Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation
navigation-end

Marriages and civil partnerships

Important changes to giving notice from 1 July 2021 if you or your partner are from outside of the UK.

If you or your partner are from outside the UK

From 1 July 2021, the Home Office Referral Scheme will affect where and how EEA and non-EEA citizens give notice of intention to marry or enter civil partnership. EEA refers to people from countries of the European Economic Area plus Switzerland.

  • EEA citizens who do not have settled or pre-settled status will be in the scope of the referral scheme. This means there will be an additional Home Office statutory referral fee of £24. Civil preliminaries require a minimum notice period of 29 days and this may be extended to a maximum of 71 days if the Home Office wish to investigate the proposed marriage or civil partnership.
  • All register offices in England and Wales will become Designated Register Offices. This means that for the purpose of giving notice, a couple who are within the remit of the referral scheme will be required to give notice together in the district where one or both of them reside.
  • If you are a non-EEA citizen and you hold (pre-)settled status and you are marrying or forming a civil partnership with another party who is not in the scope of the Home Office Referral Scheme, you will be subject to a maximum notice waiting period of 29 days.
  • During your appointment, you must show evidence of your settled or pre-settled status. The six-digit code can be requested on the GOV.UK website

If you are an EEA or non-EEA citizen and you are unable to confirm your settled or pre-settled status during your appointment, you will be subject to the Home Office Referral Scheme.