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Getting married in the UK? You may need a Marriage Visitor visa

by John Dunn | Nov 21, 2017
  • Boasting rolling green hills, ancient churches and one of the most popular cities for overseas travel, it’s easy to see why thousands of people from around the world choose to get married in the UK. If you’re getting married in the UK, and you or your partner don’t already have a valid UK visa, you can apply for a Marriage Visitor visa which will let you get hitched in the UK.

    What is a Marriage Visitor visa?

    If you and your partner are planning on getting married in the UK, but aren’t going to stay or settle there afterwards, you’re both going to need a Marriage Visitor visa. This visa allows you to stay in the UK for six months, and marry or enter into a civil partnership during this time. You may get married in any location in the UK licensed for this purpose.

    How do you get one?

    To qualify for a Marriage Visitor visa, you will need to prove that you’re:

    • At least 18 years old
    • In a genuine relationship
    • Leaving the UK at the end of your visit
    • Visiting the UK for six months only
    • Legally able to marry or enter into a civil partnership
    • Able to meet the cost of your return or onward journey
    • Not in transit to a country outside the UK

    You will need to provide relevant documentation as evidence to support all of the above. It is crucial that you submit the correct documentary evidence, otherwise your application will likely be denied. If you were previously married, you will also have to provide documents to prove that your previous marriage is over.

    The earliest you can apply for this visa is three months before your intended date of travel to the UK.

    Is this the best option for you and your partner?

    There are certain restrictions that apply to the Marriage Visitor visa. You may not:

    • Access UK public funds
    • Bring dependants with you (they must apply separately)
    • Live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits
    • Work (except for permitted activities relating to your work)
    • Study for more than 30 days

    We often find that in cases where clients wish to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa, there are other visas that are more suitable for the applicant and their partner. Our specialist immigration advisors can assess your options to decide which visa will best meet your immediate and long-term needs.

    If you’re interested in assessing your visa options, get in touch with our immigration specialists on or +44 (0) 207759 5330.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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