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How can you apply for permission to marry in the UK?

30 January 2010

This article intends to assist migrants who are currently in the UK and wish to marry their beloved ones. In order to celebrate their wedding or civil partnership in the UK, the applicants must first apply to the Home Office for permission and obtain a Certificate of Approval (COA).

The COA application is designed by the Home Office to ensure that the applicant and his/her fiancé(e) are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. At present there is no UK Border Agency’s fee payable for this application.

If the application is successful, the applicant will be issued with a COA. This is valid for a period of 3 months from the date of issue. Please be aware, that the COA allows a migrant to give notice to marry, however it does not guarantee that they will be granted leave as a spouse or civil partner.

In order to proceed with the marriage ceremony, the migrant and his/her fiancé(e) are required to give notice to marry at a designated register office. They will need to be at the designated register office together to do this. They will be required to provide proof that they are now free to marry.

After having given notice to marry, the applicants must wait at least 15 full days before the wedding can take place. Once the notice to marry has been accepted, the wedding can take place at any register office or approved premises. The notice to marry is valid for one year from the date on which it was given and the marriage must take place within this time.


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.