UK Fiancé Visa
Love conquers all – or so they say. When you are applying for a fiancé visa it can feel as if you need to conquer the red tape surrounding your visa application. Some say that it is the hardest battle of their lives. At OTS Solicitors our immigration lawyers aim to even up the battle odds with specialist UK fiancé visa advice.
UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors
For immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.
Who needs a fiancé visa?
If you are a non-UK national who is planning to get married in the UK then you may need a fiancé visa.
If you are already married to a UK national or a person with settled status in the UK then you may need a spouse visa.
If you are uncertain about the best visa for you it is best to ask an immigration solicitor before you go any further with your plans. Even if you don’t think you meet the eligibility criteria for a fiancé visa or spouse visa it is worth asking as an immigration lawyer might come up with a solution. For example, you may easily qualify for a health and care worker visa as the UK health sector is desperately in need of overseas care workers because of the UK recruitment crisis.
What is a UK fiancé visa?
A UK fiancé visa allows you to enter the UK for the purposes of getting married or entering a civil partnership. The visa lasts up to 6 months.
That’s what the fiancé visa is. However, it is just as important to say what it is not.
On a fiancé visa, you cannot stay in the UK permanently. You also cannot work in the UK. The immigration rules say you can work in the UK on a spouse visa and spouse visas and most work visas lead to UK settlement.
If you and your partner are planning to get married in the UK and then leave the country then all you may need is a visitor visa.
That’s why it’s best to check with UK immigration solicitors to make sure that you are applying for the visa that’s best for you.
What happens after 6 months on a UK fiancé visa?
A UK fiancé visa lasts 6 months. At the end of the 6 months, you either need to leave the UK or apply to switch visas if you have got married or entered into a civil partnership within that timeframe. For example, you may meet the eligibility criteria for a civil partner visa or spouse visa.
Once you have obtained a family visa you can go on to apply to extend the visa. After you have been in the UK for at least 5 years on the spouse visa (or other qualifying visa route) and you meet the continuous and lawful residence requirement you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. That status allows you to permanently live in the UK although some people prefer to take the next and final step of applying to become a British citizen.
Spouse Visa Solicitors say it is best to plan ahead as even though you may be interested in sorting out a fiancé visa the reality is that if you think your goal is to stay long term in the UK it is wise to check out the eligibility criteria for the spouse visa and indefinite leave to remain so you know if you are likely to be able to achieve your goals and settle in the UK.
Alternatives to the fiancé visa if you don’t want to get married
You may be in love and want to live in the UK with your British partner but you may not want to get married. If so, you are not on your own. Increasing numbers of people in the UK are choosing to cohabit rather than get married or enter a civil partnership.
You may either meet the eligibility criteria for a partner visa or a work visa. With a partner visa, you do not need to be in a married relationship but it must be genuine and you must have been with your partner for at least 2 years. The immigration rules say your relationship must have been akin to marriage to meet the criteria for a partner visa.
In addition, your partner or sponsor must be able to meet the financial requirement to be able to sponsor you. The financial requirement can be met in several different ways, such as cash savings of £65,000 or a combination of income and savings. If your partner is living in the UK and on state benefits you may still qualify for a partner visa if their benefits automatically passport you into meeting the financial requirement.
Alternatively, you may qualify for a work visa. Many people are deterred from applying for a work visa because they think they need a university degree to apply for a skilled worker visa. You do not. There is also the option of applying for a health and care worker visa. Many people assume you need to be a trained nurse or doctor to qualify for this specialist visa but you do not have to have this level of experience. Many care and nursing homes are desperate for reliable and caring nursing home staff. The government has made it easier to apply for a health and care worker visa by adding several care sector jobs to the shortage occupation list.
Fiancé visa criteria
To qualify for a fiancé visa, you and your partner must be 18 or over. Your partner must either have:
- British citizenship
- Irish citizenship
- Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Refugee status
- Humanitarian protection in the UK
There are a couple of other ways you can qualify so if your partner does not fall within this list speak to one of our immigration solicitors to check out the criteria and your best options.
In addition to your partner’s status, you will also need to show that:
- You intend to marry your fiancé within the 6-month visa
- You are not married or in a civil partnership or other relationship and nor is your fiancé
- You can maintain yourself without using public funds and you have adequate accommodation
- You and your fiancé meet the financial requirement
- You meet the English language requirement – you may be exempt from this if you come from an English-speaking country. If not, you may need to sit a short test
You should expect to have to prove your relationship and provide documents to support the planned marriage and your partner’s ability to meet the financial requirement. An immigration solicitor can advise you on what paperwork is necessary to give your application the best chance of success.
UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors
For fiancé visa and immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.