Need advice - Indian-UK citizen wedding

#1 Jul 13th, 2009, 23:43
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#1
Hi everyone. I have been looking up info on wedding registrations for foreign nationals in India, and stumbled upon this great site. I need some advice regarding my situation.

I'm currently living in Philadelphia, USA on a H1-B. I had lived in UK for 4 years before moving to USA. My fiancee is a UK national (with indian grandparents and mother)and currently living in the UK. We are scheduled to get married at the end of Nov in Bangalore, India. I have been reading up on wedding registrations for foreign nationals in India, and have a few questions, hopefully you guys can answer.

1) The wedding registration laws say that a foreign national needs a 'no objection certificate' from british embassy. The closest one to us will be Chennai in India. Anyone know how hard is this to get, and how long does it take? Can she get this while in the UK itself, and if so, where is it issued?

2) Some websites state that, we will have to stay in india for atleast 30 days after the wedding for getting the registration certificate. Is this true? Our schedules wont allow us to do this. Any other alternatives?

3) Currently, my fiancee has a tourist visa for India. If she applies (in UK) and gets the PIO card before the wedding, do we still have to get this 'no objection certificate' from the british consulate in chennai for the wedding registration?

4) How long does it take to get the PIO card in UK? Is it a straight forward process? Whats the difference between OCI and PIO? Would she qualify for an OCI? Is OCI better suited for the wedding purposes?

5) Considering these facts, which one is the best approach we should take- Get the 'no objection certificate', go through the wedding, and then register, or get the PIO card for her first before the wedding, or is there a different better route?

Any help in making a decision is much appreciated. Thanks.
Jayanth.
#2 Jul 14th, 2009, 01:37
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#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by selecta View Post Hi everyone. I have been looking up info on wedding registrations for foreign nationals in India, and stumbled upon this great site. I need some advice regarding my situation.

I'm currently living in Philadelphia, USA on a H1-B. I had lived in UK for 4 years before moving to USA. My fiancee is a UK national (with indian grandparents and mother)and currently living in the UK. We are scheduled to get married at the end of Nov in Bangalore, India. I have been reading up on wedding registrations for foreign nationals in India, and have a few questions, hopefully you guys can answer.

1) The wedding registration laws say that a foreign national needs a 'no objection certificate' from british embassy. The closest one to us will be Chennai in India. Anyone know how hard is this to get, and how long does it take? Can she get this while in the UK itself, and if so, where is it issued?

2) Some websites state that, we will have to stay in india for atleast 30 days after the wedding for getting the registration certificate. Is this true? Our schedules wont allow us to do this. Any other alternatives?

3) Currently, my fiancee has a tourist visa for India. If she applies (in UK) and gets the PIO card before the wedding, do we still have to get this 'no objection certificate' from the british consulate in chennai for the wedding registration?

4) How long does it take to get the PIO card in UK? Is it a straight forward process? Whats the difference between OCI and PIO? Would she qualify for an OCI? Is OCI better suited for the wedding purposes?

5) Considering these facts, which one is the best approach we should take- Get the 'no objection certificate', go through the wedding, and then register, or get the PIO card for her first before the wedding, or is there a different better route?

Any help in making a decision is much appreciated. Thanks.
Jayanth.
Jayanth,

I just went through this myself. I am an American who has married an Indian.

1. Yes, she would need a no-objection-certificate from the British Embassy. I am not sure if she could get it from the UK itself, or not. I know that I got mine at the US Embassy in Delhi, and it took all of 10 minutes.

2. Yes, you would need a 30-day waiting period since I am assuming you would be applying under the Special Marriage Act. All you do is go to the marriage registrar and say you want to get register, and wait the 30 days.

3. She **can not** get a PIO card until you are married for at least one year. Although there have been reports of it being more than one year.

4. She is not eligible for OCI unless she herself is an Indian by some descent.

5. Just register, and get married.

- Stephanie
#3 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:01
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Thanks Stephanie.

But the third point- My fiance's grandparents and mother are indian. I think she could apply for the PIO on that basis. So the question still remains, if a person has PIO, do they still need the no objection letter?
#4 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:01
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Originally Posted by stepmyrjov View Post
3. She **can not** get a PIO card until you are married for at least one year. Although there have been reports of it being more than one year.

4. She is not eligible for OCI unless she herself is an Indian by some descent.
Quote:
My fiancee is a UK national (with indian grandparents and mother)and currently living in the UK.
I think she should be eligible to...
#5 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:05
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post I think she should be eligible to...
Right, my fault, I didn't read it very clearly! Yes, she should be eligible for PIO, but why not go for OCI instead?
#6 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:18
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what are the advantages of OCI over PIO?
#7 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:31
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Originally Posted by selecta View Post what are the advantages of OCI over PIO?
One major advantage of OCI is that once you have that status, you have it for life, whereas PIO has to be reapplied for every fifteen years.

