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Which type of Marriage Certificate needs to be submitted?

Use this section for queries concerning applications on any of the EEA series of forms, and also for applications for EEA Family Permits.

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CassiQ
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Which type of Marriage Certificate needs to be submitted?

Post by CassiQ » Mon May 09, 2011 2:29 pm

I am applying for the EEA Family Permit (married) to enter the UK. My husband was transferred to London recently and, naturally, I would like to join him! He has dual citizenship with South Africa and Portugal, I am South African and unable to prove ancestral (Although this would be silly considering that I qualify for an EEA Family Permit.)

We are both qualified professionals and my husband works for a South African-based company in London... bringing revenue into the UK... so please, no nasty remarks about us saffers taking jobs!

I am about to hand in my application form. I, literally, just have to include one remaining piece of documentation, the most important of all for us: The Marriage Certificate.

When we got married, we were issued with a hand-written, abridged copy after the ceremony.

My question is, will this marriage certificate suffice, or will I have to obtain the full, unabridged version?

If the unabridged version, I have two options...
1: Can I submit the handwritten one issued at the Department of Home Affairs (which is issued immediately upon application) or

2: Do I have to submit the "official-looking", Formally-signed, fancy, printed version issued from Pretoria and the high court? This one will take upwards of three months to be issued to us!

My husband is already in London and I would like to get there as soon as possible, naturally. So the handwritten certificates would be best... but if I need the fancy, printed, unabridged one then I'll need to apply for it immediately so that I can, hopefully, be in the UK by August...

Thank you in advance for any help. I've been scouring all the forums for weeks trying to find an answer. Every other aspect of our application has been sorted out and is in a neat file waiting to be submitted.

Directive/2004/38/EC
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Post by Directive/2004/38/EC » Mon May 09, 2011 4:48 pm

You have every right to move to the UK to be with your husband. The visa is just a formality. It does not matter if your husband works part time at McDonalds, or is a Managing Director of Barclays Bank.

Is this a standard marriage certificate issued to lots of people in South Africa? Is it in English?

If it is a standard marriage certificate, then I would just submit it. If they have any problem with it, they will tell you. Since the application should cost you exactly nothing, then it is probably the fastest way to find out.

They should process your EEA FP application very quickly. Should not take more than a few days.

Please let us know if they push back in any way.

fysicus
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Post by fysicus » Mon May 09, 2011 9:23 pm

I agree that you can just apply for the EEA FP with what you have now and see what happens.

In parallel, however, I would certainly also try to get a printed, unabridged version. You never know where in the future you will need to show your marriage certificate, and handwritten documents will of course be viewed with more suspicion.

Directive/2004/38/EC
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Post by Directive/2004/38/EC » Mon May 09, 2011 9:30 pm

I also think having a extra copy of the certificate makes sense no matter what. You would likely not like the original to get lost in the opaque cogs of the UKBA or some embassy during a visa application or when you are applying for citizenship for your UK (or elsewhere) born child.

CassiQ
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Post by CassiQ » Tue May 10, 2011 8:01 am

Thanks everyone for the replies - much appreciated! The certificate issued on the day of the ceremony serves to say that you have been married, where and by who. It is standard and issued to everybody.

I think that what I will do in this case is to get a copy of the handwritten unabridged version to submit with my application... and then apply for the fancy, printed one in the mean time. As you said, you never know where you may need it!

Oh, and yes: it is in English. All legal documentation in South Africa is.

Thanks again, everybody! I will be submitting my application on Monday so I will let you know how it goes.

I'm very excited :D

Directive/2004/38/EC
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Post by Directive/2004/38/EC » Tue May 10, 2011 10:04 am

I should mention that some/many/all Church of England marriage certificates are hand written, often by the vicar's wife.

Amazingly they are then "eventually" submitted to the GRO and finally put into some sort of national registry, but I have heard that it can often take up to 10 years from the time you marry until it is nationally "accessible". God knows what happens if the parish church burns down in the mean time, and the record of your marriage with it...

CassiQ
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Whoohoo!

Post by CassiQ » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:40 pm

So, it took a grand total of 5 working days to process my application and another week for them to send it back to me.

My application was successful. So, should anybody else need this information, I submitted the normal abridged marriage certificate issued at the ceremony along with a copy of the marriage register for good measure.

Thanks for all of the support and advice!! :D :D :D

Mirta SF
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Post by Mirta SF » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:17 pm

Congratulations!

