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Getting Married in the UK

There is no requirement for migrants planning to marry in the UK to seek the permission of the Home office to do so. The Certificate of Approval scheme, introduced under the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004, and designed to introduce such a requirement, was abolished on 9th May 2011. The scheme was held to be unlawful by the House of Lords in 2008 in the case of Baiai (2009).

One part of the original scheme does remain which is the requirement to give notice to marry or register the civil partnership at a 'designated office' . All registration offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland are designated offices, as are 76 offices in England and Wales. Both Parties will need proof of their name, age and nationality but there is no prescribed way of evidencing these.

Registrars have a duty under s24 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to report to the Home Office any marriage that they have reasonable grounds for suspecting to be a sham marriage. Under S24(5) 'sham marriage is defined thus'.

5) A marriage (whether or not it is void) is a Sham marriage if;
a) either or both of the parties to the marriagof one is not a relevant national.
b) there is no genuine relationship between the parties to the marriage, and
c) either or both, of the parties to the marriage enter into the marriage for one or more of these purposes.
d) avoiding the effect of one or more provisions of United Kingdom immigration law or the immigration rules.
e) relevant national means;

a) British citizen
b) a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom
c) a national of Switzerland

'United Kingdom immigration Law' includes any subordinate legislation concerning the right of relevant nationals to move between and reside in member states.


Source: Mastering Immigration Law fifteenth edition

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14/12/17
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