Are you looking to come to the UK to get married? Well, there are two main options available to you, however, there are significant differences between them.
Starting with their similarity, both the fiancé visa and marriage visit visa are visas granted for a period of six months and allow you to enter the UK with the purpose of getting married within the duration of your six months visa.
However, the key difference is that the fiancé visa is on the settlement route which means that you can enter the UK, get married, but then you can apply to extend your leave as a spouse before the expiry of your visa without leaving the UK.
Whereas the clue is in the name with a marriage visit visa. It is a visit visa so once you are married, and before the expiry of the visa, you must leave the UK and return to your country. Once you have left, only then can you apply for Spouse Entry Clearance to return to the UK. If you do not leave and stay beyond the validity of your visa, you will be illegal within the UK, and this can cause you many problems later down the line.
Another key difference is the price and eligibility requirements. Because the fiancé visa is on the settlement route, there are many eligibility requirements such as financial, accommodation, relationship, English language, tuberculosis, etc., which you must meet to be granted entry clearance as a fiancé. The Home Office Application fee is also much higher than the marriage visit visa as you’re able to remain in the UK and do not have to leave. Additionally, when you are applying for leave to remain as a spouse, you will need to repay the Home Office application fee and will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which permits you to use the healthcare system for the duration of your visa.
The marriage visit visa is a much cheaper option and there are fewer eligibility requirements and can be an option for those who do not yet meet all the requirements for a fiancé visa. However, remember that you must leave the UK before your visa expires, and also, you will not be able to re-enter as a spouse until you meet all of the requirements for entry clearance as a spouse.
The decision for which is option is best for you and your partner can be a difficult and complex one and our expert immigration lawyers are available to talk you through the process and a free meeting to discuss your case. Call us today to discuss your options.