The UKBA has announced that the Certificate of Approval (COA) scheme will be abolished from 9 May 2011. The scheme required individuals who did not hold indefinite leave to remain (ILR), but wished to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK, to apply to the UKBA for approval at a cost of £135. The scheme was initially introduced with the aim of preventing sham marriages and only those with more than three months remaining of their leave to remain/enter would gain approval. However, a judgement in July 2008 by the House of Lords ruled that the scheme was an unlawful interference with an individual's right to marry.
For more information on marriage and civil partnerships for those subject to immigration control, please click here.