Can I Marry in the UK on a Student Visa?
Is it Possible to Marry in the UK on a Student Visa?
The question of whether you can marry in the UK on a student visa is an important one to an increasing amount of couples who meet whilst they’re at university. If your study in the UK has happily led you to a serious relationship, you might want to know if you can take the next step and legally marry your partner in this country on your current visa.
If you want to get married in the UK whilst on your student visa, before applying for a spouse visa, our solicitors can offer expert advice, and help you in the process of settling down with the minimum amount of fuss.
Our immigration solicitors can help with a range of immigration matters, including what to do next if you’re planning to marry whilst in the UK on a student visa.
Marry in UK on Student Visa
Can we get Married in the UK when I Still Have a Student Visa?
Firstly, you’ll be pleased to know that there are no restrictions on you entering into a genuine and legal marriage on your Tier 4 student visa whilst still in the UK. So long as your study visa has not expired before the date of your marriage, you won’t need to go through any immigration processes before your wedding day as you can easily marry in the UK on a student visa.
Regardless of your immigration status, it’s always a good idea to speak to a family law solicitor before getting married. We offer a number of services, such a prenuptial agreements, that can be very easily provided for those looking to get married.
We’re Married and my Student Visa is due to Expire – What Next?
We’re aware that life doesn’t always follow the simplest path, and you may be worried that coming to the end of your student visa may also mean an uncertain future for you and your new spouse after your have chosen to marry in the UK.
However, if you’ve met and married your partner in the time that you’ve been in the UK on your Tier 4 student visa, it is possible to change to a spouse visa as long as you fulfil all of the requirements and apply in plenty of time. You will just need to be able to:
- Provide evidence your relationship is genuine
- Prove that you can speak English to an acceptable level
- Prove that you have acceptable accommodation in place for you to live together in the UK
- Prove that you have reasonable funds to support yourself
Alongside the standard application fee, you will also be required to pay the immigration health surcharge. This is a fee designed to balance out the cost to the NHS of foreign nationals moving to the UK, and means that you will not require private medical insurance to receive treatment while living here.
Due to the difficulties that you can run into when applying for spouse visas, and the high rate of refusal, we would always recommend using an expert immigration solicitor to guide you through the process. The alternative situation of having to appeal the decision can be a long and expensive process, with some appeals taking up to 9 months.
Differences between your Spouse Visa and Tier 4 Student Visa once you’re Married
A spouse visa is one of the most popular options of visa that is applied for, because it has some of the best benefits. However, this understandably means that it also has the highest refusal rate, and individuals applying for it are the most carefully checked. For example, in 2018, The Guardian’s freedom of information request revealed that there was a recorded 40 percent rise from 2014 in marriage registrations considered to be ‘sham’, which has led to the government closely examining applications. With such tight regulations, you will likely need expert help to present your relationship as genuine to the Home Office.
When you have successfully changed from a student to a spouse visa, you will have different permissions in the UK. Once approved, there are no working restrictions on a spouse visa, and you are therefore able to work freely in the UK. Whilst you must, of course, remain married in order to take advantage of all the benefits, you will also be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years in the UK – something that you will have likely been unable to do on your previous student visa. You will also be able to travel freely in and out of the country – so long as you do not exceed a stay of 90 days that may later be noted in an application for settled status. In line with needing to prove that you can support yourself during your time in the UK, you are not allowed access to public funds under a Spouse Visa.
If you Want to Get Married in the UK whilst on a Student Visa
When thinking about your future in the UK after studying, there will be an ideal visa to suit you and your changing needs – especially if you are now already married or living with your partner and thinking of getting married. With a helping hand and expert guidance from our immigration and family law solicitors, you can be fully supported through the procedure of securing your exciting future in the UK.
Whether you want to marry in the UK on a student visa or are already married, get in touch and we can help you find the most straightforward and stress-free way to approach the matter, while meeting the exact needs for you and your family.
All advice is correct at time of publication.