UK marrying Taiwanese in Taiwan and then moving back to UK. Questions!

Hiya folks. Compiled lots of info from different threads on here (and elsewhere) and just trying to see how it all fits for our situation. It would be great if you could offer any advice or spot any potential stumbling blocks.

We want to get married during my next trip to Taiwan in early December and move back to the UK together in late December. This is what I think we need to do:

  • I obtain a “Certificate of No Impediment” with all correct stamps, translations, verifications and take that with me to Taiwan.
  • Pick my Chinese name.
  • Get married in Taiwan, fill in the paperwork and get it signed by the witnesses.
  • Go to the local court / government to do more paperwork and registration.
  • Return to the UK showing proof of marriage at immigration control.

The next few steps are where we are confused:

  • Will our marriage in Taiwan be seen as legal in the UK?
  • Do we apply for the Spouse Visa in the UK when we get back or can we do it in Taiwan before we leave?
  • Can we just apply for a Spouse Visa in the UK right away or do you need a UK Fiance Visa first - even though we are technically married in Taiwan?
More info about our situation / relationship if needed

I meet all financial requirements, own a property that is more than suitable and have a steady and secure job. My Taiwanese fiancé has an MA degree from a top UK university and has previously worked in the UK. We began our relationship in the UK in December 2015 and when her Student Visa expired in October 2016 she had to leave and is currently working in Taiwan. Since then I have visited her 4 times in Taiwan and she has visited me in the UK twice and we have also met up in Japan (when I proposed!), Germany and Holland - so there is plenty of proof that our relationship is genuine.

Not sure about UK, but for most countries you have to apply for a marriage visa before you enter the country. I.e. you would need to apply from Taiwan before your husband can join you in the UK.

I don’t know what paperwork is needed to get back to UK… but I doubt this is going to work in that time frame. IMHO 3 months would be already tight to get all the paperwork done. Plan in extra time if something is stalling. If all is done quickly you can be happy and fly back earlier.

I think it would be better to marry in UK if you are planning to live in UK.

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I don’t have experience with the UK bureaucracy, but I do have experience with the French, American, and Taiwanese bureaucracy. The Taiwanese system is generally more efficient, cheaper, and easier to deal with than the western ones I have had to deal with. So if you plan on living in the UK, and are trying to deal with immigration to the UK, it would probably be much, much easier to just get married in the UK. If you then later need to get that marriage recognized in Taiwan, it should be easy and quick. If you guys have a wedding planned in the UK, then you can probably go ahead and apply for a fiancé visa for your partner and then after marriage apply for a longer-term visa.

Getting a non EU spouse into the UK is being made very tricky at the moment with a minimum income/savings. They will look for any reason to deny you. Get married in the UK if possible.

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Go to the UK gov website (family visa, apply extend) , it explains how to do everything to get your new wife a residents visa. Although quite involved its a straightforward process.
You do not need to register the marraige in UK your certificate of marriage is accepted.
No point trying to marry in UK you would both have to be there for 6 months before.
Good luck, I am going through the same process

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You must apply from Taiwan. She cannot enter the UK visa-free and then convert to a family visa.

There is technically no Fiancée Visa – there is the family visa, which you can apply for if you are engaged provided the wedding is to take place within six months of arrival. But you’ll already be married, so that’s a non-starter anyway. If you’re getting married in Taiwan, then she’ll need to apply for the family visa in Taiwan.

Your timeline for doing so is tight but doable if you have all your ducks in a row and you are willing to pay for the expedited processing. As others hint at here the UK government has a “hostile environment” policy and will take any opportunity to reject your application for the slightest reason, so check and double-check everything, and over-deliver on the corroborating evidence if possible.

When my wife applied for her initial family visa in 2014 we paid extra for expedited processing and had the visa back inside 48 hours. They do warn, however, not to book travel before you have the visa in hand, in case there are any problems.

Best of luck!