Can I Legally get Married in The UK (as a foreign national)?
There’s an abundance of luxury hotels and venues to marry in The UK, from The Langham and The Berkeley in the capital of London to Crossbasket Castle & Cromlix in Scotland. It is actually surprisingly easy to marry in the UK as a foreign national. You should just make sure you follow these steps accordingly to ensure there are no hiccups on the special day:
- Firstly, you will need to sort out the right visas for you and your partner.
- Remember that you are not subject to immigration control if you are:
- A British national
- A member of an EEA country (which includes Switzerland)
- Have ‘settled status’ in the UK
- If you are only interested in coming to the UK to marry and then return to your home country, then you should apply for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visitor visa which means you can stay in the UK for 6 months, but no longer.
- In order to actually start the marriage process, you and your partner have to have been living in the UK for at least 7 days prior to notifying a designated registrar office of your plans to marry.
- You and your partner will then have to give the registrar office 28 days to approve or deny your request to marry. At this stage, you need to tell the registrar office where you plan to marry. You can change the date later but it is essential that you have sorted the venue. Similarly, it is possible that your notice period could be extended to 70 days if you are not an EEA or Swiss national.
- If this happens, your marriage proposal will be passed to the Home Office who will investigate your case to check the paperwork is all in order and your case is legitimate.
- If all your paperwork is correct, then you will incur a £35 notice fee. If it’s not and you do not have the relevant visa, EU right of permanent residence or proof of settled status in the UK – then the notice fee will be £47.
- In terms of changing your names, you may have to complete a Deed Poll if you intend to take your partner’s surname or vice versa. This is a legal document that the registrar office can help you with.
As always, we recommend checking with your relevant embassy or consulate to keep up to date with any changes to the procedure.
- Birth certificate
- Travel visas
- Notice fee (£35 or £47, depending on your circumstances)
- Information on your choice of venue (very important)
- Divorce certificate (if necessary from a previous marriage)
- Death certificate (if you have been widowed)
Since 2014, same-sex marriages have been legal in the United Kingdom.
This information is appropriate for UK nationals getting married overseas. We always advise that you contact the relevant embassy for information before booking any trips. This information is up to date to the best of our knowledge.