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In the United Kingdom, fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visas are available to those engaged to be married to British citizens or those permanently resident in the UK, provided the marriage takes place within six months. UK fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visas allow non-EEA/EU nationals to travel to the UK to get married and to switch into the spouse visa category after nuptials are completed. Please note that this is distinct from short-term visit for marriage visas which require the holder to leave the UK after they are wed.
It is worth considering whether to marry first then enter the UK, as this avoids the necessity of making a second application to remain in the UK as a spouse. Please also note that it may be difficult to transition into the spouse visa category.
Before a foreign national and their intended can reunite and marry in the UK, there are certain requirements that must be met. In order to obtain a UK fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visa, the couple must satisfy the UKBA’s entry clearance officer that certain circumstances exist. These include:
That the sponsor (the partner resident in the UK) is entitled to live and work in the UK with no restrictions on their stay. This ordinarily means that they are a British citizen (either by birth, descent, or nationalisation) or that they are a permanent resident holding indefinite leave to remain. The sponsor must also be either permanently resident in the UK or, if overseas on a temporary basis, they must intend to return to the UK before or with their fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner.
The sponsor and the foreign fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner must be legally capable of marrying at the time of the fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner’s visa application. If one or both are still wed to another, they must be able to demonstrate that divorce proceedings (or an equivalent process to annul their previous marriage) are underway. Normally, the UKBA will reject a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visa application if they are not satisfied that both parties are going to able to wed within six months of the application.
Both the sponsor and the fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner must be at least 18 at the time of the application. The entry clearance officer has discretion if the fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner/applicant is about to turn 18 years of age.
The couple must produce documentary evidence to establish that the UK-resident sponsor and their foreign fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner have met in person prior to making the application. Obviously, the best prospects of success in this regard exist for those couples who have spent significant time in each other’s company.
Obviously, the parties must seriously intend to wed. Again, the best prospects of success in a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visa application exist for those couples who are able to produce documentary evidence of their planned wedding. The marriage must take place in the United Kingdom.
The entry clearance officer must be satisfied that the couple are in a genuine relationship. The couple must be able to demonstrate that they are in a committed relationship and that they intend to continue this following their wedding.
Applicants who are not citizens of a country which is predominantly English speaking must pass a mandatory English test before making their application for a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visa or for entry as a proposed civil partner or spouse visa. Applicants who have studied to degree level are normally exempt, provided certain criteria can be met.
The sponsor (the partner already in the UK) must be financially secure and be able to provide suitable accommodation in the UK for their partner. The sponsor must earn a minimum of £18,600 p/a, and have done so for the six months (12 months if self-employed) leading up to the date of the application. If children are involved, the threshold amounts are as follows:
If the sponsor is not earning this amount in work, then they can rely on other sources of income or financial support such as savings and investments, provided these are sufficient to support the fiancé(e) without recourse to public funds. The UKBA may also consider the applicant’s personal wealth when making a determination.
If a third country is involved (i.e. one which is not the applicant’s country of origin or the UK), then additional checks may be put in place. Some countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana, impose mandatory medical tests for tuberculosis.
If the fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner is in another country temporarily, then proof of residence in that country may be required, such as a residence card, visa, or work permit. If these cannot be provided, then it may be necessary to return to their country of origin to begin the application process from there.
A spouse visa is required for anyone who wishes to become resident in the UK by virtue of their marriage to a British citizen or person legally resident in the UK. Permission to reside in the UK will be granted if certain criteria are met.
Those from non-EEA/EU countries should apply for a settlement visa to the British Consulate, Embassy, or High Commission in their place of permanent residence. If successful, applicants will be granted a multiple entry visa (or entry clearance) valid for two and a half years. There is an option to apply for further leave to remain before the end of this period.
If you are in the UK on a visa which is valid for more than six months, then you can apply for a spousal visa from within the UK. This is also the case for those in the UK on a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner visa who have married their spouse and intend to reside permanently in the UK following their marriage.
