The answer to the question as to which visa would suit you best to get married in the UK lies in your purpose as an applicant.
This category of visas comes under the Family visa category of the UK visa and immigrationand is further divided into two categories broadly, marriage visitor visa or a spouse visa/fiance visa(Family visa).
Difference between Family visa and a marriage visitor visa
- You purpose
The purpose of your visit to the UK is what makes all the difference.
If you are already married to a UK resident or a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, and willing to move to the UK to live for more than 6 months, then the Family visa (UK spouse visa) is your right choice.
For a marriage visitor visa, you must show a genuine intention to come to the UK, marry your partner and leave the UK after your purpose of visit is fulfilled.
Family visas are long term visas whereas the marriage visitor visa is a short term visa.
Once you are marrying in the UK, it does not stop you from applying for a Family visa(UK Spouse visa) in future. It is just the purpose of the visit that makes the difference in the application process.
- Apply from within the UK
On a marriage visitor visa application you won’t be able to apply for leave to remain from within the UK.
You will need to first apply for a marriage visitor visa, leave the UK, then apply for a spouse visa from your home country.
However, due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the Home Office is allowing selective applicants to apply for it from within the UK, which normally is made from outside the UK.
- Financial prerequisites
For a marriage visitor visa application, you just need to demonstrate that you possess enough financial resources to bear the cost of your UK journey and back to your home country. Whereas in spouse visa applications, you need to meet a certain level of financial resources, at least at least £62,500 combined savings of your and your spouse, and at least £18,600 annual income of your spouse.
This is subject to change if you have additional children.
- Other requirements
Marriage visitor visa
- You and your spouse should be 18 years of age or above
- You are going to the UK for the purpose of marriage or registering a civil partnership
- Your travel period is valid for 6 months from the date of issuing your visa
- You have finances to support your travel
- You won’t take up job or study for more than 30 days
- You and your partner must be 18 years of age or above
- You have a genuine relationship to prove
- You meet financial requirements laid down by the Home Office
- You have accommodation to show
- Your spouse is a British citizen or a person with active ILR
- Any previous relationships are broken down
Application process and fee
Both the applications whether for a marriage visitor visa or a spouse visa application must be made online, with all the supported documents.
The fee for spouse visa application is £1,523 and additional Immigration Health surcharge is added separately on your application.
The application fee for a marriage visitor visa is £95.