One or both of us are non-EEA nationals

What documents do we need to be able to give notice?
Some of my documents are not in English, what should I bring?
Home Office Guidance for non-EEA couples subject to immigration controls

 

What documents do we need to be able to give notice?

The registrar will need to see each party individually and ask each of you prescribed questions in English.  If one, or both, of the parties does not have, or only has limited, English language skills then they will need to bring a translator along with them.  A translator can be a family member, friend or community leader but cannot be the partner in the marriage.  If the registrar and party are not able to understand one another then the appointment will have to be cancelled and rebooked incurring another booking fee.

Please note:  We are unable to take bookings for clients where a divorce is still in progress and you are waiting for your divorce to be made final.  

You will need to provide evidence of:

Your nationality:

Please bring ONE of the following:

  • Valid Passport; or
  • Valid British Travel Document; or
  • Biometric Residence Card or Permit  
  • British birth certificates
    • If you are British and born before 1 January 1983, we will need to see either your full or short British birth certificate
    • If you are British and born on or after 1 January 1983, we will need to see your full British birth certificate, which includes your parents' details, PLUS either your mother or father's British birth certificate if your parents were married when you were born.  If your parents were unmarried when you were born then only your mother's birth certificate can be accepted.  If your parents were born outside the UK then you must provide evidence of British nationality at the time of your birth.
    • If your parents were born on or after 1 January 1983 we will also need to see evidence of their parent's nationality.  Further information can be found in the Acceptable Alternative Evidence document.  As this can be quite complex please contact us on 01908 372101 if further clarification is required.

Your address:

Please bring ONE of the following:

  • Utility bill dated no more than three months prior to the date of the appointment; or
  • Bank or building society statement or passbook dated no more than one month prior to the date of the appointment; or 
  • Council tax bill dated no more than one year prior to the date of the appointment; or 
  • Mortgage statement from the last 12 months; or
  • Current residential tenancy agreement; or
  • Valid driving licence in the name of the person giving Notice of Marriage; or 
  • Letter from the owner or proprietor of the address which is the person's place of residence, proof will be required that the person is the tenant or householder e.g. current tenancy agreement/mortgage statement.  
    • This letter must include:
      • the name, address, date and signature of the owner / proprietor;
      • confirmation that this person is the owner / proprietor; and
      • confirmation of the name of the person giving Notice and that they have been resident at the address for at least the 8 days immediately prior to the Notice appointment.

Evidence of your age: 

If either of you are under the age of 18 we will need to see proof that your parents, or guardians, agree to the marriage.  If your parents are divorced we may also need to see the court order that gives custody to one of them

Photos: 

Each of you needs to provide a colour, passport size / style photograph

Your name: 

Evidence of any name change (marriage certificate; deed poll etc)

If you have been divorced or widowed:

If you have been married or in a civil partnership before, we will need to see:

  • Decree absolute
    • if your divorce was granted in England or Wales and you have been issued with a paper version of your decree absolute from the court we will need to see this and the cover sheet which accompanied it
    • if your divorce was granted in England or Wales and you have been issued with an electronic version of the decree absolute, we will need to see this and the covering email
    • if your divorce was granted outside England and Wales, we will need to see the final divorce documents issued along with a full translation into English if the document was written in any other language. 
      • A fee is chargeable for clearance of any divorces granted in countries outside England and Wales.  Please note that these may have to be referred to the General Register Office for the Registrar General to confirm the document is acceptable under British law and it is not possible to specify how long it may take for approval to come through.  Authorities to marry cannot be issued until this approval is received, so please do take this into account when considering a marriage date as there may be a significant delay before a ceremony can take place. 
  • The death certificate of the spouse – if the surviving partner is not mentioned on the death certificate then you must also provide a certified copy of the marriage or civil partnership certificate.
  • The presumed death certificate of the spouse

Please note:

If you do not bring all the required, original, valid, documentation we will not be able to complete your notice and a further appointment will have to be booked and paid for.

If none of the above are available then please contact the General Register Office on 0300 123 1837 for guidance.

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Some of my documents are not in English, what should I bring?

If any of your documents are in any language other than English, you will need to bring the original document plus a full translation, into English, certified at the bottom of the document by the translator stating “I certify this to be a true translation of the document”.  The name, address, telephone number and signature of the person who translated the document(s) must be included.

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Home Office Guidance for non-EEA couples subject to immigration controls

Registration officials will be required to refer all marriage and civil partnership notices to the Home Office if one or both of the parties are non-EEA nationals who do not provide specified evidence that they have (a) settled status in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain), (b) an EU law right of permanent residence in the UK, (c) a marriage or civil partnership visa, or (d) exemption from immigration control (e.g. with the right of abode in the UK). 

The Home Office may decide to extend the 28 clear day notice period to 70 days before authorities to marry or form a civil partnership can be issued where a sham marriage or civil partnership is suspected. The Home Office will inform both parties, in writing, of this decision.  Following this notice period the Home Office will make a decision as to whether authorities to marry can be issued. If the registration official is content to do so and all paperwork has been cleared, for example any foreign divorce documents, then the relevant paperwork can be issued after the notice period has expired and the couple can proceed with their marriage or civil partnership. 

If your notice period is extended to 70 days, you will be required to comply with a Home Office investigation. If you do not comply with the investigation, you will be unable to marry or enter into a civil partnership on the basis of that notice.

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Last Updated: 26 February 2020