If you’ve been with your partner for a fairly long period of time, something around 2 years or more, and plan to get married, you have the option of applying for a Marriage Visitor’s Visa and then a Spousal Visa. This may be the cheaper and quicker option, but it does mean that you will need to get married sooner than you may have planned.

The Marriage Visitor’s Visa is essentially a 6 month visitor’s visa to enable you to marry your partner in the UK and then come back to South Africa to apply for the Spousal visa. This visa costs £95 and you will then need to pay the cost of a spousal visa and the IHS surcharge cost as well when you return.

In order to apply you will need to show the following information and/or documentation:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Any previous visa refusal and appeal confirmations
  • Previous application for her unmarried partner  – if this is applicable
  • Certified copy of your partner’s passport
  • Proof that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for at least 6 months
  • Proof of your future plans for the relationship, for example documents to show where you’ll live
  • Details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans, although bearing in mind that you should not pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa

You can also supply the following to support your application:

  • Details of the marriage or civil partnership and proof that you’ve paid money for some of its costs – this can be your engagement ring, deposit on a venue, payment of your wedding outfit, emails you’ve sent to family or friends detailing plans of the wedding
  • Proof that you’re planning to get married in the UK, for example a booking confirmation or emails between you and the venue

Once you have all these documents together, you can apply for the 6 month visitor’s visa and once this is approved, you will need to get married in the UK and register the marriage there.

Only once that is complete, can you fly back to South Africa and apply for your spousal visa. Once you begin the spousal visa application, you will need to use your Marriage Visitor’s Visa application as evidence in your Spousal visa application to show that you did apply for the appropriate visa and that you did in fact get married and register the marriage.

You will also need to pay the standard IHS surcharge and will need to renew your spousal visa in 2.5 years time. The Marriage Visitor’s visa does not include dependents and these will need to apply separately.

For more information on how this visa would work for you, email Robyn Lamb on robyn@rcvinternational.com today.