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How to Switch from a Fiance Visa to a Spouse Visa

You can switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa before your fiance visa expires. UK spouse visa allows holders to stay in the UK for up to 33 months initially and then extend their stay for a further 30 months. Spouse visa holders can live, work, and study in the UK. After 5 years in the UK, spouse visa holders can then apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain / ILR).

Ordinarily, the application process for a spouse visa must be completed outside the UK, but as a fiance visa holder, you can switch to a spouse visa without leaving the country.

Switching from a fiance visa to spouse visa UK requirements

To switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa, you must satisfy the following eligibility visa requirements:

  • You currently hold a valid (i.e., non-expired) fiance, fiancée, or proposed civil partner visa
  • You must not have breached the immigration rules
  • You must be of good character (i.e., have no unspent criminal convictions or represent a threat to the UK)
  • You have married or entered into a civil partnership as a fiance, fiancée, or proposed civil partner visa holder
  • Your partner must be eligible to sponsor you
  • You and your partner must meet the financial requirements
  • You must meet the English language requirements

Partner sponsorship requirements

In order to sponsor you, your UK-based spouse or civil partner must be:

  • a British or Irish citizen
  • a person who has settled in the UK (e.g., ILR or EUSS Settled Status)
  • a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa holder
  • a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

Financial requirements

In your fiance visa application, you and your partner would have provided evidence that you have a combined annual income of at least £18,600 (plus £3,800 a year for your first child and £2,400 a year for each subsequent child).

According the immigration rules, when you switch to a spouse visa, the Home Office will normally use the evidence you provided in your initial application. You may need to provide evidence of ongoing employment or self-employment, however.

English language requirements

When applying for your fiance visa, you will already have proven you meet the English language requirements. As such, it is likely that the Home Office will accept that you already meet this requirement, and no further evidence will be needed.

Documents required for a fiance visa to spouse visa

The Home Office may request several items of documentation to satisfy your switch from fiance to spouse visa application. The number of documents may be less than for your initial fiance visa as the Home Office will already have access to these. You may be asked to provide:

  • Your current passport
  • Proof of relationship documents UK, i.e., evidence of your marriage or civil partnership in the UK in the last 6 months (a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate)
  • Evidence of your ongoing employment or self-employment
  • Evidence you are living with your partner (e.g., a tenancy agreement, utility bills, council tax bill, bank statement, or letter from your doctor)
  • Evidence that you have suitable accommodation

Pleast note above list is not exhaustive. You may be required to provide more documents based on your individual circumstances.

How to switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa

To apply to switch from a fiancé visa to a spouse visa, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the online application form
  2. Pay any application fees
  3. Book an appointment with a UKVCAS service centre
  4. Upload any document requested by the Home Office
  5. Attend your UKVCAS appointment to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo)

Fiance visa to spouse visa costs

The application fee to switch to a spouse visa is £1,048. You will also need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge to access the NHS, as follows: £1,560 for 2 years and 6 months or £1,872 for 2 years and 9 months.

How long does a spouse visa application take in the UK?

The processing time when switching from a fiance visa to a spouse visa within the UK is normally around 8 weeks. This is much less than the 24 weeks normally required for a spouse or partner visa when applying outside the UK.

What if your application for a UK spouse visa is refused?

Your Home Office letter will explain the reason for refusal and your appeal rights, including whether you can lodge a formal appeal or apply for an administrative review if you think a mistake has been made by the Home Office. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a judicial review to challenge the legal basis for the refusal, submit a fresh application, or apply for a different type of visa.

As specialists in family immigration law, we can review the reason for your refusal, explain the options available to you, and help to achieve a successful outcome that will ensure you can remain living with your partner in the UK.

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