The standard notice period for marriages and civil partnership in the UK has been increased from 15 to 28 days, and applies to everyone, irrespective of nationality.
Where one of the parties to the marriage or civil partnership is a non-EEA national who is not exempt from immigration control, the matter will be automatically referred by the registrar to the UK Home Office, should the marriage / civil partnership lead to an immigration advantage for the non-EEA national. Persons who are exempted from the referral to the UK Home Office are; British citizens, EEA nationals, foreign nationals not subject to immigration control, persons with settled status or permanent residence and persons with entry clearance to the UK as a fiancé or proposed civil partner.
The Secretary of State (UK Home Office) must then decide whether to investigate the proposed marriage / civil partnership, and this decision must be taken within the 28 day notice period.
If the decision is taken to investigate, the notice period will be extended to 70 days, during which time the Secretary of State will investigate the proposed civil partnership/marriage.
If the Secretary of State decides during the 70 days that the parties to the proposed marriage/civil partnership have complied with the investigation, the couple can marry irrespective of the outcome of the investigation.
If the couple however do comply but are deemed to be entering into a ‘sham’ marriage or civil partnership, they will not be able to derive an immigration advantage from the relationship, and where appropriate the parties may be prosecuted.
For more information in your unique circumstances, please contact Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Ltd.
Director of BIC, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited.
www.bic-immigration.com or email@example.com