Unlike in Romania, the expat marriage in England UK procedure is a very simple one that does not imply headaches. Remember the article about how complicated it was to get PACS or married in France? Well, unfortunately It’s just as complicated in my home country Romania as well. We initially wanted to have the civil marriage ceremony in Romania but I was surprised to find that in our country besides the usual pile of papers requirement, you are also required to provide a “Prenuptial Medical Certificate”.
This supreme idiocy is required only in our country, and consists of a certificate obtained based on results of blood tests, that prove you do not suffer from any serious illness such as HIV, Syphilis or TB. This certificate issued by most clinics is valid for 14 days but must be submitted within 24 hours to the Register Office! So once you have it, run quickly to the Register Office, submit the application, and then you must wait at least 10 days to get married, but no more than 14 days, otherwise your prenuptial medical certificate to expire! Makes perfect sense, right? Only in a banana republic like Romania it does yes.
I searched the internet for a logical explanation regarding why you have to wait 10 days, but I could not find any. If anyone can explain this ridiculous request to me please do.
Overall, it seems that we had to take a minimum of 3 weeks leave for this event, so we decided to get married in England UK.
In the UK, unlike Romania, the Expat marriage in England UK procedure is very simple: you have 3 steps to follow, you pay 2 fees, show up with your passport and proof of address and soon you will be married. Let’s see these steps:
- Start from the information site https://www.gov.uk/get-married-in-england-or-wales. For EU citizens, there is no additional requirement other than a valid passport and proof of address that you live in the UK (utility bill or paper from City Council with the name of both partners).
- Go to the local Register office of the city where you live , and give an official marriage intention notification (Give Notice). You will be asked what kind of ceremony you want: a small ceremony with 2 mandatory witnesses (maximum 2 witnesses are are allowed in the office due to the size of the room and safety concerns), which costs 46 pounds; a ceremony in the church that usually costs at least 86 pounds or a ceremony in the large ceremony hall of the town hall where the price varies depending on the city. In our city if we would have booked the big celebrations room it would have cost us 150 pounds.
- When filing a marriage notice (Give Notice), you must bring your EU passports, proof of residence and proof of divorce translated if necessary if it’s the case. If you have done PACS in France don’t worry, it is not legally recognized in the UK except for same-sex couples). You will also have to pay a fee of 35 pounds per person for the reservation. The wedding can take place after at least 29 days from the date of the Notice has been given and within a maximum of 12 months from the filing. For those outside the EU, the fee is 47 pounds per person, and there are additional requirements for presenting the visa or residence permit.
- You will be given at the office a form to fill in with your personal data and in which you will sign on your own responsibility that you are eligible for marriage, you do not have any serious illness and that you are not already married (there is no dementia here that we will ask for your blood works result, medical certificates, celibacy, customs or other papers) but keep in mind that this signature is criminal proof in any court of justice should you lie about these things.
- Before you go to the Register Office, consider when you want to get married in England UK, taking into account all the above. Also consider UK legal holidays, and the fact that doing the ceremony during the week is cheaper than if you do it on the weekend. Any legal holiday here is usually postponed to the first calendar Monday after the holiday, in order to be linked to the weekend.
- You will be scheduled in the next few weeks for a small interview. There you will be asked separately several questions about your stay in England, and about your partner. Absolutely nothing complicated or to worry about. Also now you will be asked to confirm the date when you want to perform the ceremony and to pay the ceremony fee of 46 pounds + the 11 pound fee for issuing the marriage certificate.
All that remains now to be done is to show up with your partner at the appointed time and place, along with your 2 witnesses to sign. The ceremony itself is a very short one: the marriage officer will ask you if you want to take your partner in marriage, put the ring on your partner’s finger (if you have the rings, no problem if not), read and check if all the data is correct on the certificate, sign in two places and you are ready to go in your honey moon.
Unfortunately you are not yet off the hook. Most likely you will have to go to your country’s Consulate or Embassy to register your marriage. Each country has different requirements, in our case we were required to bring with us at the Romanian Consulate:
- Original National ID cards + 2 copies each;
- The Marriage certificate issued abroad with the original Apostille on the back, and 2 legalized translations of it, made by a Translator Authorized by the Embassy of Romania. The Apostille and 2 authorized translations cost us 75 pounds at a translator in Leeds, and another 7 pounds for the postal courier to receive them at home. + 2 copies on front and reverse side of the Certificate.
- Birth certificates in original of both partners + 2 copies of each certificate. If you have the new model of Birth Certificate which is multilingual you are fine. If you have the old yellow booklet model which is only in your national language, you will also need it translated by an authorized translator and have the Apostille on the back of it.
- Notarial declaration in which you declare that you want to submit to your country’s National Civil Status Regime and Laws, and further specify and under which regime of the goods you want to fit in (legal community, separation of goods or conventional community). Also in this statement you can specify who and what Family name will have after the Marriage. Unless otherwise specified, the wife will take the husband’s last name.
Please note that unless you obtained in advance this Notarial Declaration in your country, as we discovered, you will have no choice other than to submit to the British Civil Status Regime and Laws of Marriage. As far as I have read, the British Civil and Marriage Laws Regime is very similar to the Romanian Separation of Good Regime. This means that that the goods that each partner bring in to the marriage will still be theirs, but after some years they are subject to become common goods, depending on multiple factors.
It’s not complicated right? Good luck then! If you have any further questions I look forward to them in the comments section or leave a message on the GarciaCalavera.com fb page. If you like the page you can give it a like and share the article to help others in this situation.
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