Many couples dream of having a magnificent wedding in one of England’s intimate ancient castles or exchanging their vows of allegiance to the chimes of Big Ben. The Foggy Albion is one of the best countries in Europe for the most romantic occasion of your life, thanks to its mild climate, beautiful scenery and excellent socio-economic infrastructure. However, in order for the celebration to take place, you need to take care in advance to obtain the appropriate document – a wedding visa or a bride/groom visa to the UK.
What do I need to know about family visas to the UK?
Video overview of the features of UK family visas and the intricacies of obtaining them
What kind of visa do I need to get married in the UK?
Although hundreds of foreigners come to the country every year to get married in the UK, and the authorities are very supportive, it often takes time for an inexperienced lawyer to understand the intricacies of visa law. You can avoid this by contacting an immigration professional who can help you get the right visa for your marriage in the UK without too much delay.
It is important to know that those who intend to get married in the UK can apply for one of the following visas.
Marriage Visa to the UK
It is issued for up to six months and allows the future spouses – both or one of them – to enter the United Kingdom and get married. After that both spouses must leave the British Isles if they are not European nationals as the visa does not entitle them to reside, work or study in the country and is issued only for the purpose of the marriage ceremony. If one of the spouses is a British citizen or permanent resident there, the other spouse must still leave the country and apply for their spouse visa at the visa application centre in the country of residence.
Spouse/Fiancé visa for the UK
It is issued for 6 months and differs from the first one in that it is only for couples where one of the partners is a citizen or permanent resident of the UK. In addition, the spouse does not have to urgently leave the territory of the Foggy Albion after marriage. She/he can apply to the immigration authorities of England for a visa for the wife/husband as soon as the marriage certificate is issued or until the expiry of the fiancée’s visa. This visa also does not entitle her to work or study in the country.
Price of the issue
The difference in the price of these visa approvals is significant: a wedding visa costs the same as a normal tourist visa, £95, while a fiancee visa costs £1,033 (applying in England) £1,523 (applying in the country of residence) – the same as a wife visa. However, a fiancée visa is much more difficult to obtain: proof of income sufficient to support yourself financially while in the country will be required.
The main requirements for the marriage visa and the fiancée visa
Whereas the marriage visa to England is usually granted without much delay, those who are planning to get married often have problems due to a lack of knowledge of some of the legalities. Therefore, if there are any doubts, it is better to discuss in advance all the issues with the immigration experts by preparing the following information in advance.
UK Marriage Visa Supporting documents
Proof of present and long-term (preferably more than 2 years) relationship: joint photos, written evidence of relatives and acquaintances, flight and hotel reservations, living together.
Evidence of ability to pay, showing that you can live in the country without seeking social assistance. For the bridal visa you show you have enough money in your account for daily expenses, for the bride (groom) visa – the amount of annual income, which must be at least £18,600.
Availability of accommodation: a hotel reservation or a whole package of documents for those planning to stay as guests (it is quite difficult to compile on your own, so it is better to consult specialists).
Confirmation of your wedding date from the Registry Office in the UK, once you have received the couple’s application.
For the wedding visa: detailed plans and timetable for when you will be in the UK.
To make sure you have one of life’s most memorable events in the English countryside, talk to a professional about the legalities and bureaucracy – our top immigration law experts will be happy to help you with this.