Living with your family in the UK

Last modified: 03 September 2015

If you wish to enter into a marriage or civil partnership in the UK, the period of notice (of intention to marry) you are required to give to the registrar will increase from 15 to 28 days from 2 March 2015. Registrars are required to refer this information to the Home Office if either you or your partner (or both of you) are not an 'exempt' person. The Home Office will then decide whether to extend this period notice period to 70 days, and will do this where they suspect the marriage or civil partnership is not genuine (also known as a 'sham' marriage or civil partnership). The Home Office is more likely to suspect that a marriage or civil partnership is not genuine where it appears that either party is trying to avoid the effects of, or is trying to gain advantage from, the immigration law in the UK.

You are an 'exempt' person if you :

  • are a British citizen;
  • are a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom;
  • are a national of Switzerland;
  • have the right of permanent residence under European Union law;
  • are exempt from immigration control (for example, you have the right of abode in the UK);
  • are settled in the UK (for example, you have indefinite leave to remain);
  • have immigration permission for the purpose of marriage or civil partnership, or as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner.

The Home Office will notify both you and your partner if you can proceed with the marriage or civil partnership after the 28 day notice period or if they wish to investigate and will therefore extend the period to 70 days.

See the Home Office website for more information.