visitor Visa UK

    The Fiancé(e) Visa and Marriage Visitor Visa are both designed for couples intending to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK. However, there are key differences between the two that you should consider when deciding which visa is right for your situation.

    Purpose:

    The Fiancé(e) Visa is intended for those who wish to join their partner in the UK, get married or form a civil partnership, and settle there afterward. In contrast, the Marriage Visitor Visa is for couples who want to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK without the intention of settling there.

    Duration:

    The Fiancé(e) Visa is granted for a six-month period, during which the couple must get married or form a civil partnership. After the marriage or civil partnership, the Fiancé(e) Visa holder can apply for a Spouse Visa to remain in the UK. The Marriage Visitor Visa is valid for up to six months, and the visa holder must leave the UK before it expires.

    Right to Work and Study:

    Fiancé(e) Visa holders are not allowed to work in the UK, but they can study. Marriage Visitor Visa holders are not allowed to work or study in the UK.

    Access to Public Funds:

    Neither Fiancé(e) nor Marriage Visitor Visa holders are allowed to access public funds.

    Application Process:

    The application process for the Fiancé(e) Visa is more rigorous and requires more documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, evidence of your relationship, and proof of your intention to marry within six months. The Marriage Visitor Visa application process is simpler and requires fewer documents.

    Settlement Prospects:

    Fiancé(e) Visa holders can apply for a Spouse Visa after getting married or forming a civil partnership, which can ultimately lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British citizenship. Marriage Visitor Visa holders cannot switch to another visa category while in the UK and must leave the country before their visa expires.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q: Can I switch from a Marriage Visitor Visa to a Spouse Visa while in the UK?
    A: No, you cannot switch from a Marriage Visitor Visa to a Spouse Visa while in the UK. You must leave the UK and apply for a Spouse Visa from your country of residence.

    Q: Can I bring my children with me on a Marriage Visitor Visa?
    A: No, dependents are not allowed on a Marriage Visitor Visa. They must apply separately for their own visas.

    Q: How far in advance should I apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa?
    A: It is recommended to apply at least three months before your intended travel date to allow for any potential delays in processing.

    Q: Can I get married in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa?
    A: No, you must obtain a Marriage Visitor Visa or a Spouse Visa to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK.

    Q: What happens if my Marriage Visitor Visa application is denied?
    A: If your application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for refusal. You have the option to address the reasons and reapply or appeal the decision if you believe there has been an error in the assessment.

    In Conclusion:

    A Marriage Visitor Visa is a great option for couples who want to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK without the intention of settling there. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and restrictions, you can plan your dream wedding in the UK with ease. Don’t forget to apply well in advance and have all your supporting documents ready to ensure a smooth application process. Happy wedding planning!

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