What you can do

Immigration rules

Immigration

Individuals who are British, EEA (European Economic Area) nationals or those who hold Indefinite Leave to Remain/Permanent Residence have the right to reside in the UK and are able to register a marriage or civil partnership here. Non EEA overseas nationals who are already in the UK with temporary UK immigration permission (such as students) are also able to register a marriage or civil partnership here. Forming a marriage or civil partnership does not alter an individual’s immigration status. The couple will need to look into their options under UK immigration rules and in some circumstances under European regulations. For any of the options given below lesbian, gay and bisexual people should be assessed and treated in exactly the same way as a heterosexual couple.

What are the options?

You can apply for residency when one partner is an EEA national

Under European regulations, the husband/wife or civil partner of EEA nationals have the right to reside in the UK provided the EEA national partner is in employment, self-employment, in study or is self-sufficient in the UK.

Apply to bring a spouse or civil partner to the UK where the partnership has been registered overseas

A couple may wish to enter (or have entered) into a marriage or civil partnership in another country, before coming to the UK. If the ceremony takes place overseas and one of the partners is not ‘settled’ in the UK the overseas national partner may apply for a Spouse/Civil Partner visa to come to the UK. A ‘settled’ partner will be a resident in the United Kingdom with no immigration restriction on the length of their stay.

Apply for UK residency after a marriage or civil partnership

An overseas national partner of a ‘settled’ person may apply for immigration permission to remain in the UK on the basis of a marriage or civil partnership if they either entered the UK with a Fiancé(e)/ Proposed Civil Partner visa or a valid visa issued for more than 6 months.

Apply for a Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa

The Fiancé(e)/ Proposed Civil Partner visa permits non EEA overseas nationals to come to the UK to enter into a marriage or civil partnership with a ‘settled’ partner (a British citizen, an EEA national or someone who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain/ Permanent Residence in the UK). After the ceremony the non EEA Overseas National will be able to apply to remain in the UK without having to return home to submit a fresh application.

Apply for a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit Visa

The Marriage or Civil Partnership Visit visa is for overseas nationals who wish to come to the UK specifically for the purpose of entering into a marriage or civil partnership. They will not have permission to remain in the UK after the ceremony has taken place and the visa expires.

Useful contacts

Welsh Refugee Council

The Welsh Refugee Council is a Wales based charity, committed to protecting the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Wales.
Phone: Cardiff – 02920489800
Swansea – 01792 630180
Email: info@welshrefugeecouncil.org
Website: www.welshrefugeecouncil.org.uk
Address: Welsh Refugee Council Cardiff, 120-122 Broadway, Cardiff, CF24 1NJ.
Welsh Refugee Council Swansea, 49 Walter Road, Swansea, SA1 5PW.

The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group

The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) is a charity that promotes equality and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people who seek asylum in the UK, or who wish to immigrate here to be with their same-sex partner.
Phone: 020 7922 7811
Email: admin@uklgig.org.uk
Website: http://uklgig.org.uk/
Address: 32-36 Loman Street, London, SE1 OEH.

For further information please contact Stonewall Cymru's Information Service on 08000 502020 or email cymru@stonewallcymru.org.uk