What is the UK Fiancé Visa?
If you are a non-British national who intends on marrying a British citizen or someone with Settled Status in the UK, the UK Fiance Visa is likely the best immigration route that suits your circumstances.
The Fiancé Visa grants you permission to enter and stay in the UK for 6 months. During this six-month timeframe, you must get married to your partner. Most people apply from this visa outside of the UK but you must intend to live with your prospective fiance and must have met the lengthy requirements in order to be eligible.
Once you have married, your UK Fiance Visa is deemed invalid and you are eligible to switch onto a UK Spouse Visa to stay in the UK. The Spouse Visa UK grants you the opportunity to live with your partner for a period of 30 months. Your next step will likely be a Spouse Visa extension for a further 30 months, and then you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain for 12 months before seeking British Citizenship.
It is important to note that the standard UK Visit Visa does not allow couples to marry under the stipulated visit time. If you enter the country under this visa category to make plans for your wedding, you will need to leave the country again and apply for a UK Fiancé Visa to return and marry your proposed partner.
However, if you want to marry in the UK but you do not intend on settling in the country afterwards, there is a unique Marriage Visitor Visa route that will allow both you and your partner to enter the UK for 6 months for marriage purposes only.
Under a Marriage Visitor Visa route, you will not be able to switch onto a Fiance Visa UK, Spouse or Civil Partner Visa or any other form of immigration permission while in the UK. This form of Visitor immigration permission does not grant you permission to stay in the UK after marriage.
The Fiancé Visa Requirements
To submit a UK Fiancé Visa application, you will need to fill out the form found in Appendix FM. In order to be successful, you must ensure that you meet a stringent set of visa requirements by backing up your claims with a portfolio of extensive evidence.
Generally speaking, this includes ensuring that you are of the right age for marriage, proving that you are in a genuine relationship, meeting a minimum income requirement and that you have met at least once before.
You must ensure that you meet the visa requirements and that you intend to live in the UK without relying on public funds.
The key requirements for the UK Fiancé Visa are as follows:
- You and your partner must be aged 18 and over
- You must intend to marry within 6 months of coming to the UK
- Your visa must be sponsored by your partner who must also be a British citizen or a settled person in the UK
- Your ‘Sponsor’ must earn a minimum of £18,600 or meet the financial requirement by other means
- You must both intend to live together permanently after entering a marriage or civil partnership
- You must have accommodation set up in the UK with your partner prior to arrival
- You must be in a genuine relationship with proof of having met at least once
- You must be able to demonstrate that you can understand and communicate in English to a certain degree
The Financial Requirement
Since you are considered a non-permanent resident of the UK while under this visa category, you are prohibited from public funds. You are also unable to work in the UK, meaning you cannot enter the labour workforce.
You must therefore be able to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself for the six months you are in the country without needing to work or rely on welfare support.
As a result, your proposed civil partner or fiance must generate a minimum annual income of £18,600. If you have children or dependents that you want to live with you while in the UK, this amount rises to £2,400 per child.
The income requirement can be met through a combination of:
- A regular salary through employment or self-employment
- Pension payments
- Statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity or adoption pay
- Stocks or shares
- Property such as rent
If this is not possible, you and your partner can use savings. Your UK fiance acts as the ‘sponsor’ of your visa for immigration purposes and so, therefore, must be the one to meet this aspect of the UK Fiancé Visa application requirements.
If you are unsure about meeting the financial requirements, contact us now on 0121 667 6530 to see how we can help you.
The Accommodation Requirement
A key aspect of the Fiancé Visa according to the UK immigration rules stipulate that you and your partner intend to live together in the UK.
This means that when you submit your UK Fiancé Visa application, you must provide substantial evidence of your accommodation arrangements that prove you intend to live together for a period of six months or more.
For instance, you could outline details of a shared bedroom and any other necessary rooms if you intend to live together with children. This accommodation must be set up prior to your arrival in the UK and before you start to apply.
The Fiancé Visa is designed so that most couples can progress onto the Spouse Visa. If this is the case for you, your accommodation must be adequate for the duration of time you intend on living in the UK.
For example, you must prove that your housing arrangement meets UK living standards. If you have children, you must seek a property that is suitable for you all to live together under one roof.
This means that you will need additional bedrooms per each dependent.
