Fiancé visa compared to a Spouse visa
A fiancé visa allows holders to stay in the UK for up to 6 months so they have time to enter a marriage or civil partnership with a British citizen. Fiancé visas do not allow the holder to work or study during their time in the UK and they are granted so the applicant has time to marry their proposed civil partner.
A spouse visa is a longer term visa that allows married couples to live in the UK for up to 30 months initially. You can then apply for a spouse visa extension which is the first step towards gaining indefinite leave to remain status. The marriage visa allows the holder to work and study in the UK, however, they are not permitted to claim benefits while in the UK on a spouse visa.
Changing from a UK fiancé visa to UK spouse visa
In most cases, the immigration route from a fiancé visa to a spouse visa is straightforward but the Home Office will consider each visa application carefully against UK immigration rules.
If you wish to switch from a fiancé UK visa to a spouse visa then it is crucial to make the visa application before your fiancé visa expires otherwise it could make the application process more complicated and immigration permission could be refused.
As part of the spouse visa UK application you will need to met the following criteria and be able to provide evidence to the relevant visa application centre:
- Have a valid fiancé visa and not have breached any of the visa’s conditions
- Meet the good character requirements
- Have sufficient English language skills or passed a English language test
- Meet the financial requirements for annual income or savings
Cost of applying for a spouse visa
If applying while outside the UK, then the spouse visa processing fee is £1,538 and £1,048 if you are applying while in the country.
There is the option for a fast track application package to speed up the processing time for your spouse visa application. For £800, the Super Priority service allows a decision to made within 24 hours compared to the standard processing times of up to three months.
Spouse visa applications also have additional charges including the Immigration Health Surcharge and the biometric processing fee. These must be paid at the time of application.
It is important to ensure you have completed the application form correctly and supplied all the requested information – otherwise you could experience delays as well as having to pay another application fee.
Spouse visa to ILR and becoming a British citizen
Once you have moved from a fiancé visa to a married partner visa you can then look towards being granted indefinite leave to remain and gain settled status.
Under ILR you are allowed to live in the UK without being subject to UK visa restrictions meaning you can work and study without conditions. In addition, you are able to visit outside the UK and return to the UK freely.
To be granted indefinite leave to remain status you need to:
- Have lived in the UK with a valid UK visa for the last five years
- Not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in the 12 months before making your leave to remain visa application
- Pass the Life in the UK test requirement and have a valid pass certificate
- Demonstrate the ‘good character’ Home Office requirements
- Supply biometric residence permit information
- Meet the same minimum income requirement for your visa (£18,600 per couple)
- Not have breached any immigration regulations or laws
Can Spouse visas be refused?
Both UK fiancé visas and marriage visas can be refused if the Home Office suspects the relationship the application is based on is not genuine or if the visa application has been submitted without sufficient evidence.
Possible missing documentation may include:
- Failing to provide a housing report
- Failing to provide proof of an English language test
- Failing to show that the financial requirements are met
Appealing a refusal
It is possible to appeal if your spouse visa application is refused. If you opt to appeal then you will need to plead your case to an immigration judge. For immigration appeals it may be advisable to seek comprehensive advice from a dedicated immigration lawyer to ensure you are ready for the process.
What is the Genuine Relationship requirement?
One of the key requirements to ensuring your can switch from a fiancé visa to a spouse visa is the genuine relationship criteria. You must provide sufficient evidence to prove that you are in a genuine relationship.
You could be asked to provide the following information to enable the Home Office to make a decision about whether your partnership is legitimate:
- Bank statements of joint accounts
- Documents showing details of accommodation which you have lived in together
- Reference letters from family, friends and professional people who can confirm that you are in a genuine relationship
- Information on how long you have been together, how you met etc
- Birth certificates of children you have had together
- Divorce certificates from previous relationships
How can London Immigration Lawyers help?
Our team of experienced London immigration lawyers understand the immense importance of securing Indefinite Leave to Remain. It is a pivotal step in the journey towards British citizenship, and we can guide you every step of the process. Luckily, our immigration lawyers are here to help.
Our immigration lawyers offer a fast-track application service that will make sure your Skilled Work Dependent Visa application is completed and submitted quickly. Our lawyers can work around the clock to ensure that your deadline is met. They can fill in the application form on your behalf and help you to gather all of the documents that you will require.
For more information about the Visa application process, or how we can help you to apply, get in touch today on 020 4502 8582.
Last modified on January 3rd, 2023 at 9:18 pm
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