I want to form a civil partnership in the UK with someone I have been chatting with online, but who is living outside the UK. We now want to be together in a relationship here in the UK.

One of the requirements for the marriage visitor visa is that the relationship is genuine, which it is as far as we are concerned. However, we have yet to meet, so I am not sure if this relationship will count as genuine or not.

  • 1
    This question is tagged visa refusals. Have you already been refused a visa? If so, please post a picture of the letter with your personal details blanked out.
    – user16259
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 16:01
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    Please edit your question to include all relevant information. Also, obligatory comment: are you sure this isn't a scam? Marrying somebody who you've not even met seems like a huge step: most people live together for a while before getting married; most people visit each other before living together. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 16:45
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    @user71982 this is not just common sense, it is directly on topic. People do not usually intend to marry someone they only chatted online and never seen in person. Expect the UKVI to be openly skeptical about your intentions.
    – George Y.
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 17:27
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    I can't address UK law, but under US law your odds would be 0%. It's also stupid--go spend some time with them in their country! There's also a good chance it's a scam. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 22:39
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    In Russia there is an entire industry running scams like this. Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


There seem to be two problems here.

  1. A marriage visitor visa is only appropriate if your partner intends to marry in the UK but leave again afterwards. Immigration will be very suspicious that this is not your intention. The appropriate Visa for marrying and then living in the UK would be a "Family Visa"
  2. An immigration officer is going to be very suspicious about someone wanting to marry someone they have never met in person. The sad fact is that "marriages of convenience" were/are an all too common strategy for evading immigration rules.

In my opinion, if you are serious about this relationship you need to start seeing each other, both to satisfy the authorities that your relationship is genuine and frankly because a Marriage or Civil Partnership is a long term commitment that you shouldn't rush into lightly.

I am not an expert but I doubt a single visit will be sufficient to establish a genuine relationship. I expect that to avoid serial refusals it would be a good idea to talk to a lawyer before making any further UK visa applications.

If your proposed partner can't get a Standard visitor visa to the UK then it seems like your only real options are to either meet with him in Russia or meet in a third country.

  • Thanks very much Peter. I am thinking of submitting a standared visitor visa application . If this is refused or I decide its not likely to succeed, then I will go to Russia as you suggest
    – user71982
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 8:57

A marriage visitor visa is only appropriate if you intend to leave the UK again afterwards - see the third bullet point on the linked advice. For your partner to live with you in the UK would require a family visa but that is more of a query for Expatriates.

If your partner has difficulty getting a UK visitor visa, you could go to Russia or arrange a joint trip to a third country.

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