Getting married in France or the UK?

Is the sponsor an EU/EEA or Swiss national ? To what extent is freedom of movement still restricted for same-sex couples in the EU ? Do you have experience of immigration bureaucracy in other European countries ? Please also visit EU/EEA page in the main website

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jonathan
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:38 pm

Getting married in France or the UK?

Post by jonathan » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:10 pm

Hi, I'm a French citizen who has been living in London for almost 6 years. My partner is Saudi, we met when he was studying and we have been together for nearly two years. He had to leave when his visa expired almost a year ago. We were thinking of settling in Dubai for a while but it seems like it will be better to live in the UK, or Europe at least.

We have been exploring a few options and we would now like to get married. I thought getting married in France was the best option as there is no marriage visa and a tourist visa is enough to get married. However, it would take at least 3 weeks, maybe even 4 weeks to have the whole wedding and EEA family permit sorted.
It might work out the same in terms of cost to get married in the UK because of the appartment and car renting and other costs, not to mention the fact I would need to take a considerate amount off work.

What is the best option for us: getting in the UK or in France?

I have read on the forum that the name of the family member is printed on the passport when one has a EEA family permit. This would be a problem if he wants to visit home as homosexuality is illegal in his country. Is there any way around this?

I also saw that the time for applications for EEA family permit is 3 days in Saudi Arabia whereas in France it's 15 days. We could consider spending two weeks in France to get married and then bringing my partner later on when he applies from his home city. It would be easier, that is if my name won't be on his passport.

I thought to go around the name thing we could try to go through Calais and get a stamp, I am from that region so it won't be far from us.
Does anyone have any experience on coming to the UK with a non-EU partner without EEA family permit?

The argument for getting married in the UK is that there won't be mention on the passport, is that right?

I have also read that if the UK stays in the EU some changes will apply to non-EU family partners coming to the UK but I couldn't find more information, does anyone know what these changes will be?

It seems overwhelming, we have spent a lot of time researching but we would really appreciate any information concerning the few points I have mentioned.

KKT
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Getting married in France or the UK?

Post by KKT » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:14 pm

Your options are either: -

(1) for your partner to apply for a marriage visitor visa or settlement visa under the UK immigration rules in order for both of you to get married/civil-partnered in the UK. On getting married/civil partnered, your partner can then apply for his EEA residence card within the UK in order for him to live with you here. The settlement visa will be endorsed with your initials (first capital of your first name with your last name in full).

(2) for both of you to get married elsewhere (e.g. France) and then for your partner to apply for his EEA family permit there in order for him to join you in/accompany you to the UK as the family member of an EEA national. Your partner can apply for his EEA family permit from wherever you both plan to have your marriage (need not apply from your partner’s country of usual residence). Similarly, the EEA family permit will be endorsed with your initials (first capital of your first name with your last name in full). On entering the UK with his EEA family permit, your partner must then apply for his EEA residence card.

I don’t think your plan through Calais will work. Your partner, as a Saudi national (and therefore a visa national under the UK immigration rules), will require a pre-arrival visitor visa in order to enter the UK. Basically, no ‘landing visa’. Furthermore, it is an immigration offence to get married/civil partnered in the UK under the visitor visa (but not marriage visitor visa).

KKT
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Getting married in France or the UK?

Post by KKT » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:47 pm

If you meant trying to obtain 'EEA Regulations/Code 1A' stamp at Calais subsequent to your marriage in France, your partner may highly likely experience some 'difficulties/problems'. The ferry operator may not allow him to board without a valid UK visa. UK immigration officers may not entertain the request without all required proofs.

jonathan
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Getting married in France or the UK?

Post by jonathan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:01 pm

Thank you KKT for your reply.

Sorry for the late reply, we have been talking a lot about the different possibilities. Because he is currently unemployed, it will be difficult to get a Schengen visa so we are thinking of getting married in the UK instead.

Considering he is unemployed with very limited savings, is it possible for him to get a mariage visitor visa if I sponsor him meeting the same conditions as a fiance visa?
As I understand once married, he can stay in the UK and apply for EEA2. Is that right?

Concerning the accodomation requirements, I found this online "A house is overcrowded if 2 persons of 10 years old or more of opposite sexes (other than husband and wife) have to sleep in the same room, or if the number sleeping in the house exceeds that permitted in the Act - NO OF ROOMS: 1 - PERMITTED NO OF PERSONS: 2"
Would it be okay if I have a bedroom for both of us in a houseshare or do I need to have 1-bedroom flat?

Sorry I have lots of question, I just find the whole thing confusing.
Also, I know this has been asked before. Is there any risk for him to apply for marriage visitor/fiance visa from Saudi Arabia considering the risk? Is there any possibility to apply through the embassy instead

MikeStoll
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: Getting married in France or the UK?

Post by MikeStoll » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:44 am

A french friend of mine had the same situation, with the exception that his partner was Russian, and they met and lived in England, they finally got married in France as it turned out to be easier, but unfortunately i don't remember why. They got married in 2013.

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