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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I am british married years.I married in the gambia legally

Customer Question

i am british married for 8 years.I married in the gambia legally and am now working and living in spain.I want to apply for family reunification for my husband to come.The Spanish ay i have to have proof from the uk that the marriage is legal.I have applied to the legalization service in he uk but they will not legalize foreign documents.What can i do
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: i have consulted a spanish one buthey cnnot sem to solve it but not a british one
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: no
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. Thank you for the question. I am based in the UK, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you with this today.

I need some more information from you please.

Why have the Spanish authorities asked for proof from the UK that a marriage in Gambia was carried out legally? Purely because you are a British citizen?

Who exactly did you apply to in the UK and what specifically did you ask for?

I have dealt with these kind of questions many times and this can generally be resolved but I just need to know what it is specifically that the authorities in Spain are looking for from you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
purely because I am a British citizen.I have applied to the fco legislation service in Milton Keynes and they say they cannot legalize a foreign document.British embassies abroad do not legalize,so what can I do as they say they need evidence from the authorities of UK that this is a legal marriage
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. This question is not as uncommon as you may think. However, if you have been told, British embassies do not legalise foreign.

It is not just Spain that asks for this kind of legalisation but many countries throughout the world. Unfortunately, as I've explained in the paragraph above, they are asking for something which we don't do in the UK.

However, what you can do is swear a Statutory Declaration as to the validity of the marriage and any marriage certificate which you had as a result of the marriage ceremony.

The document would need to be drafted by a solicitor unless you have experience of drafting such documents, which is most unlikely. You would then need to take the statutory declaration to have it sworn by by a Notary rather than having it sworn by a solicitor. The reason for having it sworn by a Notary is that the document is going to be used in another country (Spain) and hence, they are likely to want it sworn in front of a notary and not just a solicitor.

Although I said that you could get the document drafted by a solicitor, you might want to speak to a Notary as you are more likely to get a Notary who has experience of dealing with this kind of legalisation document for you. It would then need taking to a different Notary for swearing as the person who drafts document is not also able to swear/notarise it.

Please note, that it is not the Notary that is saying the document is legal you that is swearing on oath that the document is legal and that the marriage was legal.

As I said before, this was cropped up on numerous occasions previously and I can tell that this is the only option for you.

When the document is Notarised the Notary will add a stamp to make the document look official.

Sometimes, the Spanish authorities will also ask for a certified translation. That could also be dealt with at the same time Whereby you would swear that the translated document is a true copy of the original.

Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

Please do not forget to rate my answer service positively so that I get credit for my time here today. The thread doesnot close even after rating although the wording may give you the impression that it does, it does not. We can still continue this exchange. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** living in Spain as you know.Could i do this in Spain as otherwise it would mean the expense of flying to the uk
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

There is no reason why could not get the document drafted when you are in Spain and take it to a Notary to have notarised in Spain. However, you would need to find a lawyer in Spain that was capable of doing the necessary document.

A solicitor would probably charge about £200 for drafting the document and then the notary will charge you another £70 (in the UK, I don't know what the cost is in Spain) to notarise it. The annoying thing is that whilst the notary charges £70, a solicitor, for the same job would only charge 5 pounds but the solicitor doing it is not acceptable internationally. Hence, you have to bite the bullet and pay 70 quid for notarising which is basically less than five minutes work!

I would be able to draft the document for you as an extra service for which the fee would be £100. I could then send it to you by email could print it off and take it to the notary in Spain.

I would need a copy of the Gambia marriage certificate and full names and addresses of you both. I may need other details depending on what it says on the certificate. I will submit an extra proposal for you which we call our Premium Service.

If you can get the documents over to me today, I could have the Statutory Declaration back to you by this time tomorrow.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. Can I assist you any further with this?

Please do not forget to rate my answer service positively so that I get credit from my time today. You will get the impression the thread closes but it does not, it does remain open if you want to follow any points. Thank you. Kind regards