- Fiance Visa Eligibility
- English Language reqirements
- Partners’ eligibility criteria
- Maintenance requirements
- Fiance Visa extension
- Fiance Visa processing time
- What happens if your application is successful
- What happens if your application is refused
- Fiance Visa application fees
- How to apply for a Spouse Visa
- How can IAS’ immigration lawyers in London help
How to apply for a Fiance Visa
If you are planning to marry a British citizen or settled person, you can apply for a Fiance Visa and join your partner in the UK.
Successful applicants will be granted clearance entry for six months, during which they will need to enter the UK to get married.
Although you are not allowed to work or study in the UK while on this permit, you will be able to apply to change your status once you and your partner walk the aisle.
Speak to our immigration lawyers in London to learn more about how to apply for a Fiance Visa.
Fiancé(e) Visa Eligibility
If you wish to enter the UK to join your partner (either your spouse, fiancé or proposed civil partner), you must meet the following requirements:
- You and your partner must both be over the age of 18;
- Your fiance must be already living in the UK as a settled person or British citizen;
- You and your partner must have met each other in person at least once before the date of your application;
- You must be planning to get married within six months;
- You must both intend to live together permanently after the marriage or civil partnership;
- You must both be able to sustain yourselves and your dependants financially without the aid of public funds;
- You must meet the so-called maintenance condition, meaning that your partner must be earning a minimum of £18,600 per annum to sponsor you;
- You must have suitable accommodation available for you and your family;
- You must pass an accredited English language test, or provide a valid certificate to demonstrate your knowledge of the written and spoken language.
What is the English language requirement for Partner Visas applications?
All foreign partners who wish to enter the UK must first demonstrate their knowledge of written and spoken English.
To meet the English language requirement, you can either:
- Provide a valid English language test certificate;
- Hold a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English, and that is recognised by UK NARIC;
- Pass a language exam at level A1 from an approved test provider;
- Demonstrate that you are a national from one of the English-speaking countries that are exempt from this eligibility criteria.
You are also exempt from proving your knowledge of English if you are over 65 or under 18, or if you have any physical or mental condition that prevents you from sitting an exam.
Further exemptions apply to victims of domestic abuse, refugees, Commonwealth citizens or any other applicant in exceptional circumstances (such as living in the UK as an orphan, widow or over-age dependent).
Eligibility criteria for your partner
You partner will act as your sponsor, meaning that he or she must meet specific eligibility criteria. Your proposed partner must be:
- Settled in the UK either on ILR or as a naturalised citizen;
- Must be physically present in the UK at the time of your application, or must be entering the country with you;
- Must intend to make the UK their home with you provided that your application is successful.
Maintenance and accommodation requirements
If your application is successful, you and your partner will be allowed to stay in the UK to get married and settle in this country together. To obtain your visa, you must satisfy the following maintenance criteria:
- Adequate maintenance and accommodation, without recourse to public funds, must be available until and after the date of your marriage;
- You must have access to satisfactory accommodation for your family after the marriage or civil partnership, without recourse to public funds.
What are the requirements for a Fiance Visa extension?
If you fail to get married within six months from the date you entered the UK, you may be eligible to seek a Partner Visa extension. Before you submit a second application, you must ensure that you meet the following requirements:
- You must already be living in the UK on a valid fiancé or proposed civil partner visa;
- Your partner must still be holding a valid status as a British citizen or settled person;
- You can demonstrate that there is a good cause that your marriage or civil partnership did not take place until that moment;
- You must still be in the condition of meeting the same maintenance requirements for which you were granted entry clearance the first time.
Fiance Visa processing time
On average, it takes between two to three months for the Home Office to process a Fiance Visa application. During this time, your dedicated IAS lawyer will constantly be monitoring the state of your case to avoid any delays.
On the other hand, you can speed up this process by following some essential guidelines, such as:
- Compile and submit an adequate bundle of supporting documents;
- File all your forms correctly, avoiding even the smallest mistake;
- Always provide your original documents and, if needed, an accredited translation.
