American citizens coming to the United Kingdom to marry UK citizens or persons who are ‘settled in the UK’, or to register as Civil Partners, typically require entry clearance from UK authorities before coming to the UK.
Failure to obtain entry clearance prior to arrival is likely to result in refusal of entry to the UK. In short, people who are subject to immigration control and who wish to marry in the United Kingdom must:
- hold entry clearance as a fiancé/e or marriage visitor, or
- hold a Home Office certificate of approval, or
- be a person with settled status in the United Kingdom (e.g. Indefinite Leave to Remain).
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American Citizenship and Marriage to a UK Citizen
American citizenship is not affected in any way by marrying a UK national. You will not lose your American citizenship, however nor will you automatically acquire British citizenship simply by marrying a British citizen. Similarly, a UK citizen will not acquire American citizenship simply by marrying an American citizen.
The UK Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows a same-sex couple to register as civil partners of each other. A civil partnership can be registered in England and Wales in a register office or in approved premises. Note that, as for marriage, entry clearance must be obtained from the relevant UK authorities prior to arrival in the UK.
US Spouses, Unmarried Partners and Dependants of UK Citizens
If you are a spouse/fiancé/partner and you are travelling to the UK for purposes other than as a tourist or business visitor, then you will not be allowed to enter the United Kingdom unless you have been granted a visa from a UK consulate prior to travelling to the UK.
UK Partner Visas
You can learn more about UK partner visas by visiting the links below:
- UK Spouse Visas
- UK Fiance Visas
- UK Unmarried Partner Visas
- UK Marriage Visit Visas