You can satisfy this requirement by:
- Submitting a Housing Report
- Providing evidence of the number of bedrooms your accommodation has
- Submitting a Declaration form from the Sponsor that outlines the property or rental agreement
The English Language Test
All foreign partners who intend on living in the UK permanently with their UK family members must be able to demonstrate that they understand the English language. Although you are not permitted to work in the UK, you must be able to prove that you can speak and read English in order to get by in the country for six months.
To meet this requirement, you may need to sit an English language test in an approved test provider. It may be possible to take this test from outside the UK, but there are dedicated test centres in the UK that are designed for visa applicants.
To pass the English language requirement, you must have met and passed the English exam at level A1.
Some people are exempt from needing to take the English language test. This includes:
- People from English-speaking countries, such as the US, Canada and Australia
- People who have undertaken a degree or other higher academic qualification that was taught in English as certified by UK NARIC
- Applicants who are aged 65 and over or who are under 18
- Applicants who may have any physical or mental disabilities
If your Sponsor sought residency in the UK via humanitarian protection, such as being a Refugee, you may also be exempt from the English language test if the same conditions apply to you.
The Genuine Relationship Requirement
In order to apply for a Fiancé Visa to the UK, you must prove that you are in a genuine, subsisting relationship with a British citizen or settled person in the UK. In addition, you must have met face-to-face at least once before and have evidence of meeting.
Although the rules dictate that you must have met at least once, one meeting alone may not be sufficient in proving that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. You must be able to prove that you and your fiance are genuinely in love and are together.
This can be achieved by providing proof of ongoing correspondence, such as emails, texts and other things couples typically do together. For example, if you have been on holiday together or have bought each other gifts, you should submit evidence of this as proof that you are genuinely in love and are together.
This rigorous test is to mitigate people entering fraudulent marriages for the purposes of immigration advantages. ‘Sham marriages’ and ‘marriages of convenience’ are considered deceptive and manipulative.
Failure to pass the Genuine Relationship Test may mean that the Home Office considers your relationship to be illegitimate and that your application was made for the purpose of entry into the UK rather than to be living with your partner as a family unit.
Your immigration lawyer in Birmingham will be able to assist you in piling your portfolio of evidence to satisfy all the visa requirements. This particular aspect of the Fiancé Visa and subsequent Spouse Visa is where many applicants trip up. It is of utmost importance that you convince the UK Government of your sincerity. Failure to do so may even jeopardise any future visa applications that you make to the UK.
You could also submit:
- Reference letters from family and friends
- Photographs of you together
- Event tickets that you both attended
- Bank statements of join accounts
- Proof of previous accommodation if you have lived together elsewhere
- Birth certificates of any children you may have
Switching from a Fiance Visa onto a Spouse Visa
It is important to note that a Fiancé Visa only grants you entry permission to remain in the UK for a limited time of 6 months. Throughout this period, you cannot work, rely on public funds and you must get married to your proposed civil partner in the UK. When you apply, you must intend to live together and this condition still applies even after marriage.
After your wedding ceremony, your UK Fiancé Visa will no longer be valid. As a result, you can then seek to apply for a Spouse Visa. This permission will allow you to work and enter the labour market in the UK for an extended period of 30 months, but you still cannot access public funds.
You can apply for a Spouse Visa while in the UK, but you must ensure that you are able to meet the stringent Spouse Visa requirements in order to be successful. Simply marrying your partner is not enough to be granted a Married Partner Visa.
However, once you have lived in the UK legally for a period of 5 years (30 months under a Spouse Visa and a further 30 months under a Spouse Visa extension) you are able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR grants a form of permanent residence in the UK.
This means you can work and access public funds. After 12 months with indefinite leave to remain status, you can apply for full British citizenship.
The Fiance Visa fees
The base fee for the UK Fiance Visa application costs £1,523 if you are submitting your application from outside the UK. If you are submitting your application from within the UK, the cost is £1,033.
However, there are additional application costs that you need to be aware of.
- The Immigration Health Surcharge
- Any document translation fees
- A housing report fee
- Lawyer fees
If you are seeking a Priority or Fast-track Visa service in order to receive a verdict on your case as quickly as possible, you will need to pay an additional fee. This could see your Visa fee rise to £1,643. These fees must be paid whether you apply for your UK Fiance Visa from outside the UK or from within the country.
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When you come to apply for a UK Fiance Visa or Proposed Civil Partner Visa, you must ensure that your application is filled out to the highest standard and with a plethora of supporting evidence.