Your IAS lawyer will always be available to work with you, to ensure that your application is completed to the highest standards, and to avoid any inaccuracy that may jeopardise your case.
What happens if my Fiance Visa application is successful?
If your visa request is approved, you will be allowed to enter the UK and remain for up to six months, provided that you and your partner get married within this timeframe.
Once married, you can apply to change your status and get a Spouse Visa.
This permit will allow you to stay in the UK for an additional 60-month period, with a further opportunity to get a 33-month renewal.
After a certain number of years spent in the UK as a lawful resident, you may be ready to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Eventually, you will become eligible for British citizenship by marriage.
What should I do if my Partner Visa application is refused?
The specific UK immigration rules for Partner and Family Visas is known as Appendix FM, and it requires applicants to provide an extensive portfolio of supporting evidence.
If you fail to demonstrate that you are in a genuine relationship or that you qualify for all the eligibility criteria, your application may be delayed or even rejected. If this is your case, IAS’ team of immigration lawyers in London will be ready to help you and your partner. We will review the cause of your refusal, and advice you on how to proceed.
If you wish to challenge the UKVI’s decision, we will guide you through the process of appealing to the court. If necessary, we can also represent you at the full hearing before the tribunal, and liaise with the authorities until your case is solved.
Fiance Visa application fees
Partner and Visa applications from abroad cost £1,523. If you are applying from within the UK, you will be charged £1,033.
However, you must take into account other fees, which may depend on the type of processing service that you require. Besides, this charge will increase if you are applying with any dependent children, or if you need to sit an English language exam.
How do I change my status into a Spouse Visa?
Once you got married, you Fiance Visa will not be valid anymore. In fact, you must apply for a Spouse Visa to remain in the UK for up to 2 additional years once this new status will be granted.
As a Spouse Visa holder, you will be entitled to both work and study in the UK, as well as settle in this country with your partner as a certain number of years.
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Citizens of the following countries do not need to sit an exam to prove their knowledge of the English language:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- New Zealand
- Ireland (for citizenship only)
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Once your Fiance Visa’s been released, you will need to get married in the UK within six months of entering the country.
If you are unable to walk the aisle with your partner within this time frame, you may seek a visa extension, provided that you demonstrate the reason why you did not get married.
Although it is not mandatory to hire an immigration lawyer in London to submit your Fiance Visa application, seeking the help of a professional will maximise your chances of success.
One of our immigration experts will ensure that your forms are correctly filed and that you hold adequate evidence to support your case. This includes producing a satisfactory bundle of documents to demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and that you intend to get married within six months and then settle in the UK with your partner.
Call us today to discuss your case either in person, via Skype or over the phone. We will be happy to assess your eligibility for a Partner Visa and provide you and your partner with all the professional help you need.
To be eligible for a partner visa, you and your partner must have met at least once before the date of your application. This implies at least one face-to-face meeting at any point in the process of making mutual acquaintance.
However, the UKVI will judge each case on its individual merits. For example, if you and your partners have been childhood friends, the meeting of two infants may still not be acceptable to qualify as a genuine couple. Similarly, any relationship that has developed over the phone or the Internet does not satisfy this requirement, unless you have evidence of any face-to-face meeting.
You and your partner will be required to demonstrate that you are genuinely in love and willing to get married within six months from the date of your application.
For this reason, it is advisable to discuss your situation with one of our London immigration lawyers, who will help you compile an extensive bundle of documents and evidence. This will include all the necessary proofs of your relationship, such as reference letters from friends and family who know both you and your partner, bank statements of joint accounts or birth certificates of your children.
Any document that you believe may highlight the validity of your relationship may be essential in supporting your case.
If you have children under the age of 18, they can travel to the UK with you as your dependents.
It must be noted that your dependents can be included in your application only if they are under the age of 18, and they are not living an independent life. Otherwise, they can submit their own application, but only if they are already living in the UK as settled persons or on different immigration status.