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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Fiancée visa or Marriage visa: what visa you need to marry in the UK

PUBLISHED: 20 September 2019

Medieval castles and historic palaces, quintessentially English countryside, romantic churches and mansions – all this makes England a perfect wedding destination and a dream of many brides and grooms from all over the world. It is one of the best countries to say ‘I do’ and celebrate one of the most memorable events of your life. The United Kingdom has it all – mild climate, picturesque and imposing landscapes as well as a fantastically developed infrastructure. However, in order to get married in the UK, you need to sort out your visa first; it can be either a Marriage Visitor visa or a Fiancé/ Fiancée visa. Below we will explain the difference between them.

Which visa to get to marry in England

Though it is a common practice among foreigners to come to the UK to marry and the authorities normally give them a very warm welcome, it is not always easy to find a way out of the labyrinths of immigrations rules and regulations all by yourself. Our advice is to consult immigrations lawyers who can help you get a necessary visa without too much hassle and delays.

As mentioned above, we will describe the two types of visas for those who wish to marry in England.

Marriage Visitor visa to the UK

It is given for the period of up to 6 months and permits a husband or a wife-to-be, or both, to enter the country and marry here. After that, if both spouses are not from a European country, they have to leave the UK because they are not allowed to live, work or study here on this visa. If one of the spouses is a British citizen or settled in the UK, the other one should still go to their country of residence and apply for a spouse visa from there.

Fiancé/ Fiancée visa to the UK

It is also granted for 6 months but the difference from the Marriage visa is that one of the partners must be British or settled in the UK. Besides, after marriage, the non-EEA partner does not have to rush out of the country. They can apply for a spouse visa on the British Isles immediately after receiving a marriage certificate or before their fiancée visa expires. However, this visa is the same in terms of prohibiting any work or study in England.

How much does a marriage or fiancée visa cost?

There is a huge difference between these two visas; a marriage visitor visa costs as a standard visitor visa – £95, while a fiancé/ fiancée visa will make you £1,033 poorer (applying in the UK) or £1,523 (applying outside the UK), exactly the same as a spouse visa. Moreover, it is much more difficult to obtain a fiancé/ fiancée visa, because it requires more documents such as proof of sufficient income from the sponsor to show they can maintain you without recourse to public funds.

What documents are required for a marriage visas and a fiancée visa?

While a spouse visa to the UK is not that hard to get, a marriage or a fiancée visas are much harder, and any mistake or omission may cost you time and money. That’s why, if you are not a legal guru and have doubts, you’d be better off discussing them with immigration lawyers. Here are some documents that you must prepare for your application.

Supporting evidence

Proof of genuine and consistent relationship(at least 2 years would be a bonus): photos together, witness statements from relatives and friends, flight and hotel bookings, evidence of living together.

Proof of maintenanceto show that you can support yourself while in the UK without asking for social aid. For a marriage visa you must show you have enough money on your bank account for everyday expenses; for a fiancée visa you must show that your partner’s annual income is at least £18,600.

Proof of accommodation: hotel booking or a whole bunch of evidence if you want to stay with somebody (it is a challenge to get this together yourself while an expert can).

Booking of the marriage ceremonyfrom a local council sent to you after you register your intention to marry.

For a marriage visa: detailed itinerary of your stay in the UK.

Make it happen! Get married in a place of your dreams, with English landscapes as a backdrop. In order to avoid disappointments and mishaps, get in touch with our immigration lawyers – they will make sure you comply with all the requirements and do everything right for one of the best days of your life.

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