I am planning to travel to the UK to visit my spouse (I am a non EU-citizen). We got married in a non-English speaking country in the European Union. Does the marriage certificate need to be translated and apostilled or is it enough to apostille only the original marriage certificate? Cheers!

PS: Is it required that the marriage certificate has been recently reissued or does the original one suffice?

  • 1
    The close vote in favor of Expatriates is baffling, since this question is clearly about a "visit."
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 18:41
  • Anna, is your spouse a citizen of the EU, of an EEA country, or of Switzerland? If not, you probably won't need your marriage certificate.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 18:42
  • My spouse is a UK Citizen, but I am not from an EU/EEA country (nor from Switzerland). If asked for proof of our relationship, I do have our marriage certificate and we have the same surname. Would the passport suffice, then? Thanks for your answer.
    – Anna
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 19:00
  • You make ask the hospital to give you a letter detailing your spouse's condition and the purpose and dates of your intended visit. My sympathies for you. Cancer can take a lot out of a person and their family. I pray your spouse is able to recover quickly. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 21:38
  • Too late for you, but you should have asked for an international marriage certificate which would come with ten or more translations.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


Because your spouse is a UK citizen, and you are visiting your spouse as a standard visitor (i.e., for six months or less), there is no formal need to prove that you are married.

The officer may decide to investigate the circumstances of your visit, though, to establish that you are in fact a legitimate visitor. In that case, the existing certificate will probably suffice.

You should be aware that the officer will likely look into the possibility that you are planning to stay in the UK longer than you claim. This is a frequent problem for people trying to visit their spouses or other close family members in the UK. You should therefore focus on being able to prove (if asked) that you have a stable and productive life in your country of residence.

  • We were planning to relocate permanently to Continental Europe but... my spouse was diagnosed with cancer. That is the reason for my visit, as he is undergoing oncological treatment, We don't think a spouse visa would be quickly issued, so we've settled for a visitors' visa. And because of our interrupted plans I do not have such a stable and productive life at the moment.
    – Anna
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 19:25
  • @Anna I am sorry to hear that. You should be prepared with a definite plan to leave the UK within six months. With the state of your husband's health, however, I do not know whether an immigration officer is more likely to be sympathetic or to refuse you on the suspicion that you actually plan to overstay for the purpose of caring for him during his illness.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 19:47
  • Thank you very much for your prompt response and for your advice :). All the best!
    – Anna
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 19:49
  • Indeed. Rather than worrying about proving if you're married the issue is more proving that you are definitely going to leave the UK within your stated time. Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 10:19

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