Changes to marriage and civil preliminary notifications – Changes from March 2015

For anyone who has not already seen the upcoming changes, please note this release from the Home Office….

The Government has announced changes to the process for giving notice of marriage or civil partnership to come into effect from Monday 2 March 2015.  From this date, the notice period for all couples wishing to marry following civil preliminaries or form a civil partnership in England and Wales will be extended from 15 days to 28 days.The changes, which are part of the Immigration Act 2014, will ensure that the Home Office has more time to identify and investigate suspected sham marriages and civil partnerships.For couples involving a non-EEA (European Economic Area) national, where the Home Office suspects the couple are not genuine the notice period may be extended to 70 days to enable the Home Office to interview the couple and take further action as necessary.

As well as the increase in the notice period registration officials have additional powers to share information to make sure appropriate action can be taken against couples suspected of being involved in a sham marriage.

Couples seeking to get married in the Anglican Church where one or both is from outside the EEA will need to undertake civil preliminaries and give notice at a register office.

Couples who give notice of a marriage or civil partnership before 2 March 2015 will not be affected by the changes.

We would be grateful for your help in raising awareness of these new requirements by utilising your communication channels to ensure your stakeholders, members and clients are aware.

To find out further information about the changes please visit the following address:

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