I am an EU citizen and started work in the UK a couple of weeks ago. I am planning to stay here for at least 5 years, if not more.

My non-civil relationship with my boyfriend (same-sex couple) started a year ago. He is a non-EU citizen (he does NOT need a visa TO VISIT the UK). We are planning for him to join me in the UK in the near future (approximately 2 years).

The problem is, neither of our home countries approve of any kind of legal partnership between same sex couples.

How can I bring my non-EU partner in the UK when I can't get married with him outside the UK? I would like to mention that I will qualify for the minimum income threshold currently in place for UK citizens willing to marry non-EU citizens. Because of Brexit I will probably need to meet those income and language requirements too. Also, his level of English is very good (C1/C2).

Can anyone crack this one? Is there any possibility at all for us to, perhaps, get married in the UK after I have lived there for like a year or so?

Many thanks!

  • You might be able to get married in another country (for example the US), though if you could do it in the UK the paperwork would be simpler.
    – phoog
    Jan 23, 2018 at 21:47
  • This might be a stupid question, but can't you get married in the UK while your partner is on a tourist visa? Forgive me if this is a non-starter. Jan 28, 2018 at 19:24
  • @aparente001 I don't understand the regime fully, but for some people at least a marriage visitor visa is needed rather than a standard visitor visa or visa-free entry.
    – phoog
    May 8, 2018 at 13:07
  • You'd need to check with a UK registry office. In Germany, for example, the marriage must be legal according to German law, your country's law, and your partner's law (which is known to cause problems for some people), so it wouldn't work. Hope the UK is differently.
    – gnasher729
    May 8, 2018 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


You can get married in Denmark, that's where I (non-EU) married my same-sex EU partner. Neither of us were Danish residents, just visitors.

To setup the ceremony it took three emails only because we had two questions. The fee was around 500 DKK, about 75 USD.


Your options are rather limited from a UK visa point of view until you have been living together in a serious relationship for at least 2 years and you yourself have been resident in the UK for 5 years. Obviously this is not possible to achieve in your current situation.

To bring him to the UK initially he would need to apply for a family visa. This would allow him to live with you in the UK as a partner with no need for marriage. There are certain conditions of course:

Apply as a partner or spouse

To apply as a partner, you and your partner both need to be 18 or over.

Your partner must also either:

be a British citizen

have settled in the UK (they have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or proof of permanent residence)

have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply.

What you’ll need to prove

You must be able to prove one of the following:

you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK

you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply

you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving

Unfortunately since haven't been in a relationship together for at least 2 years (with evidence such as a joint lease, utility bills, etc. with both your names on them) your partner doesn't qualify on those grounds. Since you are not a permanent resident of the UK (having lived here for 5 years) the alternative of planning to marry your partner within 6 months of his arrival is unfortunately also not an option.

There is a good summary of the options on the Stonewall Scotland website.

  • As an EU citizen who has lived in the UK for less than five years, the asker of this question does not meet the criteria quoted in this answer. Furthermore, their relationship is not yet two years old. If it were, the non-EU partner would qualify for an EEA family permit and residence under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016. Those regulations (like the directive they implement, arguably) do not specify a path for a non-EU/EEA fiancé to join an EU/EEA citizen who is exercising freedom of movement in another country.
    – phoog
    May 8, 2018 at 14:12
  • @phoog My apologies, I didn't notice that the relationship was only a year old and misunderstood the "permanent residence" status. Should I delete my answer? May 8, 2018 at 14:45
  • Perhaps it would be better to edit the answer to note the factual differences at the top, but leave for the benefit of subsequent visitors who might be looking for help with slightly different situations.
    – phoog
    May 8, 2018 at 15:13
  • I see. By saying "their relationship is not yet two years old" do you refer to the actual relationship or to the lenght of the civil partnership? We started our relationship in May 2017 and he is planning on applying for the family permit after September 2019. If all goes well we will be getting in a civil relationship around the beginning of 2019. We do have pictures from all the vacation we took together/will take, plane tickets towards the same destinations, same dates(sometimes even save flights), daily long whatsapp conversations, history of skype calls.
    – andrew2607
    May 13, 2018 at 23:35
  • Anyway, thank you very much for your replies :) And I do have one more question: If eligible he will apply for the family permit while he is outside the UK. The questions is will the UK hold his passport when he applies for the CoA or can he work for his current job(outside the UK) until his CoA is back? From what we know he can't apply for a job without his CoA and passport.
    – andrew2607
    May 13, 2018 at 23:42

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