Marriages and civil partnerships in England and Wales

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Check if you can get married or form a civil partnership

You can get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales if you’re:

  • 16 or over
  • not already married or in a civil partnership
  • not closely related

Same sex couples can convert a civil partnership into a marriage in England or Wales.

There are different rules if you want to get married or form a civil partnership:

If you’re under 18

You need permission from your parents or guardians to get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales.

If you or your partner is a foreign national

If you’re an EU citizen and you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living here after 30 June 2021. If you want to move to the UK from 1 January 2021, you may need to apply for a visa.

You must apply for a visa to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK if you:

The visa or permit you need depends on where your partner is from and whether you want to live in the UK after your ceremony.

You can apply for:

  • a marriage visitor visa - if you’re not going to live in the UK and will stay less than 6 months
  • a family visa - if you want to live permanently in the UK and your partner is a British citizen, settled in the UK, has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • a family permit - if your partner is not a British citizen but from an EU, EEA country or Switzerland

If you do not have a marriage visitor visa or family visa

You can still give notice of your intention to get married or form a civil partnership but the immigration authorities at the Home Office will be told.

The Home Office might:

  • ask questions about you and your relationship - if this happens you may need to wait up to 70 days before getting married or forming a civil partnership
  • decide not to approve your notice - if this happens you cannot get married or form a civil partnership in the UK