What is the Difference Between a UK Spouse Visa and Partner Visa? banner


What is the Difference Between a UK Spouse Visa and Partner Visa?

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It isn’t surprising that visa applicants get confused about the difference between spouse visas, partner visas and family visas as the names are used a lot by immigration lawyers. In this article our spouse visa solicitors take a look at the difference between the spouse visa and partner visa.

If you aren’t sure what type of family visa best meets your circumstances give the friendly spouse visa solicitors a call to discuss your visa requirements.

UK Online and London Based Spouse Visa Solicitors and Immigration Lawyers 

For advice on your partner visa or spouse visa application or help with an immigration law problem call the London Spouse Visa Solicitors at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Who is classed as a spouse for a spouse visa?

For a spouse visa your partner can be:

  • Your husband or
  • Your wife or
  • Your civil partner. This can either be a heterosexual partner or same sex partner depending on the legal validity of the relationship in the country where you entered the civil partnership.

The key point is that you must be in a legally recognised relationship with your partner and that can either be marriage or civil partnership.

Your marriage or civil partnership does not need to have taken place in the UK but the ceremony must be legally recognised in the country where it took place.

The fact that you are engaged to be married or engaged to enter a civil partnership does not count when it comes to a spouse visa application – you have to be in a legal relationship. If you are engaged then a fiancé visa may be your best immigration option.

Spouse visa solicitors are often asked if an arranged marriage counts as a marriage for a spouse visa application. It does provided that the couple have met, the relationship is genuine and the couple intend to live together after marriage. Your arranged marriage wedding ceremony also has to be recognised as legal in the country where it took place.

Knowing whether you are married or not isn’t always as easy as it sounds as spouse visa solicitors are focussed on the legalities and the marriage laws where your ceremony took place. They are not questioning the genuineness of your relationship or your commitment to it.

Who is classed as a partner for a partner visa?

For a UK partner visa your partner can either be a non-same sex or same sex partner but you must have already lived together in a relationship like marriage for at least two years. The two-year relationship can have taken place either overseas or whilst living within the UK.

Does your UK based partner need to be a British citizen?

Your partner in the UK doesn’t necessarily have to be a British citizen to secure a spouse visa or partner visa. If you are a non-EEA citizen who wants to join a partner in the UK then your partner needs to be:

If your partner has settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme then you may be eligible to apply for settled status.

What do you need to prove to show that you are a partner?

Spouse visa solicitors say it can be harder to prove that you are in a genuine relationship when you don’t have a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate. To secure a partner visa you won't have a certificate to say that your relationship has lasted for two years or more but you can use the best evidence available to show that your relationship is genuine and that you intend to live with one another.

Evidence of your relationship for a partner visa  

You will need to show evidence that your relationship is genuine. The best partner visa evidence available will depend on your personal and financial circumstances. For example, if you are homeowners or rented together you may have a joint mortgage or joint tenancy agreement or utility and other bills addressed to you as a couple. Alternatively, you may have a joint bank account or other evidence.

As the Home Office can refuse an application for a partner visa if the Home Office official isn’t satisfied that there is enough evidence to demonstrate that you have been in a genuine relationship and living together for at least two years it is best to get expert legal advice from spouse visa solicitors on the relationship evidence needed before submitting a family visa application.

What do you need to prove to obtain a partner visa? 

As well as being able to show the Home Office that you are in a genuine relationship and have lived with your partner for at least two years, you also need to be able to demonstrate that:

  • You meet the financial requirement – this means, for a couple, that you have a gross income of at least £18,600 per year or you have savings if you and your partner either are not earning £18,600 per year or you don’t have an income. (For example, because you are living on savings). If you have no income source and you are not in receipt of passporting benefits then you need cash savings of at least £62,500 to meet the partner visa financial requirement.
  • You have adequate accommodation – you and your partner don’t need to be homeowners or even renting a property from a landlord. In some cases, staying with family is classed as having adequate accommodation.
  • You meet the English language requirement by either sitting an English language requirement test or being exempt because of your country of origin or because of your qualifications.

Partner visa applications tend to be more complicated than spouse visa applications because proving that you have lived together for at least two years can be hard. Also, if your partner is self-employed, it can be hard to prove that you meet the financial requirement.

The fact that it can be hard to obtain a spouse visa or partner visa should not put you off from applying so you can stay in the UK with your partner or husband or wife or civil partner. The spouse visa solicitors at OTS Solicitors say that not only do they have many years of experience of partner visas and spouse visa applications, they understand that you need sympathetic friendly legal advice to help you understand your best visa options and the best evidence to secure your family visa.

UK Online and London Based Spouse Visa Solicitors and Immigration Lawyers 

For advice on your partner visa or spouse visa application call the immigration law team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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