Indian/Russian wedding in the UK at the Indian High Commission

#1 Oct 1st, 2008, 06:24
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  • siddhuwarrier is offline
#1
Hi everybody,

Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question, but my fiancee who's Russian, and I (Indian), have decided to get hitched. But the hitch - if you'll forgive the pun - is that we live in the UK, and for a variety of reasons, we came to agree on an civil ceremony on neutral ground, as it were.

I couldn't find anything on the web at all (except for the 1969 Foreign Marriage Act that should allow us to get married at the Indian embassy under Indian law).

This would work for us perfectly. I was wondering if there was anybody in the world who's actually used this act, how hard it is, and if the Indian high commission is helpful in this regard.

Any information would be a great help.

Sorry if I'm not very clear, it's just that I've spent the last several days fretting over the costs and the bureacracy.

------------------------

A little background, more because I'd like a rant than anything else:

But we now find that as non-EU/EEA nationals, each of us has to pay the UK Home Office 295 for the honour of solemnising our marriage here under UK government regulations (presumably, this has got something to do with preventing human trafficking, but neither of us is British or unemployed; so wtf! But then, if governments were to use common sense, they wouldn't be governments).

Also, as we aren't resident in India, the Special Marriage Act is a hassle and a half. The Russian government - well, the less said the better. :P
#2 Oct 1st, 2008, 08:26
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#2
I have a feeling that this Foreign Marriage Act doesn't quite work the way you think it does, and that it won't work out for you --- but you've probably read it more recently than I have so I could be wrong.

It is a pity that there is no international court of common sense that one appeal to. Looks like you're stuck with an additional 600 marriage expenses; probably cheaper than flying you both to India, and spending the required amount of time there.
#3 Oct 1st, 2008, 14:09
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#3

Thanks :)

Thanks a lot for the reply, Nick-H. Doesnae sound too encouraging, and you're probably right too.

But yeah, as you said, staying a month in India to get the Special Marriage Act ticking over is outside the realm of practical solutions as both of us would lose our jobs in that case. Even if (as the Daily Mail reminds us daily) we're hook-armed terrorists sponging off benefits and preaching hate, we are loath to do so! . So, if that is the case, the Home Office gets richer by 600!

Anyway, I'd based my assumptions on a reading of the Act, and I felt I kinda met their requirements. But then, I've lived in India long enough to know that meeting Indian government requirements do not mean nothin if some two-bit officer decides otherwise. :P

Quote:
A marriage between parties one of whom at least is a citizen of India may be solemnized under this Act by or before a Marriage Officer in a foreign country, if, at the time of the marriage, the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:-

(a) neither party has a spouse living,

(b) neither party is an idiot or a lunatic,

(c) the bridegroom has completed the age of twenty one years and the bride the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage, and

(d) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship :

Provided that where the personal law or a custom governing at least one of the parties of a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized, notwithstanding that they are degrees of prohibited relationship.
Clause 1 of Section 4(b) is my biggest worry, though. I have written a supplicatory message to the Indian High Commission (concluding with the oh-so-archaic 'I remain, Sir, your most obedient servant' ), and if that fails to work, I'm pumping mum to see if she has any contacts in the IFS!

I shall keep everybody posted on the battle of the 600/The Battle For the upholding of common sense!
#4 Oct 1st, 2008, 14:41
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#4
Are you a citizen of India? And hold a current Indian passport? And you meet all the other requirements? Going by what you have posted above, if this is the case, it looks as if you can do it in the IHC in UK. But if you are under 21 or whatever you can't.
Every cloud has a silver lining!
#5 Oct 1st, 2008, 14:48
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#5
Oh man, I feel for you. I feel for anyone who's trying to work their way round bureaucracy due to differing nationality and residence. It all seems so harsh.

I admit I've nothing constructive to add, I just want to say:

1. Clause B of that marriage act is hilarious*. That's me out on both counts.
2.
Quote:
we're hook-armed terrorists sponging off benefits and preaching hate
Welcome to Britain!




*the wording, I mean. The concept is entirely sensible!
Mosquitos suck.
#6 Oct 1st, 2008, 15:06
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#6
'idiot or a lunatic' is very out-dated language isn't it???
#7 Oct 1st, 2008, 16:29
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#7
Well, I did just skim through the act and can't see any reason why you shouldn't.




