Popped the question - now what?

After over 3 years we’ve gone and decided to get married.

Bought the ring from this place in Taichung: www.etgold.com.tw
(Great service if you can speak Chinese and about half the price of the department store diamonds of the same quality and size - the other half’s happy, my pocket’s happy!).

Put a deposit down for a good price for the wedding photos from this place: www.julianews.com (just hope they have some clothes that fit!).

The in-laws are already working out if they can invite more people than the 500 or so who came to the last family wedding.

Now all I need is some practical advice regarding visas etc. and hope that someone who has been through the same situation can give a helping hand.

At the moment we are in Taiwan but both plan to return to the UK in March. We want the engagement party here and the official ceremony and church wedding in the UK. We plan to have them both around March / April next year but am not sure about how we can cut down the number of times we have to come back and forth. We will need to be back here next January for the photos and some sorting out but before that will it be possible for my lovely bride to be to stay in the UK for 8/9 months?

I understand she can get a 6 month visitor visa to come and stay with me but can she reapply for a new one in France or somewhere after the 6 months? Or can we convert it to a Fiancee visa valid for a further 6 months (without coming back to TW)? Or is there no way around it and we will have to come back after 6 months anyway?

We plan to settle finally in the UK.

I’ve tried various websites etc for info but have ended up rather confused with (surprise surprise) the BTCO website having conflicting info regarding fiancee visas.

I’m just hoping someone can point me in the right direction or offer some advice. I’m sure there’s things I haven’t even considered that need doing so any info from people who have been through something similar would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all the useful info already on here (especially one post about requiring a Foreign Office stamp on the wedding cert. etc.).

The soon to be spliced, StevieB

Assuming you are in Taiwan, I suggest that you direct your questions about UK visas to the BTCO in Taipei.

Congratulation!! I just got married myself not long ago. Are you planning to go back to UK with your wife after marriage? If so, your wife can go to British Institute to get residential visa for UK with the necessary documents that can prove your marriage. However, I am not sure that if you need other extra documents that prove you are planning to live in UK afterward. In my case, I can only apply for the visitor visa valid for years that allows me to live in Germany not more than 90 days for each entry since my husband has not lived in his country over three years and is planning to live in Taiwan.

I also think your fiancee may not be able to get visa in France since she does not have residential visa for France.

It is true that you should call up British Institute to check out what sort of visa you fiancee can get, I will suggest your fiancee to do it since most of employees in the Institute are Taiwanese and normally they speak bad English.

I hope this helps.


Hi Stevie,

I would advise caution

First: unless I am totally mistaken, the system of Visa runs does not work for the UK. It surely does not work for getting a Schengen visa. You will have to apply for a Schengen visa at your country of (legal=residential permit) residence

Thanks everyone for the info. It looks like we will need to come back after 6 months to apply for the Fiancee visa in Taiwan. I’d like to add my name to the list of all those with a complaint about the BTCO; went there, it wasn’t possible to make an appointment with someone who could advise me, the girl I talked to couldn’t come up with more than ‘I think so’ to my questions… I could go on.

Never mind, it looks like we’re on our own, as suggested, we’ll just be cautious and make sure we get all the documents together thoroughly etc.

Thanks again,

Stevie, as you have probably found out, you need a Fiance Visa, which is normally valid for six months upon entry into the UK. Once the marriage is complete, a short trip to the Foreign Office turns this into an indefinite right to stay, with ability to leave and reneter as often as you like, however, if i remember correctly, i think they are expected to stay within the country a certain number of days per year, if you wish to let your new wife apply for naturilsation into a UK citizen.

As for the BTCO here in Taipei, i think to often people end up using the wrong section. If you are a UK citizen, then use the BASS section, and not the visa section, they only handle foreignor’s applications for visas. The BASS (British nationals Assistance Services Section) are generally very helpful, and quite knowledgeable, though there will always be times when they do not kow and have to find out.

If any UK national has genuine issues with advice etc given, then let me know by PM and this can be passed onto the Head of this section, a Brit.