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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I am a UK citizen (university lecturer) currently working in

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I am a UK citizen (university lecturer) currently working in Malaysia. I want to marry a (well educated..) Malaysian woman. Would it be better for me as regards XXXXX XXXXX to the UK to live (when I/we return) for us to marry in Malaysia or marry in the UK?


Long term we expect to live and work in the UK again in education (we both have PhDs)


She is divorced (in Malaysia) and has two young Malaysian children



Thanks for your question.

In theory it does not really matter whether you are married in the united kingdom or outside in terms of the wife application for leave to enter and remain in the u k. This is because your wife can I apply for a fiance visa or a spouse visa.

She would apply for a fiance visa if you would not get married if you wish to enter the u k so that you can get married in the united kingdom. She would apply for a spouse visa if you were already married outside the united kingdom. The advantage of applying for a spouse visa is that cause in the case of a fiance visa u have to make 1 application enter the u k and other applications what you want and so that you can switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa. With a spouse visa application she needs only to make 1 application, she does not mean to make application once she is based in the united kingdom.

Therefore there is more work involved in a fiance visa application. They are also more likely to be rejected because you have to prove that you intend to marry in the united kingdom which means there is a happier evidential burden to prove because you have to show that you have booked the wedding and that this is realistically going to go ahead, so wedding invites, a ring, correspondence, Church booking and supporting statements from others who know you are to marry. This is compared to a spouse visa application where you only have to show that you are married which can do by producing your marriage certificates. If you marry outside the u k and the marriage certificate is not in english then you have to have it translated by 1 of the approved translators, but apart from this you are not required to submit any further documents periods.

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Kind regards.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you very much, all very helpful.


So I will go for a marriage in Malaysia option.

I notice you did not mention her children as a factor..?


Would she (and they) be able to travel as a European citizen if she was married to me outside the UK/Europe?


And, presumablly on a spouse visa she can live and work in the UK..



she would be able to travel within the european economic area with you since you would be exercising your treaty rights. However, each country has slightly different rules intensive requirements for her to enter with you and you should check before travelling with her. Don't generally it would not be likely that she would be refused entry to a country within the e e a if you can prove your marriage upon entry.

She would be free to work in the united kingdom once she is here on a spouse visa. However if she is to apply first for a fiance visa then then she would not be able to work for the period in which she is in the united kingdom on a fiance visa but not married to you.

Please remember to make my answer.

Kind regards.

Thomas and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Still wondering about the status of her children on a spouse visa if we marry in Malaysia.

Do they have a different set of legal rights?


She would have to include the children with her spouse visa application. You will see from the above link that the details on eligibility are largely same to children except the financial requirements is slightly increased.

Kind regards.