Marriage Visa UK

The UK Marriage Visa is intended for foreign nationals who wish to enter into a marriage or civil partnership in the UK but do not hold British citizenship.

Want to say ‘I Do’ in the UK? Apply for your UK Marriage Visitor Visa with Total Law’s team of specialist immigration solicitors and take the hassle out of your wedding planning. Contact us today on +353 061 518 025 or online to discuss.

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    Visit UK for Marriage or Civil Partnership

    Destination weddings abroad are popular and can give a unique backdrop to your nuptials. However, most people aren’t able to travel entirely freely to do so and so must apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa.

    In the UK, the Marriage Visitor Visa allows visa holders to enter the country, give notice of a wedding or civil partnership on British soil and take part in that legal ceremony.
    This visa class is not intended for either party to stay in the UK when the visa expires.

    If either partner is eligible and intends to stay in the UK, they should instead apply for a UK Spouse Visa once legally wed. A UK Spouse Visa application is a separate process and holds its own eligibility criteria and minimum income requirement.

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    Key eligibility criteria to apply for a UK Marriage Visitor Visa

    A UK Marriage Visitor Visa is a specific visa class designed to allow the holder to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK, or give notice for a marriage or civil partnership to take place in the UK.

    Irish citizens do not need to apply for a Marriage Visa, but their partner will need to if fit any of the following criteria:

    • They are not a British or Irish citizen
    • They do not have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
    • They have filed an application to the EU Settlement Scheme but are awaiting a decision

    If any of these criteria apply, they must file for a Marriage Visitor Visa. Further visa requirements include:

    • Both parties must be aged 18 or over
    • Both parties must agree that they are not planning to stay or settle in the UK after the legal ceremony
    • Both parties are free to give notice, to marry or to enter into a civil partnership
    • Both parties are in a genuine relationship
    • Neither party uses visas or other travel permissions to enter the UK on successive visits and stay for extended periods of time
    • Both parties are able to prove they have enough cash savings to support themselves during the trip
    • Both parties are able to pay for their return (or onward) travel

    Required documents for Marriage Visitor Visa

    Visa requirements for the Marriage Visitor Visa dictate that several documents must be presented in order to demonstrate eligibility during the application process. These are:

    • A valid passport for both partners (if one is a UK based partner, this still needs to be supplied)
      • Both passports must be valid for the duration of the stay
      • Both passports must contain a blank page
    • Details of return or onward travel booked
    • Details of arrangements made for the marriage or civil partnership in the UK, with proof that at least some money had been paid
    • Proof of the relationship being genuine; usually photos, shared bills and residency documents
    • (If either of the partners have been married before) A decree absolute or death certificate for the previous partner

    If any documents are in a language other than English or Welsh, a certified translation must be provided.

    What You Can and Cannot Do on a Marriage Visitor Visa

    The UK Marriage Visitor Visa only allows the holder to do the following:

    • Give notice to marry or enter into a civil partnership
    • Marry or enter into a civil partnership in a licensed premises within six months of arrival
    • Transit through the UK onward to another country

    The UK Marriage Visitor Visa does not allow the holder to do the following:

    • Claim any state benefits paid from public funds
    • Bring any dependents with them into the UK
    • Extend the visa or switch it to another visa type
    • Work (other than specific permitted activities)
    • Study

    The partner that is an Irish citizen may hold the right to carry out other activities while their spouse is in the UK on a Marriage Visitor Visa, dependent on their own immigration status.

    Reach out to our immigration specialists if you need help getting a marriage visitor visa to the UK. Contact Us

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      How to apply for British Marriage Visitor Visa

      To apply for a UK Marriage Visitor Visa, the following steps should be taken:

      Make arrangements for legal ceremony

      Prior arrangements must have been made for the marriage or civil partnership in the UK, with at least some money paid toward the ceremony, before an application for a Marriage Visitor Visa can be made.

      Apply online

      The application form is completed online and the application fee paid.

      Attend Visa Application Centre

      Applicants, once their form has been filed, must attend a pre-booked appointment at a Visa Application Centre. At this appointment they must provide their identification documents and biometric information.

      Await decision

      UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service) will notify the visa applicant by writing of their decision to grant a visa.

      Head to the UK and get hitched

      Partners are free to travel to the UK as soon as their Marriage Visitor Visa is valid.

      If you need support or guidance through any step of the application process, Total Law can help. Call our office today on +353 061 518 025 for more information.

      All partners should note that the UK Spouse Visa application process is separate; and there is no recourse to switch from a Marriage Visitor Visa to a UK Spouse Visa.

      Duration of Stay on a Marriage Visitor Visa

      A Marriage Visitor Visa is only valid for a period of six months and may not be extended thereafter.

      Application Processing Timeline and Fees for Marriage Visitor Visa

      The UK Marriage Visa has an associated application fee of £115 per applicant. There is no set SLA for visa applications, but on average it takes around three weeks from the Visa Centre appointment being attended to receive a decision.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      Total Law are a firm of specialist immigration lawyers who work with people all around the world to help them obtain the relevant UK visas and travel permissions to enter, live, study and work in the country legally and appropriately.

      Contactable on +353 061 518 025 or online, our team aim to communicate jargon-free and transparently, taking the stress out of complex immigration rules to best help clients navigate the process. Get in touch today and take your first step toward getting hitched in Great Britain.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The Spouse Visa UK and Marriage Visitor Visa are entirely different travel permissions. The Spouse Visa application process and Spouse Visa requirements are much more complex, with the aim of the couple being united under permanent settlement (Indefinite Leave To Remain) together in the UK. The Marriage Visitor Visa is only a temporary visa for both parties to be legally wed in the UK before leaving.

                Yes. The UK allows for married partners or civil partners to be of the same sex and will issue a legal marriage certificate as such.

                If both partners are Irish citizens, there is no need to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa.

                There is no recourse to transfer a Marriage Visitor Visa to any type of Spouse Visa or to offer any permanent residence in the UK. If you’re unsure of the best path to gain Indefinite Leave To Remain, contact Total Law on +353 061 518 025 to talk through your circumstances.