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Why your marriage visa was denied and what to do next

Everything you need to know about applying for a marriage visa.


What can be done?

I am a New Zealand Citizen planning on visiting the UK for 6 months in order to marry my Fiancée of two years and I plan to help my spouse out with her business by working there for the duration of the visa. We have no dependents and are both over the age of 18. I plan to apply for a more permanent visa once we are married as I hope to continue living there after six months. I have applied for a Marriage Visitor Visa but have been denied. Where did I go wrong and what can I do?

Entry requirements

There are a number of requirements that you need to fulfil in order to apply for and successfully obtain a Marriage Visitor Visa and this visa allows you to enter the UK for a period of up to six months. The visa costs £83 to apply for although there is no guarantee that your application will be accepted, so it is important to read all requirements thoroughly.

Among other things in order to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa you must be able to prove that both parties are aged 18 or over, you are visiting the UK for less than or up to six months and you are leaving the UK at the end of your visit and that you and your spouse are in a genuine and long lasting relationship. You should also be free to give notice of marriage, to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK and you need to prove that you can both support yourself while in the UK without working or help from public funds and that you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey, if you are not returning to New Zealand immediately upon expiry of the visa.

For New Zealand citizens planning to get married overseas, whether it is the UK or elsewhere abroad, you might need to also provide a ‘Certificate of No Impediment to a Marriage’ which is essentially a certificate which states that there are no objections to the proposed marriage or civil partnership, which is especially important when marrying abroad.

For a full list of the eligibility requirements to apply for a marriage visitor visa, there are a number of informative immigration websites online that will go into extensive detail as to what you need to apply and how to apply.

Marriage visa

Visa limits

Unfortunately in the case of Marriage Visas and Marriage Visitor Visas, there is a limit to the things you can and cannot do while under those visas. A Marriage Visitor allows you to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within six months of your arrival and anywhere in the UK with a proper license for marrying.

However for Marriage Visitor Visas you are unable to obtain public funds in any shape or form, you cannot bring in other family members or dependents for the time period as they need to apply separately, you cannot extend or switch your visa to another visa while in the UK and you cannot do a course of study while visiting the UK.

A Marriage Visitor Visa also does not allow you to arrive in the UK specifically for private medical treatment or to work or carry out any business so it is important that you provide enough documentation or the validity of the relationship, otherwise the purpose of your visit may be questioned upon arrival.

In this situation the applicant plans to work in the UK for the duration of the visa and also hopes to either extend the visa while in the UK or switch to another visa. This is not applicable under a Marriage Visitors Visa and so a different application would be required.

Applying for the wrong visa

In cases where you have accidentally applied for the wrong type of visa, do not worry. Simply act fast, as you can easily cancel a visa application before it is examined in writing and this will give you a refund for the original application. You can then file the correct application including the application fee. However it is important to make this intent clear when writing the cancellation request, as they may also cancel the second application.

If you are unsure as to how to proceed at any stage in filling out the application you can always contact the UK marriage authorities in order to check their laws and requirements as there are plenty of experienced immigration solicitors who will be able to help you with everything you need.

As with filling out any sort of application form, adequate research and reading everything thoroughly is incredibly important, as even though it may be longwinded and tedious, often you can miss small details that may end up being incredibly important when applying for a certain type of visa. Just be patient and read everything twice when applying and get a friend to double check that you have the right visa application!

Good luck to you in your future endeavours.