It is a legal requirement to give notice of your intention to register a civil partnership even if you're travelling from overseas to register a civil partnership in the UK.
There are different residency requirements depending on where in the UK you wish to register the civil partnership.
You can register a civil partnership in England and Wales as long as you have both lived in a registration authority for at least seven days immediately before giving notice of your intention to register the civil partnership.
This applies to all couples in England and Wales, including those travelling from overseas to register a civil partnership.
As long as one person is resident in England and Wales, the other person may also give notice in Scotland of their intention to register a civil partnership in England and Wales, providing neither party is subject to immigration control.
Officers, ratings or marines on board one of Her Majesty's ships at sea can give notice to the captain or other commanding officer provided the person with whom they intend to register a civil partnership is resident in England and Wales.
There are no residency requirements in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
If you are living in the UK and are subject to immigration control, you will not be able to give a notice of your intention to register a civil partnership unless one of the following is true:
If you have less than six months' leave to remain in the UK, have overstayed your leave to remain, or are in the UK illegally, you can still apply for a certificate of approval, but the Home Office will write you a letter requesting further detailed information. This information will be required to prove that your intended civil partnership is genuine and not one of convenience.
Further information about obtaining a certificate of approval and on the class of persons who will be exempt from these provisions is available from the UK Border Agency.
British citizens, EEA and foreign nationals can continue to give notice in their district of residence if they:
Registration officers have a statutory duty to report any civil partnership registration they suspect has been arranged for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls.
If either of you is not a UK citizen and does not hold citizenship of any other EU country, the Home Office will be told when you announce plans to enter into a civil partnership. If the Home Office officials decide to investigate your planned partnership, you will have to delay the civil partnership for up to 70 days. In addition, you will also have to give notice of your plans to enter a civil partnership at one of the 75 specially designated registry offices.
A civil partnership notice states for each person:
You will need to show the registrar documentary evidence of your name, age and nationality – ideally in the form of your passport. You will also be asked to provide evidence of your address.
If you have registered a civil partnership before, you will also need to produce documents that confirm that you are now free to enter into a new civil partnership. These could include:
And, if you are subject to immigration control, you will also need to produce documentary evidence to confirm that you are eligible to enter into a civil partnership in the UK.
You must both give notice in person. No one else can do it on your behalf.
You both need to go to the appropriate registration authority for your jurisdiction to give notice of your intention to register a civil partnership.
In England and Wales, you have to go to the register office where you have a seven day residential qualification. See above under the 'Residency requirements (England & Wales)' heading for more information.
You can register your partnership in a different area but need to ensure that a civil partnership registrar will be available to attend the registration on the day. So, in England and Wales, you have to contact the register office in which the registration is due to take place as well as the register office of the area where you live.
If you, or the person whom you want to register a civil partnership with, are subject to immigration control, you will only be able to give your notices at a designated register office.
There are 76 register offices in England and Wales that have been selected as designated register offices. A list of these 76 offices is available on thewebsite. You must go to the designated office together and satisfy the eligibility requirements in a 'giving notice' interview.
When you give notice in Wales, you may do it in either English, or in English and Welsh. If notice is to be given bilingually, both the person giving notice and the registrar you see must be able to understand the Welsh language. All local authorities in Wales have at least one Welsh-speaking registrar or deputy.
In Northern Ireland and Scotland, you must go to the District Registrar's office for the district where the civil partnership ceremony is taking place and not in the district where you reside, if these districts are different.
If you, or the person whom you want to register a civil partnership with, are subject to immigration control, you must go to the designated office together and satisfy the eligibility requirements in a 'giving notice' interview.
Once given, your notices are publicised by the relevant registration authority by being displayed in the Marriage Notice Book. The notice will be publicised for 28 days.
After giving this notice, normally you must wait until this publication period is over before you can register the civil partnership. Your notice will remain valid for 12 months in England & Wales and Northern Ireland, but only 3 months in Scotland, so you will want to take these time frames into consideration when thinking about when you wish to register your civil partnership.
Based on the information that you both provide, the relevant registration authority will prepare the civil partnership schedule. This document contains all relevant particulars for the purposes of registering the civil partnership itself. Both of you will have to sign it together with two witnesses and the registrar on the day of the registration. The information contained in the schedule will then be inserted in the civil partnership register.