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Are you thinking about getting married married or entering into a civil partnership?


Below will provide you an overview of how to obtain a visa to the UK whether you are applying within the UK or abroad.


Getting married or registering a civil partnership in the UK

If you and your future husband, wife or civil partner are both in the UK but at least one of you is subject to immigration control, you will need to give notice to marry or register your civil partnership with a registrar at a 'designated office'.


Note: The Certificate of Approval which you had to apply for before applying for your visa application was abolished by the Home Office on the Since 9 May 2011.


If we are both in the UK, do we need permission from the Home Office first before getting married?

No you do not, what you must do is registrar at a 'designated office' and once this process is completed you can them apply for the marriage visa.


Note: If you visa runs out prior to your marriage visa application, you will need to leave the UK and apply to re-enter on a marriage visa.


What if one or both of us are abroad?

If either partner is not already in the UK, they will need to obtain a visa before they come to the UK to marry or register their civil partnership, unless they:

are a British citizen; or


The visa that you need will depend on how long you intend to stay in the UK:

If you will be coming to the UK for a short time, and you plan to leave the UK soon after the ceremony, you must obtain a visa as a visitor for marriage or civil partnership.


If you are planning to come to the UK to get married or register a civil partnership with someone who is already settled or settling in the UK, and you want to stay afterwards, you will need to obtain a visa as a fiance(e) or proposed civil partner. Both you and your partner must be aged 21 or over, and you will need to show evidence that you plan to marry or register your civil partnership within 6 months of your arrival.


Note: When you have obtained your visa and have arrived in the UK, you will need to give notice to marry or register your civil partnership with a registrar at a 'designated office'.


How do you give notice to marry or register a civil partnership with a registrar?

If you or your partner is subject to immigration control in the UK you will need to give notice to marry or register your civil partnership at a 'designated office'. All registration offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland are designated offices, and 76 offices in England and Wales are designated.


Note: You must attend the registration office together in England and Wales.  In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can register by post - you do not have to go to the registration office in person.


When you give notice to marry or register your civil partnership, you must bring evidence of your names, addresses, ages and nationalities. If you have been married or registered before, you will need to show evidence that you are now free to marry or register a civil partnership.


When you have given your notice to marry or register your civil partnership, you must wait for 15 days in England and Wales, or 14 days in Scotland and Northern Ireland, before you can get married or register your civil partnership. After this time, you can have your wedding or civil partnership at any register office or approved premises.


Your notice to marry or register your civil partnership is valid for one year if it is given in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or for three months if it is given in Scotland. Your marriage or civil partnership must take place within this time or you will have to apply again.

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