I am a US citizen. My fiancee lives in the UK and we would like to get married in the UK. I understand that a Marriage Visitor Visa is the thing to apply for in this case.

However, in order to get married, we need to give notice at a register office, which takes a minimum of 28 days processing time. I cannot live with my fiancee for that amount of time, so the plan is to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa, live together for the week required by the register office, and give notice. I would then return to the US and resume work there.

If I recall correctly, the eventual marriage license is valid for one year. My question is: what happens if we decide to get married outside of the 6 months granted by the marriage visitor visa? Can I simply apply for another separate one to get married? I would assume so since the visa page lists giving notice and getting married as separate points, but could this be considered extending or switching the visa, which is not allowed? I assume the authorities would take a dim view of applying for a 6-month visa straight after the conclusion of the previous one. How soon after could a subsequent visa application be made?

  • 5
    Where are you planning to settle after you get married?
    – phoog
    Oct 9, 2017 at 21:54
  • 1
    Why not do the legal formalities in any other country? The actual ceremony can then be done on a regular visa.
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 9, 2017 at 23:23
  • 1
    We have considered this. Regardless though, we would like to know if we must marry within the 6 month time frame or if we can use the MVV to give intent and then reapply for it at a later date for the wedding. Thank you.
    – Miss
    Oct 9, 2017 at 23:35
  • 2
    @MadHatter Is the MVV only single entry? Oct 10, 2017 at 6:51
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Question about UK Marriage Visitor Visa Refusal; the question is slightly different but the response addresses all the issues.
    – Giorgio
    Jun 17, 2018 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


For a US or any non-EU citizen to marry a British citizen, a settled person, or one with limited leave, the Family visa is intended category under the Immigration Rules Appendix FM: family members.

The Marriage Visitor Visa was put into place for couples, both of whom are non-EU nationals, wishing to enter temporarily for the sole purpose of celebrating their wedding and departing the UK.

The Family visa route is much more strenuous, and costlier £1,523, but you may lawfully remain in the country after the marriage and apply for a spouse visa from within the UK. Once granted, the spouse is able to work and, after 5 years, obtain permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain), and is eligible for British nationality. None of those privileges are extended to those with a Marriage Visitor visa.

  • 3
    The qualifications for a marriage visitor visa are perfectly compatible with the US member of a couple who plan to marry in the UK and settle elsewhere. If you can provide evidence of a similar case in which the visa was denied despite the ECO accepting the couple's stated intentions to settle elsewhere, I will reverse my downvote. The question you linked to above is not similar enough: the application was not internally consistent, and the ECO was not satisfied that the applicant would leave the UK.
    – phoog
    Jul 27, 2018 at 2:43

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