Can I Get Married in the UK With a Student Visa

Can I Get Married in the UK With a Student Visa

Falling in love at university is a more common trait than you may realise, with 37% of people in the UK who have been to university over the last 50 years still with their partner in 2023 that they met at university. So since love is in the campus air, it’s natural for international students to also meet the person they’re destined to marry.

If you’re engaged to be wed at university or you brought your long-term partner to the UK with you while you study for your PhD and wish to get married, the good news is that you can get married while in the UK on a Student visa. However, unless one half of the happy couple is a UK resident or citizen, you may not have the right to reside in the UK following the expiration of your Student visa even though you’re married.

Let’s look at all the requirements and restrictions for international students in the UK, so you can be prepared before you study.

Getting a Student Visa

Getting a Student Visa

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Once you have an offer of a place at a recognised sponsoring educational institute in the UK, you can begin your Student visa application online. You must complete several steps to have your application reviewed:

If your application is missing any documents, or there are questions about your character, English-language abilities or finances to cover the cost of your stay, you may be called into an interview at your nearest British embassy. The Home Office may still refuse your application if they deem it necessary, however, they will provide an explanation in a rejection letter, which will also inform you of your right to appeal.

If your application is successful, you will receive a vignette sticker in your passport allowing you entrance into the UK where you can pick up your biometric residence permit, which will have details of your permissions in the UK, including expiration date and work limits.

What You Can and Can’t Do as a UK Student Visa Holder

What You Can and Can’t Do as a UK Student Visa Holder

A Student visa is issued to international students who wish to study in the UK, so they must show their dedication to their course whilst in the UK, by attending and passing their classes. However, international students are also able to work and travel while studying in the UK.


While in the UK with a Student visa, you can work full-time outside of term time, and limited hours during your educational facility’s official course dates.

Students who are studying below degree level may only work up to 10 hours per week during term time, while those studying at degree level or above may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time. Term time changes according to the facility as well as what level of study you are undertaking, so make sure you understand the restrictions on your course before you begin employment. If you are caught working over your permitted number of weekly hours, you may have your visa revoked.

International students also face restrictions on what jobs they can do while studying; they may not:

  • be self-employed
  • own businesses
  • work as professional sportspeople, sports coaches, or doctors or dentists in training
  • work as entertainers, including actors, musicians, dancers and performers, unless they are studying dance, drama or music and are on work placements.


Students may travel while they are studying as long as their trips are outside of term time unless they have a valid reason and permission from their educational facility, such as a letter explaining their need to attend a funeral.

Student visas from the UK don’t change an individual’s ability to obtain other visas, as the most important document when travelling is your passport. Therefore, a student from Indonesia, for example, may not travel to any EU countries including Ireland without a visa. However, they may travel within the UK, including to Northern Ireland.

Can You Get Married in the UK with a Student Visa?

Can You Get Married in the UK with a Student Visa?

If you’re in the UK on a visa that lasts for more than 6 months, you can get married or enter a civil partnership in the UK with no further restrictions. Therefore, you cannot get married in the UK if you have a short-term study visa, but if you have a Student visa (formerly known as a Tier 4 visa), you can get married, although you must have been in the UK for at least 7 days. Like other British citizens, you must also give notice of your wedding to your local registry office at least 29 days and no more than 12 months before your wedding date.

As an international student, you can get married to another foreign national on a valid visa lasting more than 6 months, or to a British national or resident.

Both individuals entering the marriage or civil partnership will need to provide the registry office with:

  • Details of the venue
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of home address
  • Proof of any previous name changes

Foreign nationals will also have to provide:

  • A passport-sized photo for both individuals
  • Proof of immigration status
  • English translations of any documents not originally in English

After attending your appointment with the registry office with these documents, you are free to get married in the UK. However, even if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen, you are not automatically entitled to remain in the UK once your Student visa expires.

Stay in the UK When Your Student Visa Expires

Stay in the UK When Your Student Visa Expires

You should apply for an extension for your Student visa or switch to a different UK visa if you intend to remain in the UK after your Student visa has expired. You should not overstay your visa as there may be serious consequences.

If your spouse is a British or Irish citizen or has permanent residency in the UK, you can apply for a Spouse visa to stay in the UK with them. Permanent residency is also known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status for EU nationals and means you do not have an end date for your stay in the UK.

To switch to a Spouse visa from a Student visa, you need to complete an online application form and submit your marriage or civil partnership certificate, as well as prove your knowledge of English and your financial status. A certificate showing the successful completion of your studies in the UK should be sufficient to show your knowledge of English, while you’ll also have to provide financial records going back at least 28 days to show sufficient funds for your living costs, as you did when you first applied for a Student visa.

You do not need to be married to apply for a Spouse visa if you can provide evidence that you have been living together with your partner for at least 2 years before your application.

Whatever your relationship status, Spouse visas are normally issued for up to 2 years and 9 months and grant individuals permission to live, work and study in the UK.

Switching to a Skilled Worker Visa

Spouse visas aren’t the only way to stay in the UK after studying. Many international students opt to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa.

Skilled Worker visas were formerly known as Tier 2 visas and allow individuals to take on jobs from the list of eligible occupations, as long as they have job offers from approved sponsors and their proposed job meets the minimum salary requirements for the job. New visa rules being brought in in 2024 will see the minimum salary requirement rise to whichever is higher of £29,000 or the going rate for the job. Finding the right job can be difficult while you’re completing your studies, and even harder in the couple of months left before your visa expires, so some students choose to apply for a Graduate visa to enable them to stay in the UK for 2 to 3 years to live and work.

Need Visa Help? Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions

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