Marriage Visitor Visa UK FAQs, guidance and requirements

UK Marriage Visa RequirementsIn the light of Appendix V and immigration rules, this relates to marriage visitor visa UK guidance, requirements and FAQs. Accordingly, covers the following topics: 

  1. UK marriage and civil partnership visa guidance and FAQs
    • Can I marry in the UK on a standard visa?
    • Do non-visa nationals requires a marriage visitor visa UK?
    • What is the difference between marriage and fiance visa?
    • Can I apply for a marriage visit visa in the UK?
    • How can I extend my marriage visitor visa in the UK?
  2. Entry clearance requirements for marriage visitor visa UK
    • Marriage visa requirements under V 4.2-4.10
    • Min age of the applicant for a marriage visitor visa UK
    • Visa endorsement for marriage and name of the fiance
    • Notice of marriage/civil partnership in the UK
    • Necessary evidence that the relationship is genuine and purpose is not a sham marriage
  3. Marriage visitor visa UK: documents checklist and requirements
  4. Converting an existing civil partnership to marriage

1) UK marriage or civil partnership visa guidance and FAQs

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. Moreover, the marriage visitor visa is only for 180 days or six months and the online application fee is £95. And subject to multiple entry 180 days visa rules. Moreover, 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 marry in the UK 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.

Do non-visa nationals requires a marriage visitor visa 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 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 marriage/civil partnership in the UK, an applicant can switch to the spouse visa. And can get a permanent settlement (ILR) under the 5 or 10-year routes in the UK.

Contrarily, an applicant applies for marriage visitor visa UK under Appendix V for Visitors. Therefore, needs to return to the home country (or the country of residence) at the end of the journey.

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.

How can I extend my marriage visit 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) Entry clearance requirements for marriage visitor visa UK

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

1) Marriage visitor visa requirements under 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.

2) Min age of the applicant for a 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.

3) Visa endorsement for marriage and name of the fiance

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.

4) Notice of marriage or civil partnership in the UK

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.

A notice of marriage in England and Wales

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.

A notice of marriage in Scotland and Northern Ireland

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.

The time period before giving a notice of marriage

Moreover, both the parties need to be in England or Wales for 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.

5) Necessary evidence that the purpose is not a sham marriage

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

  • that necessary arrangements made for the undertaking marriage or forming a civil partnership
  • 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.
  • the future plans after getting married
  • 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 Immigration Rules for visitors.

3) Marriage visitor visa UK: supporting documents checklist

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

Mandatory supporting documents for marriage visitor visa UK

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

  1. Travel documents such as an applicant’s passport
  2. 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
  3. If an applicant is coming to the UK for marriage or a civil partnership then evidence for necessary arrangements in the UK
  4. Translation of all documents, which are not in English and Welsh

Other supporting documents for marriage visitor visa UK

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

  1. Income, employment and self-employment in the home country
  2. Ties to the home country such as assets and property
  3. Sufficient funds to meet the trip expenses i.e. cost of a return ticket, accommodation and living expenses in the UK
  4. 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

An applicant 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 the applicant needs to clearly establish this fact in the marriage visit visa application by providing 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 include an appointment card or email correspondence with the registered office

Visiting the UK for marriage or civil partnership

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. 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

Documents checklist for UK marriage visa application

Accordingly, 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:
    • 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

4) Converting an existing civil partnership to marriage

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 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.

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