From 2 March 2015 Registrars are required to refer couples to the Home Office where one or both is a non-UK/EEA national with limited or no immigration status in order for the Home Office to decide whether to investigate whether the proposed marriage or civil partnership is a “sham”.

Couples referred to the Home Office may be required to wait 70 days if a decision is made to investigate their relationship before they can get married or enter into a civil partnership.

Where one or both parties has unlimited  status (Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence) or the right of abode, they must be able to adequately evidence this when giving notice of their intention to get married or enter into a civil partnership.

In all cases, the notice period that now has to be given before getting married or entering into a civil partnership has been extended from 15 days to 28 days.  Notice must now be given at one of the 75 designated offices around the country rather than in their local registery office.

Couples wishing to get married in the Church of England where one or both is a non-UK/EEA national with limited or no immigration status are not exempt from this and must also give notice at a designated registery office.

Eloping to Gretna Green won’t help avoid the new procedures as the Regulations are extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland too.

Contact us on 0191 2329547 for assistance with immigration applications based on relationships.