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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, I am trying to get married in my hometown, Freetown, Sierra

Customer Question

I am trying to get married in my hometown, Freetown, Sierra Leone, the legal age for a registry ceremony is 21 and my fiancé is 20. We have decided to get married in a traditional ceremony which is legal. After the wedding I will be applying for my wife to join me in the UK, will the British High Commision accept this as a legal married and grant her entry on this basis?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Is this legally recognised as a binding marriage in SL?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes it is, known as common law marriage.
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your question.

Provided the marriage is legally recognised in the country which takes place and there is no other legal reasons why your marriage should not be binding (/eg because you are already married) then generates a marriage will be recognised by the united kingdom border agency for the purpose of applying for a visa.

So, if this is the way that people marry customarily in sierra leone then it will be fine to use for your visa application but you must obviously have the marriage certificate for the ceremony. If you do not get the certificate as a result of ceremony then you will have to register a marriage as is usual in your country.

If the marriage certificate is not in english then you will also have to get it translated by an approved translator into english, the uk embassy will be able to tell you where the closest approved translator is for this purpose

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kind regards and merry christmas