The Proposed Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Waiting Period) Regulations 2015 were published on 2 February 2015.
Part 4 of the Immigration Act 2014 (c. 22) (“the 2014 Act”) establishes a scheme for the referral of proposed marriages and civil partnerships to the Secretary of State, who must decide whether to investigate whether the proposed marriage or civil partnership is a sham. All proposed marriages or civil partnerships where one party is, or both parties are, not exempt must be referred to the Secretary of State. Exempt persons include (amongst others) those are who are exempt from immigration control and those who have a relevant visa.
Under the Marriage Act 1949 (c. 76) and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), as amended by Part 4 of the 2014 Act, an application to reduce the waiting period(1) for marrying or registering a civil partnership must be made to the Secretary of State, rather than the Registrar General, in a case where the proposed marriage or civil partnership has been referred to the Secretary of State. The waiting period is extended from 28 days to 70 days in cases where the Secretary of State notifies the superintendent registrar or (as the case may be) registration authority of her decision to investigate whether the proposed marriage or civil partnership is a sham.
Regulation 2 sets out the procedure for making an application to reduce the waiting period in the case of a proposed marriage and requires applicants to apply on form 1 in Schedule 1 or (if the party gave notice of marriage in Wales) form 1W in Schedule 2. Regulation 3 sets out the procedure by which a party to a proposed civil partnership can apply to shorten the waiting period and requires applicants to make the application on form 2 in Schedule 3 or (if the party gave notice of proposed civil partnership in Wales) form 2W in Schedule 4.
Pursuant to regulation 4, the Secretary of State may request further information or evidence from the party who made the application in order to determine the application.
An impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no impact on the private or voluntary sector is foreseen.
The Proposed Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Waiting Period) Regulations 2015 are available to download here.