UK Marriages and Civil Partner

UK Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Persons are often unsure about what the procedure is to enter into a UK Marriage or UK Civil Partnership. Here are some guidance from the consultants at Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Ltd.

UK Marriages and Civil Partner

Persons wanting to get married in the UK are often confused about the notice period that needs to be given to the UK Registrar. BIC has subsequently compiled some short guidance on the matter.

The standard notice period for Civil Partnerships and Marriages in the UK is 28 days, and it applies to both British and non-British citizens, wanting to get married in the UK. This notice period was previously 15 days but it was increased to 28 days in 2014.

If one of the parties to the Civil Partnership or Marriage is a non-EEA national, not exempt from immigration control, the matter will automatically be referred by the Registrar to the UK Home Office.

The following persons are exempted from the referral to the UK Home Office;

  • British Citizens
  • EEA Nationals
  • Foreign Nationals not subject to UK Immigration Control
  • Persons with settled status or UK Permanent Residence
  • Persons with Entry Clearance to the UK as a Fiancé or Proposed Civil Partner.

In cases where the proposed marriage or civil partnership are referred, the UK Home Office (Secretary of State), then have to decide whether to investigate the proposed marriage or civil partnership. They only have the 28 day notice period to make this decision.

If they do decide to proceed with an investigation, the notice period is extended to 70 days. During this time frame, the Secretary of State will do the necessary investigations into the proposed civil partnership or 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, though if the investigation finds that the marriage/civil partnership is a sham, then the non-EEA national who is not exempt from immigration control would not be able to gain an immigration advantage from the marriage/civil partnership.

Should the couple however not comply they will not be allowed to proceed with the marriage or civil partnership. The Secretary of State may also in such cases, decide to prosecute the appropriate party.

If you are a non-EEA national, looking to enter into a Marriage or Civil Partnership with a British / EEA national in the UK, feel free to contact BIC for advice in your unique circumstances. or


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