Every year thousands of couples in the UK decide to cement their relationship by getting married. This is no different for those who are in the UK on a visa. Many of these visa holders choose to get married in the UK for a number of reasons, these include beneficial visa options. In this article, we are going to take a look at the options for Tier 2 General Visa holders who are looking at getting married in the UK. We will look at the pros and cons of getting married in the UK, and whether it is likely to have a knock-on effect on your visa.
Yes, you can get married in the UK whilst you are living here on a Tier 2 General Visa. As long as you are both legally eligible to marry, you will be allowed to do so. Because of your visa conditions, when you give notice of your intention to marry it is likely that the registry office will contact the Home Office to ensure that you are eligible to get married. In the vast majority of cases, this is a mere formality but it is something you should be aware of.
At the registry office, you should be able to book your wedding ceremony and you will be informed by the Home Office in due course if there are any reasons as to why you cannot get married, or if there's anything that they want to investigate. In the vast majority of cases, there will be no need for any further investigation by the Home Office. Because in many cases a visa holder getting married enhances their visa restrictions, the Home Office will look into certain cases. If you are concerned or would like some advice, please get in touch and our team will be able to give you more guidance on the marriage process in the UK for those on a Tier 2 General Visa.
There are no significant considerations that need to be made by Tier 2 General Visa holders looking to get married in the UK. As we stated, a potential Home Office investigation may give you some cause for concern, but as we noted this is generally a mere formality. Due to the prevalence of so-called “sham marriages”, the Home Office flags some marriages for investigation.
One consideration you do need to take into account is whether your marriage will affect your visa. For instance, if a Tier 2 General Visa holder is marrying a British citizen or someone with Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will be eligible to swap their visa for a Spouse Visa after getting married. A Spouse Visa will extend their options, allowing them to stay in the UK free of work restrictions for a set period of time. Usually, once the visa holder reaches 5 years in the UK, they will then be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
If you're marrying another visa holder, you may need to ensure that this does not negatively impact on your visa conditions. As a general rule it will not, but if you'd like to be certain of what your visa conditions will be after getting married, please contact our immigration specialists who can help you by looking at the potential impact that getting married in the UK will have on your visa conditions.
Yes, if you're in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa then you will be able to use the Tier 2 Dependent Visa option. This option allows a partner (which is defined as a husband, wife or partner) to come to the UK to join you while you work in the country. In order to qualify, you need to ensure that your dependent has at least £630 available to them when they apply, you'll also need to be able to show that you can support your dependent during their stay in the UK.
Even though you will have to show proof that you can support your dependent in the UK, they will be able to take on employment restriction free. In many ways, this means that the Tier 2 Dependant Visa actually offers an easier route to employment than the Tier 2 General Visa does. If your partner's visa is approved, they will be able to join you in the UK to live and work. Their visa will be linked to yours, so you will both need to extend at the same time if you wish to stay in the UK for the long-term.
Once you have both received Indefinite Leave to Remain (usually after 5 years), you will then be able to live in the UK restriction free for as long as you wish. Once you've had Indefinite Leave to Remain for 12 months, you can, if you wish, apply for British citizenship. British citizenship will give you the option of applying for a British passport - this is an ideal option for many immigrants, as many come from countries that allow for dual nationality as does the UK.
If you need more help with a Tier 2 General Visa query, or you have any more questions about getting married in the UK, please get in touch and our immigration specialists will be able to help. Our team have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sector and can help you with any and all queries. So if you need help, get in touch today and we'll be happy to get started.
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