I have a similar question: after my husband and I got married in India, we applied for a marriage certificate and were given 2 sheets, 1 which was a bit more "fancy" and one which is a plain sheet but with the same content. This is also not a copy as it has the original stamp.

The "fancy" looking certificate was submitted to another Embassy for registering the marriage in my home country.

They also required us to get the certificate (nb the fancy one) attested by a notary plus it needed an apostille. So ultimately it was on fancy paper and full of stamps and stickers to certify it.
The Embassy upon our request said it was retaining the certificate for its records.

Now that we are to apply for EEA FP, do I need to get all these stamps and stickers again or is the certificate (original but on plain white paper) enough as it is?

Thanks a lot and good luck everyone!

CassiQ
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Post by CassiQ » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:24 pm

Oh, goodness! If you have the fancy, stamped, apostilled one or at least a certified copy, submit it. If not, I hope that the normal one will work for you. I have no idea if it varies from country to country, but I would imagine that it is not so.

I would say submit what you have. The process is quick enough so that if they say they need another version it won't be a huge hassle to submit the application again. Or so I would imagine.

None of my documents were apostilled. Just the marriage officer signed the abridged certificate. He also signed and stamped the marriage register which is used to update our marital status on the population registry. He gave us a copy of this and I included it in the application as well.

Good luck, let me know how it goes. This whole thing had me very anxious for a while and I'd like to know about everyone else's experiences too. :)

Directive/2004/38/EC
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Post by Directive/2004/38/EC » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:26 pm

When you have experience with your marriage certificate and applying for visas, please add your experience to http://www.immigrationboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=79679

Mirta SF
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Post by Mirta SF » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:30 pm

No unfortunately that's the thing, the Italian Embassy is keeping the fancy one for their records!

I would have avoided the whole procedure as it's time and hassle, I often jokingly refer to this as Asterix and Obelix's Permit A 38 in "The Place That Sends You Mad" :)

I totally relate to your anxiety, in fact I am almost daily on this forum now as it has definitely cooled that down aside from giving much practical help.

I will keep you posted!

hilda84
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Post by hilda84 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:08 pm

Hi CassieQ

I just submitted my application today in Durban. I included same as you by the sound of it. It's 5 to 10 days wait now for me :-).

Wish me luck :-)

docteurbenway
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Re: Whoohoo!

Post by docteurbenway » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:10 am

CassiQ wrote:So, it took a grand total of 5 working days to process my application and another week for them to send it back to me.

My application was successful. So, should anybody else need this information, I submitted the normal abridged marriage certificate issued at the ceremony along with a copy of the marriage register for good measure.

Thanks for all of the support and advice!! :D :D :D
Hi CassiQ, glad you got your EEA FP. I have a few quick questions, did you fill out all the pages of the application in full detail? What other supporting documents did you provide apart from the marriage certificate?

Thanks.

hilda84
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Post by hilda84 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:55 pm

Hello all,

Great success!! High five! My application was successful too.

Thanks for helping :-)

Directive/2004/38/EC
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Post by Directive/2004/38/EC » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:59 pm

hilda84 wrote:Great success!! High five! My application was successful too.
As the spouse of an EU citizen, there are very few reasons the application can be rejected. Same for the Residence Card. If your spouse can go, then so can you!

But enjoy!

Godott
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Post by Godott » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:27 pm

Hi.

I submitted the marriage certificate in a 'printed' form in April 2011, and did not have any response or any question regarding it from HO.

Does anyone know from the experience if H O accepts that 'printed' form of Marriage certificate issued by Authorities ( Registrer OFfice) in England or i woud be fine with submitting both handwritten on the day of ceremony and the printed one with signatures of Registrer as both handwritten and printed one seem to me as original?

Thanks

alekos
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Post by alekos » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:54 pm

Godott wrote:Hi.

I submitted the marriage certificate in a 'printed' form in April 2011, and did not have any response or any question regarding it from HO.

Does anyone know from the experience if H O accepts that 'printed' form of Marriage certificate issued by Authorities ( Registrer OFfice) in England or i woud be fine with submitting both handwritten on the day of ceremony and the printed one with signatures of Registrer as both handwritten and printed one seem to me as original?

Thanks
UKBA accepts the "printed" one, as long as it was issued by register office. we've kept the "pretty handwritten one" for ourselves.

Godott
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Post by Godott » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:24 pm

Thanks a lot Alekos! :arrow: :wink:

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