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I'm trying to help my parents get UK visitor visa from a non-EU country (Serbia) so they can visit me for one week in London.

I've asked them to provide a marriage certificate, since my mom is unemployed. They got it 3 months ago, however, I wasn't able to collect all the documents in the meantime, so they'll be applying for VISA in a few weeks.

Should all documents be at most 3 months old? How about the marriage certificate?

Edit: To clarify, my parents have been married for more than 25 years, it's just the document that is more than 3 months old. I guess my question was if the document needs to be less than 3 months old or it's not important in this case.

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    I don't think there is any particular benefit to being newlyweds, as opposed to having been married for more than 3 months. (If anything a very recent marriage might more easily support suspicions of being one of convenience). People are certainly not supposed to divorce and remarry every 3 months just in order to travel together ... – Henning Makholm Mar 23 '17 at 14:49
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    To clarify my question, they have been married for more than 25 years, but the document is 3 months old. – Nikola Stojiljkovic Mar 23 '17 at 14:54
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    In general, the 'age' of the document would only be important if the document describes something which is likely to 'go out of date' within some time period. So an old bank statement wouldn't be of much use since it doesn't show your current circumstances. Something like a marriage certificate, on the other hand, doesn't expire or go stale. – brhans Mar 23 '17 at 15:00
  • I have occasionally seen restrictions about the age of documents, but not in connection with the UK (it was in Croatia and/or Bosnia; I don't remember which), and the maximum age, if I recall correctly, was six months. – phoog Mar 23 '17 at 15:36
  • Thanks, yes, I thought I did merge the two accounts. I've posted a question without being logged in and I was asked to merge, which should have happened. I'll take a look at the link. – Nikola Stojiljkovic Mar 23 '17 at 16:12
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For applicants in the situation you describe, i.e., visiting their children in the UK, there are no specific requirements as to the age of ANY supporting evidence. The 3 months thing is something that probably vectored from the PBS side where there are rigid age requirements. Best practices, on the other hand, informs us that more credibility is granted to applicants who do their best to make sure their evidence is recent. PLAB applicants, for example, are required to submit an invitation to sit the exam and naturally such invitations have an implicit time fuse on them.

Nobody expects a marriage certificate to be of any specific age, it can be from yesterday. I have even seen a case where the marriage certificate was less than 4 hours old (and the applicant was successful).

Should all documents be at most 3 months old?

There is no specific age limitation for evidence unless it is specified when filling out the application (PLAB applicants) or mentioned in the guidance. In the general sense, it should be recent in order to establish credibility, but again, it's not a stated requirement.

How about the marriage certificate?

A marriage certificate can be any age. Having said that, note that they are entitled to look beyond the formal document to be satisfied that the marriage is genuine and subsisting. So you would advise your parents to include the relevant evidence in addition to their marriage certificate. These are things like joint bank accounts, joint tenancies, and things that a bona fide couple would be expected to have (there are no "trick questions", but knowing what they will look for can be very helpful).

To clarify my question, they have been married for more than 25 years, but the document is 3 months old.

It's unusual, and a sentence or two explaining the situation might be helpful, but there's nothing in itself to cause a refusal. It's more important to establish that the marriage is genuine and a certificate only accomplishes a part of that.

  • Thanks for the response. Yes, everything is genuine (it's 25+ years :D) but I read somewhere that every document needs to be less than 3 months old, that's why I thought this might be the problem. – Nikola Stojiljkovic Mar 23 '17 at 15:00
  • Cross vectoring of requirements and anecdotes can be harmful. Stay off the net! – Gayot Fow Mar 23 '17 at 15:02
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    This reminds me that I need to call and order a new copy of my birth certificate. The one I have now is perfectly valid, but the physical paper and ink are literally 35 years old and the paper has weathered from white to a sort of "gross yellow". It's a perfect complement to a day at the DMV, I suppose. – Robert Columbia Mar 23 '17 at 15:35
  • "Nobody expects a marriage certificate to be of any specific age, it can be from yesterday": When my wife and I registered our marriage in Croatia and/or Bosnia, at least one of those countries, if not both, required the apostille on the certificate to be no older than six months. – phoog Mar 23 '17 at 15:43
  • @RobertColumbia The last time I remember using my original birth certificate was when I was in my 30s. The raised seal was no longer obviously raised (and it was starting to fall apart at the creases), but the document was accepted nonetheless. When I needed a certificate with an apostille, though, I couldn't use the original, so I needed to get a new one. – phoog Mar 23 '17 at 15:46

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