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How to Choose the Right Visa for Your UK Marriage

Every year, thousands of people choose to get married in the UK. In this article, we’ll be talking you through the different marriage visa options to find the right one for you… 

Although planning a wedding is often a moment many of us have dreamed about since we were young, it can easily become an overwhelming experience without the right planning in place. For some people, it’s not only the venue and the dress they have to sort out, but also finding the right visa arrangements. 

If you’re thinking of getting married in the UK, there are a number of different UK marriage visa options to choose from. To ensure you find the visa that suits your needs and that you’re eligible for, below we’ll talk you through the differences and requirements of each one. 

It’s important to plan ahead when sorting out visas, asmaking a mistake could be costly and, in worst cases, could mean your application is refused or delayed. Take a look at your options, here…

Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa

Before going through the different types of marriage visas, it’s important to state that individuals visiting the UK cannot just get married on a whim when on a Standard Tourism, Leisure or Family Visitor visa. They must instead apply for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visa, or alternatively, a Fiancée or Spouse Visa if they intend to stay indefinitely. 

If you wish to get married or enter a civil partnership while visiting the UK on holiday, you may want to consider the Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa. This visa grants individuals with up to 6 months stay in the UK, and so is ideal for people only intending on staying for a short period of time. 

For the application to be successful, the UK home office must be satisfied with the sincerity of the relationship, so that it is not some kind of sham wedding.

It’s also important to note that this type of visa cannot just be conveniently swapped for another category once your six months are up. You will instead have to reapply if you wish to settle in the UK.

Fiancé Visa

Unlike the Marriage Visitor Visa, this category has no set end date on your stay in the UK and, instead, will provide you with permanent settlement in the UK. This type of visa is for people who already have a partner in the UK who are either British or hold Indefinite Leave to Remain

This application will initially be granted for a period of 6months to allow you to get married. However, if for any reason you can’t get married in time, you can apply for an extension.

It is also important to consider, that due to the UK granting permanent residency as a result of your marriage, the requirements for this type of Visa are a little stricter. For instance, you must be able to demonstrate that your partner in the UK earns at least £18,600, either through salaried employment or self-employment. Or, alternatively, you or your partner can show that you have savings of at least £62,500.

The Home Office does also account for earnings from shares, property, or pensions. In some instances, you can combine different types of earnings together, in addition to savings to make up any shortfall.

Spouse Visa

The Spouse Visa application is available to individuals who are already married. To apply for a UK Spouse Visa and enter the UK, you must be married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen. And, like the Fiancé Visa, you must be able to prove that you can meet certain financial requirements. 

Some people find it confusing as to why you have toapply for a Spouse Visa after having a Fiancé Visa when the two’s requirements are so similar. However, from a legal perspective, it is important to have all the necessary documents up to date to avoid confusion or illegitimacy. 

Due to this long-winded process of having to apply for two different visas in a short space of time, some couples decided to marry outside the UK. By doing this, a couple can save costs and time by only having to apply for a spouse visa. However, it is important to remember you will still incur the costs of a wedding abroad. 

Excited to Get Married?

For many of us, getting married is something we’ve been dreaming about for years. However, marriage comes with lots of planning and dedication, so to ensure you have an easy ride, do your research on visas before you pick one. 

It’s really important to spend some time figuring out whether you can meet the financial and legal requirements for your chosen visa. Not researching the criteria properly may lead to delays or, in worst cases, your visa being refused.  

In addition to this, if you’re thinking of settling permanently, you may want to weigh up whether you apply for both a Fiancé and a Spouse Visa or if you,instead, want to go abroad to potentially cut the costs and time.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained immigrationprofessional. Be sure to consult an immigrationprofessional if you’re seeking advice about getting married in the UK as an immigrant. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.