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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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good afternoon, two visitors are in uk on a visitors visa

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good afternoon,
two visitors are in uk on a visitors visa ( 6 months), one from Canada and one from Pakistan, they are engaged, can they get their marriage cermony conducted in a UK registry office whilst they are on this vistit? Neither will apply to have their visit extended or apply for ask for stay in any form whatsoever to stay in the future. Both persons will return to their respective country of residence within the visa period.
thanks for your help.
Safir Ahmed.

Hi Safir,


Thanks for your question.


I'm afraid that in order to have a ceremony in a UK registry office both parties would have had to have applied for Visit for Marriage Visa prior to traveling by submitting form VAF1F to the closest respective UK embassies. If this was not what was done and you are here on normal visitor's visas then you will not be able to marry in registry office. They would (or should at least) require site of the appropriate visa.


In the case of an overstayer wishing to marry a UK national the Anglican Church would marry them without site of the certificate of approval for marriage as the Registry Office. I understand that the local vicar performs their own checks, involving the production of sufficient proof of identity, before performing the ceremony. It may be that they are similarly flexible with respect to your position, I'm afraid I cannot say for certain because yours is quite an unusual position if you don't mind my saying. I


t could be worth investigating but the vicar may ask some awkward questions about your beliefs in his church/religion.


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. You will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Tom

thanks for this. If the parties were to apply to their closet UK embassies, the staff will automatically but wrongly assume that the parties will use this to seek to stay in the UK for a long term, on this assumption their visitors visa will be probably refused. There is a lot of unease and turbulance in Pakistan hence the Canadian national does not really wish to travel to Pakistan, hence a marriage ceremony in UK will be preferred as both parties have many relatives in UK so they can all join in the celebration.

Are there any other possibilties?

regards, Safir

Hi Safir,


I'm afraid there are no other options. It would have to be an application for a special Visa for Marriage, that is the sole purpose of this type of visa.


In order to get around the suspicions of the UKBA each party should submit a statement referring to their continuing obligations back home and stating that the documentary evidence they submit in support should be taken as clear evidence that there is no intention to not to return home. You could also state that you understand that overstaying can prejudice any future application either of you would choose to make and that you would not want to risk this.

The types of documentary evidence of continuing obligations would be tenancy agreements, evidence of ownership of property, statements from your respective employers stating that you continue to be employed and that you are expected and required to return in order to discharge your employment responsibilities.

If the applications are rejected you can appeal them and ask a solicitor to act on your behalf. Your evidence would receive a much fairer hearing on appeal rather than simply to an immigration official of the UKBA.

The anglican chruch method is worth making enquiries on.


Hope this clarifies, if so please click accept. I will continue to answer your follow up questions.


Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 7408
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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