Marrying a Brit – 5 things to know about visas

  • If you want to get married in the UK you need a visa (unless you are a citizen of an EEA country or Switzerland) – either a Visit-Marriage Visa or a Fiancé(e) Visa, see Tip 5.
  • If you want to live in the UK, but are wondering where to marry, it may be cheaper and easier to marry overseas and then to apply for a Spouse Visa.  If you marry in the UK instead you have to make two applications – first for a Fiancé(e) Visa then, within 6 months, for a Spouse/Civil Partner Visa.  This can be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention stressful.
  • You both have to be over 18 to be eligible for any of the ‘Settlement’ Visas.
  • From 9/7/12, the sponsor (British Citizen or British permanent resident) must show they can support their partner with a minimum income of £18,600
  • The visa options:
  • Visit -Visit-Marriage Visa – just to visit the UK to give notice of a marriage and/or to get married, then to leave the UK; or
  • Settlement – Fiancé(e) Visa (aka Marriage Visa) – for those intending to marry or have a civil partnership ceremony in the UK, then remain living in the UK (one partner must be British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK)
  • Settlement – Spouse/Civil Partnership Visa – for those who are already married or have registered as civil partners (one partner must be British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK)
  • Settlement – Unmarried Partner Visa – for those who can demonstrate that they have been living together in a relationship ‘akin to marriage’ for at least 2 years, who now want to live together in the UK (one partner must be British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK).

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About Nikki de Prey

de Prey Consulting is an immigration consultancy based in Edinburgh, UK. Nikki advises clients on the variety of visa applications for entering or remaining in the UK. For more information read about her background in About dPC.