Information for foreign nationals

If either of you is not a national of the UK or Ireland and doesn’t hold Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, having a Church of England wedding will involve some different paperwork and there will be a number of things your vicar will want to talk to you about.
A wedding invitation with pink heart confetti on it

The law regarding marriages of nationals from outside the UK and Ireland changed in 2021. Nationals from other countries who don’t have Settled or Pre-settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme must have a Superintendent Registrar’s Marriage Schedule (SRMS) to go ahead. The only exception to this is if a Special Licence has already been granted.

To apply for an SRMS, the bride and groom must have been resident for seven clear days within a registration district in England or Wales before giving Notice of their marriage at the Register Office.

After receiving an application for an SRMS, the Registrar enters the details in a book which is open to public inspection and also displays a notice for 28 days at the Register Office. If no legal reasons to delay or prevent the marriage going ahead are shown within that time, a Superintendent Registrar’s Marriage Schedule can be issued.

For couples where one or both of the parties has limited immigration status or not here legally, the civil registrars will be required to refer their marriage notice to the Home Office for potential investigation. To allow time for the investigation, the Home Office may extend the notice period to 70 days. Those with indefinite leave to remain, or a marriage visitor or fiancé(e) visa will be exempt from this referral and investigation process.

For more information about applying for an SRMS, visit the Government’s web page. Contact details for local (civil) register offices and designated register offices are given. Each register office will usually have its own website explaining the procedures in greater detail.

Nationals of countries within the EEA who live in England and have Settled or Pre-settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be married by banns and will not usually require a licence. Read more about banns.