There is no suggestion that the system will be changed in the near future, but apparently PIO was originally designed to eventually replace OCI. If I had the option, I'd get OCI while I could.
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#8 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:36
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Originally Posted by Haylo View Post One major advantage of OCI is that once you have that status, you have it for life, whereas PIO has to be reapplied for every fifteen years.

There is no suggestion that the system will be changed in the near future, but apparently PIO was originally designed to eventually replace OCI. If I had the option, I'd get OCI while I could.
Just read up on it. Looks like OCI people, unlike the PIO, need not register with police even if their stay is longer than 6 months. Yeah, definitely OCI over PIO.

But, no one has yet answered whether a person with PCI/OCI status still needs the 'no objection letter' for marriage registration?
#9 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:53
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<cross-posted --- will post more shortly>

Please see the Ministry of Home Affairs website OCI, where all your questions, especially comparison with PIO and entitlement requirements are covered in detail. -->Link

Briefly, the advantages of OCI over PIO are:

--- lifelong over 15 years.
--- no need to register as a foreigner.

Without checking out that source material myself, I think an ex-Indian-citizen mother probably makes her good for either, certainly she is entitled to PIO.

Please see (or rather, get her to...) also the UK High Commission of India website. This will inform her about these things too, and it is the starting point for her application for either. Currently, OCI and PIO applications are still dealt with directly by the High Commission; other visa affairs have been outsourced. That might change soon (or even as I write!)

For any further information or advice, we need to know one vital thing, which you have not told us: what sort of marriage are you planning? For marriages under Hindu, Muslim, or Special marriage acts, the requirements (such as the notice to be given) are different.
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#10 Jul 14th, 2009, 02:57
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Originally Posted by Haylo View Post ... ... but apparently PIO was originally designed to eventually replace OCI.
PIO predates OCI, by, I think, several years, so I don't think that can be the case.

My personal theory is that PIO may be phased out, leaving only the much tighter OCI system. As a PIO-by-marriage, of course, I hope that is not the case.

Thoughts on no-objection certificate coming up ---but I never had such a thing.
#11 Jul 14th, 2009, 03:17
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#11
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post <cross-posted --- will post more shortly>

For any further information or advice, we need to know one vital thing, which you have not told us: what sort of marriage are you planning? For marriages under Hindu, Muslim, or Special marriage acts, the requirements (such as the notice to be given) are different.
Thanks for the info. Am reading through it. We are considering a Hindu Religious Marriage Ceremony. But wouldn't mind going through any other procedure as well, if it can sidestep the 30 day requirement.
#12 Jul 14th, 2009, 03:23
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Sorry, can't find what I was looking for tonight.

"Certificate-of-no-objection" The British government cannot "object" to your marrying one of their citizens anyway, so the terminology is strange! (well, they can object; they might not like you --- but they can't stop her ).

What the Indian authorities want to know is that both spouses are legally able to marry, ie they satisfy the age requirements, and they are not married already. Age is evidenced by passport/birth certificate. Marital status is a little more difficult, as the UK does not keep a register of not-marrieds! It's easiest for divorcees; they just need to show the divorce papers to show that they are no longer married.

There is some British government webpage where they acknowledge the need that some other countries have of this not-married certificate, and whilst they cannot give one, because it does not exist

<Stop Press> it's -->here

Like I said, I never had one. I spent 40 on an affidavit in the UK, only to be told by the registrar in India that, if I said I wasn't married, that was good enough for her!

<cross-posted again>

I think that the Hindu marriage does not require the 30 days.

So, you have you ceremony, and then take all temple stuff and register the marriage.

My final word on this (apart from wishing you a happy life together) is to consider doing the legal bit in whichever country you intend to live. You can always register in USA or UK and have a religious ceremony in India, as many people do. It may make recognition of your status and the paperwork easier over the years ahead.

Of course, that opens up the whole can of worms of the requirements of those countries to let you do that, but if you are doing the immigration thing anyway...
#13 Jul 14th, 2009, 03:36
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#13
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I think that the Hindu marriage does not require the 30 days.

So, you have you ceremony, and then take all temple stuff and register the marriage.

My final word on this (apart from wishing you a happy life together) is to consider doing the legal bit in whichever country you intend to live. You can always register in USA or UK and have a religious ceremony in India, as many people do. It may make recognition of your status and the paperwork easier over the years ahead.

Of course, that opens up the whole can of worms of the requirements of those countries to let you do that, but if you are doing the immigration thing anyway...
Thanks Nick. Very helpful info. I have considered doing a registry in UK first, and then a religious ceremony in India. But upon research, I found it even more convoluted with getting a 'fiancee visa' to UK, living for a stipulated number of days in UK on that status, and so on.
#14 Jul 14th, 2009, 15:30
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#14
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Originally Posted by selecta View Post Thanks Nick. Very helpful info. I have considered doing a registry in UK first, and then a religious ceremony in India. But upon research, I found it even more convoluted with getting a 'fiancee visa' to UK, living for a stipulated number of days in UK on that status, and so on.
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