A UK settlement visa or further leave to remain gives the spouse the right to reside and work in the UK for up to two and a half years. This is the first step to being granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The requirements for being granted a UK settlement visa are:
The sponsoring spouse must be a resident in the UK with no restrictions on their stay. This means, in practice, that they must either be a British citizen or be permanently resident in the UK (i.e. have indefinite leave to remain).
The parties must be legally married. The marriage must be valid according to the law of the country where it took place and must be recognised under UK law. If a marriage certificate is in a foreign language, it must be translated into English.
Both parties must be 18, or be about to turn 18. If one or both parties are about to turn 18, then the UKBA is not bound to grant a visa, but they may do so on a discretionary basis.
The parties must be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the UKBA entry clearance officer, that the marriage is genuine and the relationship is ongoing. In short, the entry clearance officer must be satisfied that the marriage has been entered into genuinely and that it is not an attempt to subvert UK immigration law.
The sponsor must be capable of financially supporting their new foreign spouse and dependants without relying on public funds. The sponsor must also provide suitable accommodation for their spouse and dependants, and this must not be overcrowded.
The sponsor must earn a minimum of £18,600 p/a, and have done so for the six months (12 months if self-employed) leading up to the date of the application. If children are involved, the threshold amounts are greater.
Most visa applicants are required to speak English. To demonstrate this, they must pass a mandatory English language test in advance of their application. Only nationals of English-speaking countries and those who have been educated to degree level in English are exempt.
If the application originates from a third country, then the applicant must provide proof of legal residence in that country. Otherwise, they may be asked to return to their country of origin to submit an application through the British Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission located there.
Adult Dependent Visa
You may apply for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom if you are related to a person present and settled here under one of the following circumstances:
Parent Aged 18 or over
If you are the sponsor's parent or grandparent, you must not be in a subsisting relationship with a partner unless that partner is also the sponsor's parent or grandparent and is applying for entry clearance at the same time as you.
In order to qualify under this category, you must meet the following requirements. The sponsor must, at the date of the application, be aged 18 years or over and be one of the following:
Alternatively, if you or your partner, as a result of age, illness, or disability, require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks you may be eligible. Also, the care you need must not be available in the country where you are living, either because it is not available and there is no person in the country where you are living who can reasonably provide it or it is not affordable.
Your sponsor can show that he or she is able to provide adequate maintenance, accommodation, and care for you without having to rely on public funds. Your sponsor will need to sign a sponsorship undertaking form to confirm that they will be responsible for your care without relying on public funds for a period of at least five years.
It is important that you have your loved ones with you, especially if they are dependent on you for support. We can help you bring your child or dependent relative to the UK. Our expert immigration advisor is understanding of the anxiety and stress these situations can bring. They will give you professional advice and guidance throughout the legal process so that you may be able to have your loved ones with you in the UK.
There are three ways in which your child may be able to live in the UK with you. If their application is successful, they will be granted indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom.
1) If You or a Relative Are Settled in the UK
(a) The Child Is Not Already in the UK
If you, the child’s other parent, or both of you have been granted indefinite leave to remain, or are British citizens, indefinite leave may also be granted to your child if they are under the age of 18. A child may also be granted indefinite leave if both parents are being admitted for settlement.
If only one of the child’s parents has indefinite leave to remain, the other must be under one of the following circumstances:
In all cases, the dependent relative will have to show that, as a result of a disability, illness, or age, he or she needs long-term personal care in order to perform everyday tasks, for example: cooking, ironing, washing, and dressing. This need must have occurred recently, for example, as the result of deterioration or an accident. The care that the dependent relative requires must not be available to them in their home country; because they cannot afford it or because it is simply not available.
In order to qualify, it will need to be demonstrated that your dependent relative can be sufficiently cared for, accommodated, and maintained while in the UK. Public funds cannot be relied on. If their application is successful, your dependent relative will be granted limited leave to enter. The duration will last as long as your limited leave, or the limited leave of their other UK relative with leave to remain.
Should you need an in-depth consultation, they are charged at £70 for 60 minutes. Our team is dedicated to your successful UK visa application, and we make this commitment to all of our clients: