You can message me if you want with any questions. But I will try to explain it to you as clearly as I can. I hope I can help you somehow:
My husband was born in kazakshtan but the father of his mother was german, so after his father passed away his mother decided she would love with him to Germany, and they got the german citizenship, loving the kazak one in the process.
I was born in Brazil, raised there, etc etc. My greatgrandparents were german, but due to papers getting lost, I couldnt get a german citizenship. Which I would have the right to, f my father got it as a grandchild of germans, his kids (me my brother and my sister) would be able to as well.
So, he has a german citizenship only, and me a brazilian one only.
We met each other 26 of october of 2008 on skype, while I added random people (guys and girls) trying to make some friends, as I would visit family in Switzerland. We hit it off and almost exactly two months after we started talking, on 27 of december of 2008, we saw each other in person and started dating. One month (26 of january) after we decided t start a relationship, boyfriend and girlfriend officially. begin of february 11th if im not mistaken (im good with dates.. hehe) i went back to brazil and spent 6 months there, coming to Germany to spend one month of him begin of july of 2009 and going back to brazil begin of august of 2009. brazilians can stay in the european unon for up til 3 months as turists, without needing to make a proper visa, just needing a valid passport.
I spent 6 more months in Brazil and moved to Germany end of january of 2010. Dear husband and I (dear boyfriend back then) moved in together and I started a german course, and stayed one year in Germany, but couldnt renew my visa past that. I had no idea it was limited to one year for language student visas. I needed to return to Brazil and stay 3 months there (or anywhere I would like, as long as it wasnt in the european union).
so february march and april of 2011 I was in Brazil. he went to visit me there in march for 2 weeks. I returned to Germany in may of 2011.
When my 3 months as a turist were almost up i tried to renew my visa once again as a german student, but the bitch in the foreigner office explained at LAST i could never renew as a german student, that kind of visa was not a possibility for me anymore… she could have told me that the first time she denied my visa and i needed to go back to brazil. i was fumming, sad, it was awful, i cried in front of her. my husband almost cried in front of her as well, she gave me one month more to sort my thing in Germany and go back to Brazil… telling me i could return in ANOTHER 3 MONTHS, as a turist to stay 3 months top if I so wished.
That day my husband told me he didnt want to live without me and we decided to get married when I returned to Germany. it was a beautiful and emotional moment, even in the middle of such sadness of me going away again.
So, in setember of 2011 i went to brazil again. in october my husband visited me for 2 weeks for my birthday and in december I returned to Germany.
but, before I returned to Germany, I had a really really stressful time putting paperwork together. a paper from the federal police saying i never was in jail, y renewed version of my birth certificate, a certificate saying i was single. another paper telling i was single and with 2 witness signing… and all that transleted to german by a translator that is accepted with the german embassy. after the translation, going to the german embassy in my city in brazil to get all the papers stamped to say they were all valid! one more detail… they were only valid for 90 days, so I had to get married within that time. just with the process of getting them all done, translated and stamped, more than 30 days had passed, so I had a window of less than 60 then that I could get married.
My husband tried to arrange for us to get married in Germany, but his german citizenship wasnt enough, he needed one more paper: a renewed birth certificate, that he would need to get in kazakshtan! he would only go there in july of 2012, by that time not only would my papers (that i spent a lot of time and money to get done) wouldnt be valid anymore, I wouldnt be able to take more distance and time apart.
So we contacted a russian company and they drove us and one more couple to dennmark. it cost 3 thousand euros if im not mistaken, with transportation and one night hotel included. we got married there in the courthouse (the cerimonyi was in german though!!!), as it is easier to get married there than in germany or most other places in europe, and they had no problem to accept his original birth certificate, his other papers were all in order, and mine were more than perfect (i made sure of that, even though i almost lost my mind in the process).
after it, we went to the city hall in germany to change my name, went to the foreigners office and filled the forms for my living permit. it went really smooth. after a month or so the living permit was ready and we went to pick it up. still in my maidens name though, as they needed a document (i.e. my passport) to accept my new name for such a document.
I am now in the process of more paperwork getting done, so I can have my new passport done in my married name. we needed to send our marriage certificate to the brazilian embassy in dennmark for them to put a sticker on the back of the marriage certificate that basically says the wedding was done in a real courthouse and what not.
when it arrived i scheduled an appointment to get my passport done in Munich at the brazilian embassy, but even though i scheduled in june the first open slot was end of september. now im sending the marriage certificate and many other papers to them, so our marriage will be accepted in brazil as well. it akes almost a month to process and it will be ready around a week or two before i have my passport appointment. so i can get it the same day i go to make the passport (that will be ready 2 or 3 months after, just in time to renew my living permit that is valid only until november, same time as my actual passport).
when i go to brazil again i will need to take the paper the embassy will give me saying the marriage is valid in brazil and register in a courthouse. phew. talk about stress! Every paper that gets done is like a weight is lifted from my shoulders. still need some things done and im anxious, but i have been worst, while prepping the papers t get married. this is my experience, sorry for writing so much and i dont want to scare you telling you about so much paperwork, but this is what i needed to go through to marry the man of my life and close the distance forever.
begin of 2014 we will have the religious cerimony and party. by that time all this paperwork stress will be long over and done with. after 3 or 4 years married I can require a german citizenship as well. thought that might be worth to add, even though the rules for england are probably different.
all the best of luck!