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As An Asylum Seeker What Are My Options For Getting Married To My British Spouse?

A common query from asylum seekers in the UK is whether they can legally marry a British citizen. In this article we will look at the in's and out's of marriage for asylum seekers in the UK and try and offer you some practical tips on how to proceed if you want to marry a British citizen as an asylum seeker whilst in the UK.

So can an asylum seeker marry a British citizen in the UK?

Theoretically speaking, there is nothing to stop a British citizen and an asylum seeker from getting married in the UK if the relationship is genuine. Where there may be issues is if UKBA are looking to deport you from the country. If this is the case then you may wish to get in touch with us first before giving notice of your intention to get married. It is important to ensure that your wedding will not be stopped and we can help you to decide on how to proceed.

It is not unheard of for UKBA to turn up at weddings, as has been the case in several television programmes in which they have shown this happening. If you are worried about deportation then please get in touch and our experienced immigration lawyers can talk you through your individual case to see if you will be able to get married in the UK, or perhaps offer an alternative option that may be better suited to your personal situation.

Does it matter if I'm a failed asylum seeker?

Potentially yes. This is where UKBA might step in to try and prevent the wedding from taking place in the first place as clearly once you marry British citizen your right to remain in the UK will change significantly. Whilst you will still need to make an application to remain in the UK after your marriage has taken place, your chances of remaining will be significantly improved by it taking place and you will need to ensure that everything is done properly to ensure that there will be no issues going forward.

As per the usual required standard, you will still need to prove that the relationship is genuine and if there is any hint that this isn't the case then it is highly likely that your application will be turned down. So it is in your best interest to ensure that you are in a genuine relationship and can prove it, and that you're not just trying to get round the system.

See also an article on 'Genuine relationship proof for spouse visa application'

What would be the ideal way for a foreign citizen and a British citizen to get married?

Ideally if you were looking to use the UK Spouse Visa route then you should really leave the country first and return to your country of origin where you could then apply for a Spouse Visa. Of course if you already have an asylum case in the UK then that could complicate matters significantly and this is reason why many people will not do it. Of course if you are an asylum seeker then your country of origin is unsafe for you to return to and of course in that situation we would not recommend you to leave the country to put yourself in danger.

Our expert immigration specialists can help to pinpoint the ideal way for you to enter or remain in the country by looking at your individual case and helping you to decide what to do next.

What if we have children?

Children will potentially change the case and it would depend on the child's nationality as well as your own, this being the case you we can help to establish whether you or your child has citizenship rights in the UK and if so how that may change your personal situation.

Please bear in mind that just because a child is born in the UK, they aren't necessarily guaranteed to gain British citizenship. Citizenship rights are based on the immigration status of their parents.

Could the Home Office prevent us getting married?

Absolutely. It is not unheard of for the Home Office to question potential marriages and to warn those who are about to enter them that they may be investigated. If this is the case, investigations will normally take place very quickly and you'll be able to find out after a very short period of time whether you are actually able to get married. If you haven't heard anything back within 70 days then we would urge you to speak to the registry office to ensure that you can still get married.

The Home Office in the UK try their hardest to block sham marriages, as in many cases people's statuses changes once they get married. It is often much easier for them to stop a marriage than to try and assess the situation again at a later date if you are concerned about your right to get married.

Where can I get more help?

If you're concerned about your situation then please get in touch. Our immigration solicitors are experts in their field and can help to look at your situation in isolation to help you decide how you should progress. We have been dealing with clients in situations just like yours for several years.

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