Immigration Act 2014

Phase 2 of the Immigration Act 2014 was implemented on 2 March 2015.


Immigration Act 2014, Phase 2

  • The notice period for all couples will be extended from 15 to 28 days (with some exceptions)

  • The introduction of a new process (called the referral and investigation scheme) whereby all proposed marriages and civil partnerships involving a non-EEA national who does not provide specified evidence of settled or permanent resident status, a marriage or civil partnership visa, or exemption from immigration control will be referred to Home Office Immigration

  • Those couples referred under the scheme may have the notice period extended from 28 to 70 days where the Home Office has reasonable grounds to suspect a sham marriage and decides to investigate this

  • Couples wishing to marry in the Church of England/ Church of Wales where at least one of the couple are a non-EEA national will have to give notice via civil preliminaries at a Register Office (if they provide specified evidence they are exempt from immigration control) or at a Designated Register Office (DRO). The Cardiff Register Office is the closest DRO to the Vale of Glamorgan. 


Transitional Arrangements


a) For those couples where one or both are resident outside the UK

There may be couples overseas who have already made arrangements to come to England and Wales to marry or register a civil partnership on the basis of a 15 day notice period, and to do this so as to give notice and marry / register a civil partnership on the same visit.


Transitional arrangements are in place for this circumstance, for the Registrar General to reduce the notice period, providing that the couples can give evidence that their arrangements (such as the marriage or civil partnership booking) were made before the implementation date of 2 March 2015.


As now, any non-EEA national wishing to come to the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of a marriage or civil partnership, must be in possession of a marriage or civil partnership visa. The appropriate visa must be obtained prior to travelling to the UK in order to qualify for leave to enter and so that the couple are exempt from referral under the scheme. Please note that these transitional arrangements will not apply where one or both of the parties are subject to referral under the scheme: the 28 day/ 70 day notice period will apply.


b) For all those couples who give notice before 2 March where the notice period extends beyond 2 March

Couples who give notices of marriage or civil partnership prior to the 2 March 2015 will not be subject to referral to the Home Office and the notice period will remain at 15 days even where the notice period extends beyond 2 March.


c) For those non-EEA nationals marrying in the Anglican Church who have applied for or been granted a common licence or had banns published before 2 March 2015

A couple involving a non-EEA national who before 2 March 2015 have been granted, or have applied for and are later granted, a common licence to marry in the Anglican Church in England and Wales will be able on the basis of that licence and will not be required to complete civil preliminaries before marrying.



We are working with the UK Border Agency to identify marriages and civil partnerships which seek to abuse UK immigration laws.


Anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosection. Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.


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