I am an international graduate student in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa. My partner is a German citizen and currently lives in Germany. We are planning to get married. Are we allowed to register our marriage in the UK and if yes how? Most guides assume that I am British or that my partner is British and are written accordingly but this is not the case.

Specifcally, according to this link, we both to "give notice" of our marriage. Can my partner do this while visiting the UK as a tourist? Can I do this while on a student visa?

  • Are you planning to get married in the UK, or are you planning to get married in one of your home countries and then let the UK authorities know? You can't do the second of those: to quote Wandsworth council "There is no requirement, or facility, to register the marriage in England afterwards. " Jan 11, 2023 at 9:16
  • Hi Martin, I meant the first option. Planning to get a registered marriage in the UK first so that we're legally married. The plan is to only have a religious ceremony in our home countries at a later date but this has no legal impact on the UK plans. Jan 11, 2023 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


To get married in the UK, since Brexit, all citizens that aren't living in the UK, except for settled EU and Irish citizens, must apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa, even to give notice

Non-visa nationals who have not applied for a Marriage/Civil Partnership visit visa to come to the UK to marry or enter into a civil partnership
See: paragraph V 1.1(b) and V 1.3(a) of Appendix V: Visitor.

Non-visa nationals who are seeking entry to visit the UK to marry or enter into a civil partnership, or to give notice of an intention to marry or form a civil partnership, who do not hold a Marriage/Civil Partnership visit visa must be refused entry.

Page 62 of the case worker guidance for visit visa

This only applies to your partner, and not to you, as you aren't the holder of a visitor visa, you don't need further special permission to marry on a Tier 4

  • Thanks for the answer. The guidance on this page: gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships says that the marriage visitor visa is also optional, but that it might require further checks from the Home Office. See also gateshead.gov.uk/article/11130/Marriage-of-non-British-citizens where it states "You are not subject to immigration control, and these rules do not apply, if you have the right of abode in the UK, or are one of the following: 1) a British citizen 2) an EEA national..." Jan 11, 2023 at 15:30
  • So is it the case that there are two ways to do this? 1. My partner arrives without any visa and we give notice to marry. The Home Office may run further checks or not approve in this case 2. My partner applies for the marriage visitor visa and we then give notice to marry. Jan 11, 2023 at 15:32
  • @user1936752 The UK is not a EU member anymore, therefore the EEA national exemption doesn't apply, the council site is just outdated, and it is extremely clear that you are required to have a MVV if you are comming to marry in the UK and even to give notice, otherwise your partner will be denied entry to the UK Jan 11, 2023 at 15:34

If you get married outside the UK it is not possible to "register" that marriage in the UK: the facility simply does not exist.

This page from Wandsworth council says:

A marriage abroad will be legally recognised in the UK providing it was contracted according to the law of the country in which it took place. There is no requirement, or facility, to register the marriage in England afterwards. We therefore suggest you consider obtaining extra marriage certificates, and translations if necessary, whilst abroad.

(my emphasis)

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