Non-British partners have the option to live and work in the UK thanks to the UK Partner visa. If you are the spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner (who has been living with you for at least two years), fiancé, fiancée, or prospective civil partner (who will wed or form a civil partnership in the UK within six months of arrival), you may apply for this family visa.
While both Spouse visas and Fiancé visas come under the UK Partner visa category, they are not the same. The fiancé visa is for those who want to enter the UK legally to marry, and the spouse visa is for couples who want to reside permanently in the UK. There are several ways in which a spouse visa differs from a fiance visa. However, both fall within the category of settlement visas and you can switch from fiancé to spouse visa in the UK.
What is a fiancé visa?
A fiancé visa or an Unmarried Partner Visa, which has a six-month validity period, enables foreign nationals to enter the UK in order to marry their British or UK-settled spouse. A non-UK citizen who is not married but is in a relationship with a person who is either a British citizen or has settled or pre-settled status in the UK is eligible for this visa.
However, the pair must demonstrate that they have been living together for at least two years in order to be eligible for this option, and the UK partner must fulfil the financial criteria.
The application for a fiancé visa is distinct from one for a marriage visitor and must be submitted in accordance with the Home Office requirements.
If you’re proposing to be a civil partner or applying as a fiancé, fiancée, you must demonstrate that:
- You intend to be married or enter a civil partnership within six months of arriving in the UK.
- Any prior marriages or civil partnerships have terminated.
It is important to note that you won’t be permitted to work in the UK while you’re in the engaged status.
Describe the Spouse Visa.
An immigrant’s spouse may join them in the UK or choose to stay with them under the terms of a spouse visa. This visa is valid if a non-UK citizen marries a British citizen or a person who has settled or pre-settled status in the UK. In most cases, the UK spouse must fulfil the financial conditions in order to be qualified to bring their spouse over from abroad.
What distinguishes a fiancé visa from a spouse visa?
The fiancé visa allows foreign nationals to travel to the UK for a period of six months in order to get married. This visa is for non-UK citizens who are in a relationship with someone who is either a British citizen or has settled or pre-settled status in the UK but who is not married to them. Working in the UK is not allowed for foreign nationals on fiancé visas.
Immigrants who are already married to a British national, or a UK-settled sponsoring spouse, and want to move to the UK will have to apply for a spouse visa. After receiving a spouse visa, immigrants are allowed to live and work in the UK for a 30-month term. After the spouse visa has been extended for a further 30 months, immigrants may then seek to live in the UK.
How can I switch my visa status from fiancé to spouse?
If a fiancé visa was first granted and you want to stay in the UK, you must switch to a spouse visa before your fiancé visa expires. Since it is an extension of the fiancé visa, the application should be simple. However, each application is evaluated by the Home Office on an individual basis. As per the UK Home Office, proper supporting documentation must be provided for this transition.
The following conditions must be met in order to submit a successful application:
- You must be in good moral standing, fulfil the relationship criteria, and possess a valid fiancé visa. Additionally, you must not be in violation of the terms imposed by your entrance clearance.
- Both the English language proficiency criteria (CEFR Level A1) and the £18,600 financial requirement must be met.
The initial entry clearance visa is issued for a period of 33 months (30 months if the application is submitted from within the UK; if you apply as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you will be issued a 6-month visa to allow you to enter the UK so that your marriage or civil partnership can take place here, after which you may apply for a Spouse Visa Extension of 30 months. You might be able to submit an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years.
What Are the Conditions for a UK Partner or Spouse Visa?
Candidates must fulfill certain criteria to be eligible for this visa and some of them are pretty onerous. For example, a considerable minimum financial or income criterion is required to apply for this visa and this has been the focus of bitter court disputes and condemnation from family-oriented organisations.
If you want to be granted a family visa as a spouse or partner in the UK, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Both you and your companion must be at least 18 years old.
- Your sponsored partner must either be a citizen of the United Kingdom or have established residency there, such as through ILR, settled status, or other legal documentation.
They may also have pre-settled status and come from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein; however, they must have begun residing in the UK before January 1, 2021. This visa is also available to partners of Turkish nationals living in the UK on work visas or with refugee status.
- You are married or in a civil partnership that is recognised in the UK, you have been living together for at least two years, you are engaged or planning to be married in the UK within six months of arrival, or you are a fiancé, fiancée, or proposed civil partner.
- If you are a fiancé(e) or a prospective civil partner, you must be looking to enter the country in order for your marriage or civil partnership to be consummated there.
- Your relationship with your sponsor has to be sincere and consistent.
- You want to stay with your sponsor in the UK permanently and pay for your own housing out of pocket.
- Your sponsor has the necessary resources. This often entails earning at least £18,600 a year (this rises if you have children) and/or having enough funds.
- You must have a good hold over the English language.
How to apply for the UK Spouse/Partner visa?
You’ll need to be fully prepared with information and paperwork while applying for the UK Spouse/ Partner visa. You can apply for the visa online, whether you are in or outside the UK.
How much does it cost to apply for a spouse visa?
Currently, the Home Office application cost for visas is £1,033 for applications sent from outside the UK and £1,523 for applications sent within the UK. The annual cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is now £624. The Super Priority service has an extra cost of £810 for applications that are filed from within the UK. If you choose the Super Priority service, you can find out the outcome 24 hours from the biometric enrollment date.
If you are unable to pay the fee
In case, you are not able to pay the visa charges, fill out the online fee waiver request form. This is, however, only applicable for candidates who are unable to pay the fees for the following reasons:
- Don’t have a residence and are unable to afford one.
- Own a place but struggle to cover basic expenses.
- You have a very limited budget, and paying the charge would be detrimental to your child’s wellbeing.
Contact A Y & J Solicitors for assistance
When someone applies for a UK family visa as a partner or spouse, our team offers knowledgeable legal counsel and representation, and we have a proven track record of successful applications. If you need any assistance to switch your visa status from fiancé to spouse, contact us. if you want to write for us legal