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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all!
Long-time lurker, first time poster.

Behold my complicated scenario:
I am Canadian living in Canada, my boyfriend is South African living in Northern Ireland on a Tier 4 (student) visa. I have been visiting for the summer and he proposed! Now we want to get married in Northern Ireland in a few months. I would stay for the week to get married and honeymoon and then leave again.

Here is the tricky part: Since I am here (and leaving in a week) it would make sense for us to submit our Notice of marriage to the registrar while I am here. However, I entered without a visa (as my privilege for a short-stay as a Canadian). I did not enter with the intention of getting engaged or registering our notice. However, I know that technically the rules are that you cannot enter on a visitor visa with the intention to marry, enter a civil partnership or register a notice of marriage. . From what I understand the system is different in Northern Ireland compared to England and Wales, but the NI direct site redirects me to Gov.uk and Gov.uk redirects me to NI Direct!

Can we still register the marriage notice? Or do I need to get a Marriage Visitor visa to register the notice? This isn't ideal because I would have to be the UK for two weeks prior to our wedding which is difficult because of my job. I do intend to get a Marriage Visitor Visa for my wedding when I return to the UK

I hope that this is clear and thanks for any thoughts.

I suppose the second question is is it ok to marry a non-UK national in the UK who is on a Tier 4? It seems as if it is, but the Marriage Visitor Visa always states that You and your partner intend to leave in 6 months. My Fiance will leave when his visa is up, not when my marriage visa is up.

[EDIT] I tried to include links, but the forum won't let me until I post more. Sorry!
 

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If the registrar allows you to give notice and get married without marriage visitor visa, your marriage will be legal. If your intention is not to settle in UK (difficult as neither of you is settled in UK), then there is no negative implication.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Joppa,
Thank you so much for your advice. We will go to the Registrar and see what will happen. And we certainly aren't interested in settling in the UK at this time. I'll update with the information on Wednesday in case others want to know.
 

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NI Direct website states the following:

"Since 9 May 2011, any person subject to immigration control wishing to give notice to marry or register a civil partnership no longer needs:

a Certificate of Approval

an entry clearance for the purpose of marriage or registering a civil partnership

or

settled status in the UK

Immigration control

Immigration entry requirements remain unchanged. Any person wishing to come to the UK to marry or register a civil partnership will still need to obtain the correct entry clearance before they travel to the UK.

Failure to obtain the correct entry clearance may result in admission to the UK being refused."

In other words, in NI at least, it is permitted to give notice on a temporary/visitor visa, so long as you obtain the correct entrance visa before arriving to get married. As you are currently planning on leaving the UK anyway, it won't be an issue in any case, as Joppa said.

NI registrars allow couples to register by post from abroad, so long as they produce the relevant documentation prior to getting married. My non EU fiancee sent her form to me in Belfast, which the registrar was happy to accept. This seems to be a special provision for NI. However, my fiancee must obtain her fiancee visa before coming to NI to get married, and produce the relevant documents for the registrar before the ceremony can proceed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi There,
So just an update for others if they are ever interested or have this rather particular circumstance.

In N. Ireland, unlike England, Wales and Scotland, you can do what I did above. I contacted the UKBA in NI and they were actually willing to discuss changing my visitor visa status to a marriage visitor visa while I was still in the UK. Obviously that was not necessary since we only wished to give notice on my visitor visa, which we did with no issues BECAUSE IT IS N. IRELAND.

I applied for the marriage visa, received it, and entered N.I. and was married. All very kosher.
 
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