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  • Alastair Blair

UK fiancé (or fiancée), Partner, Spouse and Marriage visas



We get many requests from non-UK nationals who are going to get married or enter into a civil partnership with a UK national and want to set up home in the UK. Whether you are a fiancé (an engaged man) or a fiancée (engaged woman) or a proposed civil partner, here is what you need to know.

Firstly, you must both be aged 18 or over, and your partner must fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • be a British or Irish citizen

  • have settled permanently in the UK, for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, proof of permanent residence or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

  • be from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland and have pre-settled status under the EUSS

  • have either a Turkish businessperson visa or Turkish worker visa

  • have either refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.

Secondly, the visa lasts for only six months and, as a fiancé(e) visa applicant, you must prove that:

  • You intend to marry your fiancé within the six-month duration of the visa (in other words, you must prove that you are seeking to enter the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place).

  • Any of your or your fiancés previous relationships (married or unmarried) have ended.

  • There will be adequate accommodation for you and any dependants, and that you will be able to maintain yourselves and any dependents without the support of public funds.

  • Your fiancé earns more than £18,600 per year or has enough savings to be able to support you without claiming public funds. If you have dependent children, the minimum financial requirement is higher.

  • You must satisfy the English language requirements.


Note: you will not be permitted to work during your engagement, so you must be able to show that you are able to support yourself financially. After you have become married or entered into a civil partnership, you can apply to extend your stay on under a spouse visa and you will then be permitted to undertake paid employment.

How to apply for a fiancé(e)/civil partnership visa

You must complete an application online on the UK Home Office website from outside the UK. You will then need to pay the relevant fee and attend an appointment at an overseas visa application centre to enrol your biometric information. The UK Government will charge you a fee of £1,538. This is over and above our fees for helping you with this application. Once you are married or have entered into a civil partnership, you must then apply for an extension of stay as the spouse or civil partner of your UK sponsor if you intend to live together in the UK. This costs an additional £1,048.

Fiancé(e)/civil partnership visa supporting documents

You must have a current passport or other valid travel ID and you will also need to provide proof of your relationship with your fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner and your plans to get married or to enter into a civil partnership within six months of being in the UK.

In addition, you will need to submit various different types of official documentation, such as joint bank statements and/or proof of living together outside the UK, where relevant (for example, a joint tenancy agreement or utility bills).

To meet the financial and English language requirements. For the financial requirement, evidence of your own annual income or savings, or that of your fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner is required, showing that you can meet certain minimum financial thresholds.

To meet the language requirement, you must be able to show that you are either a national of a majority English speaking country, have a UK-degree or PhD, or a UK-equivalent degree taught or researched in English, or that you have passed a basic English language test in speaking and listening.

However, you will be exempt from the English language requirement if you are aged 65 or over, have a disability which prevents you from meeting this requirement, or there are exceptional circumstances preventing you from meeting this requirement prior to entry to the UK.

What happens if your application is refused?

If your visa is refused, you should have a right of appeal to what is known as the first-tier tribunal. We recommend that you seek our specialist legal advice because these cases can be complex, with much at stake. We can tell you exactly where you stand legally and what options are available to you.

Partner visa

If you intend to come to the UK to live with your loved one but have no immediate plans to get married or to enter into a civil partnership, you may be eligible for a partner visa. This will allow you to live in the UK with your fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner for a period of more than six months, provided you have been living together for at least 2 years when you apply and you and your fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner must both intend to live together in the UK once you are granted a visa.

Advantages of a Partner visa

It is usually best to apply for a partner visa rather than a fiancé(e) visa. Under a partner visa, you will initially be granted permission to live in the UK for two years and nine months. This means that you will not have to make another application as soon as you get married and you will be able to work from the outset. You will also be eligible to extend your stay in the UK by two and a hal years before applying to settle.

Spouse visa

If you have recently married outside the UK, but would like to start a new life together living in the UK, you may be eligible for a spouse visa. This will allow you to come to the UK to live with your new husband, wife or civil partner for an initial period of two years and nine months, provided you are in a marriage or civil partnership that is recognised in the UK and you intend to live together permanently on the grant of your visa.

As with the partner visa, shortly prior to expiry of your spouse visa, you will then be eligible to extend your stay in the UK by a further period of two and a half years, before applying to settle.

Marriage visitor visa

If you are simply looking to come to the UK to get married or to enter into a civil partnership, you may be eligible for a marriage visitor visa. You can apply for a visit visa if you would like to get married in the UK, or register a civil partnership, but are not planning to stay on after your marriage or civil partnership takes place. Under this type of visa, you can marry or enter into a civil partnership at a UK venue licensed for this purpose, but you will be required to leave the UK at the end of your visit and within no more than six months.

Note that the marriage visitor visa is different to a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa, because with the latter you will not be required to leave the UK at the end of your six-month stay. Instead, under a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa, you can apply to switch to a spouse visa and on to a path to permanent settlement.

We appreciate that applying for a visa is complex and many people are worried about getting it wrong. It is always better to speak to an experienced immigration lawyer to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes.

Silvia Rodriguez Molina





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