What is the UK fiancé visa?
The UK Fiancé Visa is a unique route in the immigration rules. It temporarily permits overseas nationals a short stay in the UK for the sole purpose of marriage. However, after the wedding, the foreign national will need to switch onto a UK Spouse Visa in order to remain in the UK.
Since this route is unlike no other in the UK’s points-based immigration rules, it has higher hurdles of criteria and a wide range of requirements that both you and your fiancée must meet.
The main eligibility criteria are as follows:
- One of you must be a British citizen or someone who holds a form of Settled Status (such as Indefinite Leave to Remain)
- You both must be at least 18-years old
- You must intend to live together permanently in the UK once you are formally married
- You must demonstrate you have adequate accommodation arrangements that caters to the two of you plus any potential dependents who may also be living with you
- You must marry within the 6-month period of validity that is granted under the Fiancé Visa
- If your fiancé originates from a non-English-speaking country, he/she will need to take an English test to demonstrate their English language ability
However, in addition to the above, you must meet a set of stringent financial requirements too.
What are the financial requirements of the UK Fiancé Visa?
To be eligible for a UK Fiance Visa, both you and your partner will need to demonstrate that you have the means to financially support yourselves while in the UK. You will need to be classed as ‘self-sufficient’.
In other words, you must have enough savings to cover the maintenance of your partner in the UK since he/she will be prohibited from state welfare until they can switch onto a form of permanent residency. This can take anywhere between 3, 5 and 10 years.
The financial requirement of the UK Fiancé Visa can be difficult to meet, especially when considering that your soon-to-be husband or wife who originates from overseas cannot work in the UK while under this visa. Six months is a long time to sustain yourselves on one form of income – let alone the high costs you will be coughing up to fund the wedding itself.
For this reason, you will both need to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourselves for at least six months. The person with British citizenship and who lives in the UK ordinarily must have a job with an annual salary of no less than £18,600.
This figure rises by an additional £3,800 for your first dependent and an £2,400 per each dependent after that who plans on living with you in the UK. A dependent could be a child under the age of 18 or someone who requires your care. Your accommodation arrangements must similarly reflect the number of dependents who plans on living with you in the UK. In UK law, children over the age of 10 must have their own bedroom.
Meeting the minimum income requirement
If you are struggling to meet the minimum income requirement of the Fiancé Visa application, UKVI may consider alternative ways in which you can demonstrate your self-sufficiency.
If you do not earn £18,600 per annum, you may be able to make up for the financial requirement by using a combination of:
- Income generated through self-employment
- Pension payments
- Statutory sick pay, maternity or paternity pay
- Adoption pay
- Stocks or shares
- Property such as rent
In addition to your maintenance savings, you may be able to meet the minimum income requirement by providing proof of your personal savings. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for around £16,000 in your savings account. Your partner may be able to assist you with this too, but make sure you have the money in your account at least six months before you apply for a Fiancé Visa. This is because you will need to submit a portfolio of evidence in your visa application, including bank statements that covers the last six months.
Remain in the UK after marriage
As soon as you are formally married or you have entered a civil partnership, your overseas husband or wife can switch onto a UK Spouse Visa instead. Although many of the financial requirements remain the same, your loved one can now enter the labour market in the UK as he/she will be classed as a resident with legal status to remain in the country.
The UK Spouse Visa is valid for a period of 30 months. Once this expires, you can renew or extend your Spouse Visa for a further 30 months. After three to five years of continuous residency in the UK, you can move onto a permanent status such as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?
Organising and planning a wedding is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Couple this with visa troubles and satisfying UKVI, and the paperwork quickly piles up.
Let our expert immigration lawyers ease the burden of your visa application. Our lawyers can even fill out your application for you, giving you one less thing to worry about before your big day.
Speak to our customer care team today by ringing 0121 667 6530 to arrange an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors here in Birmingham. If you can’t make it to the office, our lawyers can speak to you over the phone or via video call at a time that suits you.