...But the London High Commission site appears to make no mention of the service.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 19th, 2008 at 23:28.. Reason: merge posts
#8 Oct 1st, 2008, 17:34
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#8
After three hours of trying to get through, I managed to speak to the high commission in London. They asked me to send a letter along asking them about this, so that they might consider it. I.e., they haven't the slightest clue of the act.

My mum's going to talk to one of her friends in the IFS. Will let you know if that works; if it does, it should set a precedent as well.

Ah well, there's always the option of an anglican wedding in England or Wales.
#9 Oct 21st, 2008, 05:11
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#9
Hi Siddhu,

I am planning to marry my filipina girl friend next year. I am currently working in the UK and may stay here for couple of years more. It would be great if you can let me know if you faced any issues for marrying in UK.
#10 Oct 21st, 2008, 07:11
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#10

Follow-up

Hi,

It's not easy, but can be done.

The Foreign Marriage Act (1969) works - you have to go to the consulate in your area, (fight with the unhelpful officials), submit a notice of intended marriage with 2 passport photos (1 of each of you) to the guy. Then, you need to publish two notices:

1. In the state you hail from. In my case, TN.

2. In the region u live in. In my case, Scotland.

U have to hand it over to them, let them know when you're coming, and turn up with witnesses. Unfortunately, be careful re. the witnesses, he got rpetty het up when I asked if I could have a close Pakistani friend of mine as a witness. 'No Pakistani no pakistani' (read: hindu indian, or european) - ah well! :P
#11 Oct 24th, 2008, 11:32
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#11
oh my goodness this brings back memories of trying to register our marriage in the Indian Embassy in Mongolia. The Embassy was one which was authorised to solomnise the marriage under the Act you mention. This is not a ceremony as such, but is legally recognised as a marriage. The process should have seen us placing a notification of intent to marry, waiting 30 days for no objection, placing an advert in the Indian press in my husband's home state, also seeking the no objection, and then turning up with 2 or 3 witnesses to sign the register, and coming back a few days later to pick up the certificate. Sadly the Marriage Officer had no idea of the process, despite googling it, and completely messed up the process, and trie dto do things in the wrong order (for example, bringing witnesses before placing the notice?!). We ended up feeling like idiots and lunatics and after several months gave up and did the paperwork in West Bengal. Happy ending - we now have a wonderful funky marriage certificate with a passport size photo of both of us on it.

Good luck!
#12 Oct 24th, 2008, 14:33
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#12
~GULP~! I'm going there again to hand in the advertisements. This guy seems pretty helpful now (might have helped that I knew some people in 'high places' ) - anyway, let's see how it goes! :P
Last edited by Nick-H; Oct 24th, 2008 at 22:32.. Reason: removed quote of preceding post
#13 Nov 18th, 2008, 14:31
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#13

Question Hello we are on the same boat

Hello Sidhu,

Great to find someone like me in the net looking for the same thing... Right now I am in India visiting my parents (in Kerala) but I am also in the same situation...

I live in London and my girlfriend is from volgograd Russia. We have met a couple of times in India but I kept coming back to UK. She is back in Russia now. Its almost 2 years this relationship has started and now I guess we are both ready to get married

I have been searching the net for sometime now... hey do you have account in facebook or orkut? my email is: uphoriaman at gmail.com

Please do write to me

regards

George Tharakan
Last edited by Aishah; Nov 18th, 2008 at 15:48.. Reason: Formatting email address so as not to attract spammers or advertisers.
#14 Nov 18th, 2008, 21:40
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#14
Do check with a solicitor that your marriage will be recognised in the UK. Many jurisdictions do not recognise marriages performed at foreign embassies in their territory. If you are not careful, you might end up with a marriage that is valid in India, but not recognised in the UK.
#15 Nov 19th, 2008, 23:30
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhuwarrier View Post Unfortunately, be careful re. the witnesses, he got rpetty het up when I asked if I could have a close Pakistani friend of mine as a witness. 'No Pakistani no pakistani' (read: hindu indian, or european) - ah well! :P
Er, no.
An Indian Muslim wud be fine, a Pakistani Hindu wud not be.
In other words, it's the nationality.

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