When you are trying to find information on how to reunite your family there seems to be a lot of information on the internet about how best to apply for a UK spouse visa, but not all that much information about civil partnership UK visas. In this blog we focus on the civil partnership UK visa and answer your questions on eligibility to apply for a civil partnership visa.
Civil partnership visa solicitors
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in Immigration
and family visas, whether it is reuniting husbands and wives on Spouse Visas
or civil partners on UK civil partnership visas. If you need advice and information on how best to apply for a civil partnership visa call the civil partnership visa solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online
UK Civil partnership law
To understand how best to go about applying for a UK civil partnership visa it is first of all necessary to understand what is meant by ‘civil partnership’ in the UK.
Your understanding of what is meant by a ‘civil partnership’ will depend on whether you are reading this blog in the UK, the Philippines, Pakistan or in another non-EEA
country. That is because your country of origin may not recognise the legal concept of civil partnership or the law on civil partnership may be very different to UK civil partnership law.
In the UK a civil partnership is a legally recognised relationship entered into by two adults. It is akin to a married relationship between husband and wife. As originally UK law did not allow same sex couples to get married to one another the UK introduced the concept of ‘civil partnership’ for same sex couples so their commitment to one another and their relationship could be legally recognised.
As UK civil partnership relationships were legally restricted to same sex couples this was seen as discriminatory to heterosexual couples. Equally some same sex couples wanted to be able to get married and therefore saw civil partnerships as discriminatory.
The UK law has now changed so:
• Same sex couples can now choose whether to enter into a civil partnership or get married; and
• With effect from the 31 December 2019, heterosexual couples can either choose to get married or enter into a civil partnership.
Although the UK has changed the law on the availability of civil partnerships for heterosexual couples and the law on marriage for same sex couples, when it comes to applying for a visa, a marriage or civil partnership is treated exactly the same.
If you are in a same sex relationship and you are married to your partner then if you are from a non-EEA
country and you want to come to the UK then you will need to apply for a spouse visa
. You should only apply for a civil partnership visa if you have participated in a civil partnership ceremony.
After the 31 December 2019 and heterosexual couples in the UK can apply to enter a civil partnership with one another, UK family visa
solicitors are expecting a surge in UK civil partnership visa applications.
Do I need a civil partnership visa?
If you are not from an EEA
country then you need a civil partnership visa to enter or to remain in the UK with your civil partner. Although you do not need a civil partnership visa at present if you or your civil partner are from the EEA
the rules may change after Brexit
and the end of free movement for EEA
Applying for a UK civil partnership visa
You can apply for a UK civil partnership visa whilst you are in the UK if:
• You have a visa that is over six months in length; and
• You are not in the UK on a visit visa.
Applying for a UK civil partnership from outside the UK
You can apply for a civil partnership visa from outside the UK or your UK based civil partner can assist you with your visa application and you can provide the supporting documents for a UK civil partnership visa.
If you are in the UK and your visa doesn’t allow you to switch to a civil partnership visa (because it is a visit visa or a visa of less than six months in length) then you will need to return to your country and submit your civil partnership visa application from outside the UK.
Am I eligible to apply for a UK civil partnership visa?
You will be eligible to apply for a UK civil partnership visa if you and your civil partner meet the following eligibility criteria:
• You must both be at least eighteen years of age; and
• You must be in a genuine relationship and have met each other in person rather than just enjoying an online relationship or entering a civil partnership by proxy; and
• You must intend to live together on a permanent basis; and
• Any previous relationships or civil partnerships must have ended or been dissolved; and
• You must have enough funds to support yourselves (and any dependent children) without claiming UK public funds; and
• You must have suitable accommodation available in the UK; and
• You must meet the English language test; and
• Your UK based civil partner must have minimum earnings of £18,600 (before tax) per year. The minimum income rules for UK civil partnership visas are referred to as ‘the financial requirement’. If you have dependent children then the minimum financial requirement rises.
UK civil partnership visa solicitors
If you think you are eligible to apply for a UK civil partnership visa or want to discuss the visa eligibility criteria then call the civil partnership visa solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online
The civil partnership visa financial requirement
The civil partnership financial requirement is far more complicated than it first appears and in many relationships it is necessary to look carefully at the civil partnership financial requirement rules to ensure that not only is the financial requirement met but that you provide the best supporting financial documents to accompany your civil partnership visa application.
If you have any concerns about meeting the civil partnership financial requirement it is best to take legal advice from a civil partnership visa solicitor as they can go through the complex Immigration
Rules with you to see if you fit within the financial requirement criteria.
If your UK based civil partner doesn’t earn £18,600 gross per year you may still meet the financial requirement for the visa in a number of different ways. For example:
• If you are in the UK and are able to work under your visa conditions then your income can be taken into account when assessing if your income amounts to £18,600 a year;
• If your UK based civil partner is in receipt of certain state benefits the financial requirement will not apply to your application although you will still need to meet the other eligibility criteria for a civil partnership visa;
• If your UK based civil partner has refugee status in the UK or humanitarian protection then you won't need to meet the financial requirement;
• If you or your UK based civil partner have savings then these can be taken into account when looking at the financial requirement and may reduce the income that needs to be earned per year to less than £18,600;
• If your UK based civil partner has a variety of sources of income such as a part time job, a pension and a rental income from a property that they rent out, then all of these sources of income can be taken into account when assessing if they meet the minimum income financial requirement of £18,600 per year. If the financial requirement is met through a variety of income sources it is vital that this is properly explained in your visa application and full supporting paperwork is provided to best ensure that the Home Office are satisfied that the financial requirement is met.
The financial requirement rules for civil partnership visas and the supporting paperwork you need to supply are complicated so it is best to get expert legal advice from a civil partnership visa solicitor to get the best visa results.
Civil partnership visa solicitors
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in immigration and family visas, and have lots of experience in securing UK civil partnership visas. If you need advice and information on how best to apply for a civil partnership visa call the civil partnership visa solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete the online enquiry form.
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession recommended immigration solicitors. Our friendly and approachable team of UK civil partnership visa solicitors can advise you on the best way to secure your civil partnership visa.