The UK Marriage Visitor visa is for overseas nationals who wish to get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK. The Marriage Visitor visa is different from the fiancé/fiancée visa under the family visa category that is for overseas nationals who wish to get married to a person who is settled in the UK (i.e. a British citizen or a person who has ILR) and then remain here after the ceremony. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about applying for a Marriage Visitor visa, including who needs to apply, what you can and cannot do, who does not need to apply, the eligibility criteria, and how to apply.
A Marriage Visitor visa is a temporary visa that enables overseas nationals to come to the UK for up to 6 months to get married or form a civil partnership but not stay or settle here. With a Marriage Visitor visa, you can marry or enter into a civil partnership within 6 months of your arrival. You can also pass through the UK in transit to another country.
It is important to understand the restrictions of the Marriage Visitor visa. You will not be able to claim any form of public funds or benefits, live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits, extend your visa, switch to another type of visa, do paid work, or complete a course of study (that is not covered under the permitted activities).
You can bring your family members with you (e.g. your partner and children), but they must apply for and be granted their own Visitor visa (assuming they need a Visitor visa) to do so.
You will need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if you live in another country and wish to get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK but do not plan to live here afterwards. You will also need to apply for and receive your Marriage Visitor visa before you can come to the UK to give notice of your marriage or civil partnership here. Giving notice is required before you get married or register a civil partnership. To give notice, you will need to sign a legal statement at a registry office in the UK formally stating that you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This must be done at least 29 days before your marriage or civil partnership ceremony.
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To prove that you meet the requirements of the Marriage Visitor visa, you can provide evidence such as plans for your marriage or civil partnership, venue booking, and payments made. If you were previously married or in a civil partnership, you will need to provide evidence that this has formally ended (e.g. a decree absolute or the death certificate of a previous partner).
The application process for a Marriage Visitor visa is completed online on the Home Office website. To apply for a Marriage Visitor visa, you will need to:
Your partner will also need to prepare and submit their own Marriage Visitor visa application if you both need one. If your children will be joining you, they will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
Marriage Visitor visa applications normally take up to 3 weeks to process. The Home Office will confirm the outcome of your application in writing or by email and what you need to do to receive your visa. It is essential to wait until you receive your visa before you travel to the UK.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!