Monday, 6 February 2012

Marrying a Foreign National

The Legal Bit

This is an unusual one. Out of all the British friends I have, I’m the only one marrying a foreign national (at the moment!).

Things are a lot different from marrying a British citizen, and I’ll tell you all about it!


Church of England Ceremony

If you are getting married at an Anglican church in England, like h2b to and I, then hopefully this will help you to know what to do. I hope our experiences will help other people.

A Common Licence

If you are getting married at an Anglican church (and possibly any other church, mosque or temple) and you are marrying a foreign national, you will need a common licence.

H2b is in charge of getting his common licence but he’s talking me through what needs to be done.

  1. First he had to get in touch with a surrogate vicar. The vicar who’s marrying us gave us the details of our surrogate vicar so that would be the best place to start.
  2. Our surrogate vicar told us that h2b needs an affidavit to swear that he is not currently married and hasn’t been married before.

    Getting an Affidavit: H2b can write his own affidavit, adapting it from one he found online. It can be as simple as:

    “I solemnly and sincerely affirm as follows: That I am of marriageable age and neither the consent of either parent or guardian is required or if needed given. That my prospective spouse and I are not blood kin to the other in any degree. That I am currently not married. All facts concerning me set forth upon this document are true, correct and complete. “
  3. Your vicar will need to work with you to sign some forms. He will know how to get those forms and will bring them with him when he comes to meet you in your home.

    When he comes, he will be looking for signs that you’re a couple. That was fine for h2b and I. We have been together for nine years (almost) and have a lot of coupley photos! Especially considering that we’re so obsessed with photos.
  4. Take the forms and the affidavit to the surrogate vicar. He will issue the common licence if he believes you’re a genuine couple and you have all the forms and evidence.

This does mean that you don’t need to have your bans read at the church, although it would be nice if they read the bans.


I hope that helps. It is a snap shot and brief description of what you’ll need to get married. I wanted to share our experience because it is quite daunting.

H2b and I had booked our wedding, paid our deposit and then with about a year to go, our vicar rang us to tell us we would need a common licence. We weren’t exactly sure what we had to do and we did get a big confused. I think if someone can lay out exactly what you need to do it can make everything a lot more simple!

We are all sorted now and well on track to signing the register at the church.

Just over 8 weeks to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment