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

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.

All you need to know about family visas to the UK

An overview of different UK family visas: application process and requirements

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.

Какая нужна виза для заключения брака в Англии?

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.

требования для получения свадебной визы и визы невесты/жениха

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.

FAQ about family visas to the UK

What documents are required for a UK marriage visa?

Those who are not going to live in the UK and only want to enjoy a fabulous wedding ceremony in the UK will need a Marriage Visitor visa. The main documents you will need to send or to bring in person to a British visa centre are as follows:

  1. Your valid passport with at least one blank page for the visa.
  2. Information about the upcoming wedding and your further arrangements for staying in the country; you will also have to provide corresponding evidence such as hotel bookings which must be at least partly paid.
  3. Proof that your ceremony will take place in the UK. For example, you may provide a venue booking or your correspondence with the event organisers.
  4. Proof that your or your fiancée’s/fiancé’s previous partnership or marriage, if any, has been dissolved. You can submit a divorce certificate or the former spouse’s death certificate.
  5. The couple must have enough money to support themselves while staying in the UK. You might also have to demonstrate your return tickets or, if you are going on a honeymoon trip after the ceremony, your travel package.

How long does it take to get a UK Marriage Visitor visa?

It takes from 1 to 2 weeks to collect all the necessary documents and complete an application form correctly. If you book a consultation with qualified immigration advisers, the preparation will be reduced to a minimum.

It would normally take 3 weeks for your application to be processed, provided you have completed the application form correctly, confirmed your identity, submitted all the necessary documents and paid a relevant fee. Once your application is approved, you will receive further instructions either by post or by e-mail.

To sum it up, if you are supported by qualified legal experts, it will take about 4-5 weeks to get a UK Marriage Visitor visa.

What visas will allow me to get married in the UK and to stay in the country afterwards?

We will give all the main UK visa options for couples who are only going to get married as well asspouses and civil partners:

  1. Marriage Visitor visa, which was mentioned above. Even if you are going to marry a UK citizen, you will have to leave the UK in 6 months and apply for a UK spouse visa.
  2. UK fiancé, fiancée and proposed civil partner visa. It is for foreign citizens who are going to marry a UK citizen or resident and will apply for a spouse visa without going back to their home country.
  3. UK spouse visa, as the term suggests, is for spouses of UK citizens or those who have an indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It is valid for 2 years and 9 months and it can be extended an unlimited number of times.
  4. Visa for unmarried partners. Unmarried partners of UK citizens and residents can obtain this visa, provided they can prove that they have lived together as partners for at least 2 years.
  5. Civil partner visa. It is for same-sex partners, either married or not, provided they can prove that they have lived together as partners for at least 2 years.

If I apply for a UK fiancée/fiancé visa, what category of British residents must my partner fall into?

According to the UK immigration legislation, your partner must be one the following:

  • UK citizen.
  • Irish citizen.
  • Someone withan indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • EU citizen, or citizen of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, who has the right to stay in the UK.
  • Political or humanitarian refugee.

Most resources on this topic would only talk about the first three categories which are the most common.

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