Moving to the United Kingdom with your partner? Planning a beautiful marriage in the UK, surrounded by family and friends? Or maybe a quiet ceremony at a local registry?
You should consider applying for a ‘Fiancé visa’ if you are looking to enter the UK to marry or enter a civil partnership with a UK citizen (or someone who has settled status) and you plan to live together long term in the UK.
This blog covers the details involved in applying for a fiancé visa, including the processing time, eligibility requirements and how to prove the genuineness of your relationship.
The UK fiancé visa is a category of visa that allows a non-UK citizen permission to enter the UK either to get married or register a civil partnership with a person who holds indefinite leave to remain, refugee status or humanitarian protection, status under the ECAA provisions, EU settled or pre-settled status or someone holding UK or Irish citizenship.
The visa allows you to get married or register a civil partnership within six months of gaining entry into the UK.
A UK fiancé visa will be issued to enable you to travel with your partner, who is returning to the UK after living abroad. It can also be applied for where your settled partner is already living in the UK and wants you to join them from overseas.
The idea is that you will marry within the UK within the 6-month validity period of the visa. If you are unable to get married within this period, for good reason or due to circumstances out of your control, an in-country extension can be submitted to give more time for the marriage to take place. You must show that you will be reasonably able to get married within the following 6 months.
The fiancé visa does not give the holder permission to work in the UK, however, once you qualify for a spouse/civil partner visa (i.e. after you get married/register your civil partnership), you can apply from inside the UK for leave to remain as a spouse/civil partner and will be allowed to work under the spouse/civil partner visa.
You and your partner must fulfil specific prerequisites to apply for a UK fiancé visa.
Below mentioned are the general qualifying criteria:
The documents and information required for a fiancé visa include:
You must also give details of:
The “Genuineness test” is used by Home Office caseworkers to determine whether your relationship is real and ongoing. Failing to prove the genuineness of your relationship could result in your fiancé visa application being refused.
There are various questions on the application, designed to establish the genuineness of the relationship (and to rule out that the possibility that the visa will be used as a “vehicle” to help someone stay in the UK for other primary purposes). Subjects include:
You and your partner must have evidence that you meet the minimum annual income threshold set by the Home Office, to support yourself and your family in the UK without needing to rely on state benefits.
You must be able to show a gross income of £18,600 per year for yourself and your partner.
If you have any children who are applying for visas as your dependants, then you must show an additional £3,800 for your first child and £2,400 for each child after the first child.
You need to demonstrate English Language proficiency at beginners level to qualify for the visa.
Unless you are meet the requirement in another way, or are exempt, you need to take an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) test to show that you can listen, understand and communicate in English to the level of A1, as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
You need to make an online application and submit the required documents as outlined above in the blog. You must also book and attend a Biometric appointment to enrol your photo and fingerprints. You will not normally be required to attend an interview with a caseworker but this is always a possibility, and you (and or your sponsor) would be contacted for interview sometime after enrolling biometrics, if the Home Office did wish to interview you.
A UK fiancé visa costs £1,523 if you apply from outside the UK. Inside the UK visa costs £1,033, plus a £19.20 biometric enrolment fee (if you are applying to extend a previously granted fiancé visa).
Generally, it takes about two to three months before for a decision. Some locations offer a “settlement priority service” where you can receive a decision sooner, for an additional fee.
Conclusion: The blog covers everything you need to know about your Fiancé visa application. One must carefully consider the requirements before making the application. The process requires rigorous attention to detail. If your dream is to have your special wedding day in the UK and to continue marital life in the UK, start by planning your fiancé visa application.