We know just how testing these family visa applications can be. We understand more than anyone the importance of being able to start your new life with your loved ones in the UK. As a result, we make it our priority to help ease the burden from your shoulders every step of the way.
Our team of dedicated legal professionals are all OISC trained and certified in the UK. We can assist you for many years throughout your ongoing visa needs, starting with your UK Fiance Visa, Spouse Visa, Indefinite Leave to Remain and British citizenship.
If you opt for us to take over your case, your personally assigned immigration lawyer will consistently work to highlight the merits of your case and seek a positive verdict on your application.
Our services include:
- Arranging an advice session with a lawyer to a time that suits you
- Having your lawyer speak to you in person, on the phone or via video call such as Skype
- Having an untimed Advice Session to iron out all your queries
- Assessing your eligibility for the Fiance Visa and ensuring you meet the many requirements
- Writing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application by a certified lawyer, which highlights the merits of your case and circumstances
- Constant liaising with the Home Office on your behalf
- Fulfilling your application to the highest standard
We also offer a comprehensive Document Checking Service. In this service, your immigration lawyer will verify your portfolio of documents and advise on any further evidence you may need.
Contact us now on 0121 667 6530 to see how our immigration lawyers in Birmingham are prepared to help you.
Your UK partner must be a permanent UK resident in order to sponsor your UK Fiance Visa application. You may not be eligible to apply if your sponsor is not a registered resident.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your other half needs to be British by birth. Your partner could be living in the UK under a status such as Indefinite Leave to Remain, or may have Naturalised as a British citizen.
In some circumstances, if your partner has humanitarian protection such as Refuge Status, he or she may further be able to sponsor your application.
If you are unsure if your partner meets the requirements for Fiances Visas, get in touch with us to see which steps you can take to make your dream a reality. Our contact number is 0121 667 6530.
Once you apply for a Fiance Visa and submit your application, the process begins.
From the date of application, the average time it takes to process a Fiance Visa from the UK immigration office can take between 2 to 3 months.
However, in the event that you make a mistake or if the immigration officer finds any discrepancies in your application, the processing time may take longer. For this reason, it is of paramount importance that you apply very carefully. The requirement that dictates that you must have met at least once is commonly overlooked by visa applicants, yet the Home Office will verify the validity of this claim. Any potential loopholes or gaps in your application may be used against you.
We can help you Appeal the immigration officer’s decision if you are refused a visa. However, if you opt for a full Advice or Application Advice Session prior to applying, your lawyer will maximise your chances of success by ensuring there is no margin for error or mistake within your Fiance Visa application. Our lawyers constantly liaise with the Home Office on your case, minimising the risk of any potential delays on your verdict.
Get in touch with us today on 0121 667 6530 to see how we can help you.
If for whatever reason your Fiance Visa application has been rejected, you should receive a Letter of Refusal from the Home Office which outlines the reasons why you have been unsuccessful.
In most cases, people are refused from Fiance Visas on the grounds that they have not provided sufficient evidence to support their claim. However, sometimes people are also refused for providing suspiciously high volumes of evidence as this can look manipulative when they apply.
Once you have your refusal letter, you have two choices: either Appeal the decision to a Tribunal or make a fresh Fiance Visa application. It is important to note that Appeals can be very difficult, time-consuming and costly. Your immigration lawyer may advise you to make a fresh application and apply again instead. However, your lawyer in Birmingham will iron out any areas that you failed in the first time.
To maximise your chances of success, it is best practice to seek a legal professional to help you with your application. We have a team of dedicated and OISC certified immigration lawyers in Birmingham who are well versed in all areas of immigration law. Your personally assigned lawyer will review the cause of your rejection and will advise on how to proceed. If you opt to challenge UKVI’s decision, your lawyer will represent you at the Tribunal hearing and liaise with the Home Office until your case has been resolved.
Children under the age of 18 are classed as dependents and are therefore able to travel with you to the UK for your wedding. When you apply, you must state that you intend on living together with your partner and your children while in the UK.
Your accommodation will also be extended in order to demonstrate that you have adequate room for your children to come and live with you. But you are still prohibited from work and entering the labour market while in the country.
If your children are from a previous marriage or partner, and you don’t have sole custody of your children, you may require a declaration letter from your child’s birth father or mother in order to bring them to the UK. This also applies if you intend on taking your child to the UK to live with you permanently.