On the 2nd March 2015 the Marriages and Civil Partnerships Regulations 2015 and associated Orders will be implemented.
The Regulation will strengthen the Home offices position as they attempt to expose sham marriages and civil partnerships in the UK. Tougher checks on proposed marriages, or civil partnerships, will be reviewed by the Home Office if one or both of the parties are non-UK/non-EEA nationals with limited or no status. Individuals that have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, EU right of permanent residence or right of abode, will only need to provide evidence of their status when giving notice.
Key points from the new scheme:
- The scheme has extended the 15 days’ notice period. Now, all couples planning to marry in the UK must give 28 days’ notice before marrying;
- Non-UK/non-EEA nationals with limited or no status who give notice to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK will be referred to the Home Office for review;
- Couples that have been referred may be required to wait 70 days before marrying if a decision to investigate is made;
- Non-UK/non EEA nationals wanting to marry in the Anglican Church will now be required to give notice at a register office also.
- EEA nationals (including British citizens) have to provide specified evidence of their citizenship to the Anglican Church prior to being married by the church.
- All non-UK/non-EEA nationals who are not exempt from immigration control are now required to give notice of their marriage at a designated register office (75 offices will be designated nationwide) rather than at the office in the district in which they reside.
Orders are in effect that extend the investigation and referral scheme to Northern Ireland and Scotland. Couples that have given notice prior to the 2nd March 2015 will be subject to transitional arrangements.
Couples that are likely to be referred may wish to contact us for marriage visa help and immigration advice prior to giving notice of their intention to marry.