No Visa In UK But Want To Get Married?

by | Feb 6, 2019 | General | 2 comments

Are you subject to immigration control but wish to marry your partner who is an EEA National or otherwise legally residing in the UK? You are permitted to do so by law but there are are few things to consider before giving notice to marry.

Art 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to marry and this applies to all persons residing in UK whether legally or illegally so long as the parties are of marriageable age and the other legal requirements to marry are met.

The Secretary of State (SSHD) previously prevented the marriages of people subject to immigration control (who did not have more than six month leave) in order to stamp out marriages of convenience.  

However, we represented the leading claimants in the case of R (On The Application of Baiai and Others) V Secretary of State For The Home
Department House of Lords Session 2007-2008 [2008] UKHL 53

whereby the SSHD’s scheme was found to be  ‘an arbitrary and unjust
interference with the right to marry, which is recognised internationally
in article 16.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article
23.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
regionally in article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights.’ 

Some marriages can obviously bring an immigration advantage for one
or both of the parties but this does not make it a sham.

The SSHD’s certificate of approval scheme has since been abolished but
other measures are being used to control the marriages of people subject to immigration control. The purposes of these controls are supposed to
help stamp out sham marriages but in reality, they are barriers to marry in cases where one or two of the parties stand to receive an immigration
advantage after the marriage, for example, marriages between EEA
Nationals and their non-EEA partners.  

Persons subject to immigration control are required to give notice to
marry and must wait a 70 day notice period. During the notice period,
the relationship is subject to investigation pursuant to Section 50 of the
Immigration Act 2014 and the parties may be called in for a marriage
interview and requested to provide certain documents .
However, after the marriage interview takes place and even if the couple are deemed compliant, the immigration officers often detain the party
who does not have leave to be in the UK.  

If you are subject to immigration to control but plan to marry, please get
in touch for a consultation before giving notice to marry so that you are
aware of your rights.