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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 160: Abolition of certificate by licence

426.At present in England and Wales notice by civil preliminaries may be given either by certificate (which requires a 21 day waiting period) or by licence (where there is a one day waiting period). For England and Wales this section provides for the existing procedures to be replaced by a single procedure with a 15 day waiting period, with a discretion vested in the Registrar General to reduce in exceptional circumstances.

427.Subsections (1) to (4) remove references in the Marriage Act 1949 to marriages “with licence” and remove references to the notification period of 21 days and substitute 15 days. Subsection (5) amends the Marriage Act 1949 to empower the Registrar General to reduce the 15 day notice period in exceptional circumstances, eg unforeseen work contracts or military service in a foreign country, or serious illness of a close relative. The Registrar General is given power to make procedural regulations and to delegate his authority to a superintendent registrar in prescribed circumstances with provision for an appeal to the Registrar General against the superintendent registrar’s refusal to reduce the 15 day waiting period. Provision is made for fees to be prescribed.

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