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Pregnancy During Visa Application or Stay in the UK

If you are a foreign national who has submitted a UK visa application or is in the UK and becomes pregnant, the immigration options available and the steps you will need to take depend on your individual circumstances. These include the immigration status of your partner and whether you wish to stay in the UK with your child and give birth here.

It is important to note that under the UK’s immigration rules, there is no specific law preventing a person who is pregnant from travelling to the UK. However, depending on your home country, you may be asked to provide additional documentation as part of the visa application process to prove the purpose of your visit and that you have strong ties to your home country.

When it comes to pregnancy during a UK visa application, you do not need to explain that you are pregnant on your application form. As long as the Home Office believes that your application and your reasons for coming to the UK are genuine, there is no reason that being pregnant should hinder your case.

Everyone's circumstances are different, if you want to discuss your case, please speak to one of our friendly and approachable immigration solicitors in complete confidence at 020 3744 2797 or email info@reissedwards.co.uk.

Pregnant on a UK visitor visa

If you are currently in the UK as a visitor and have become pregnant while here, the immigration options available to you will depend on the immigration status of your partner. If you have a partner who lives in the UK and they are a British or Irish citizen (i.e. you are pregnant with a British citizen), or they hold indefinite leave to remain or another form of permanent residence, you can consider applying for any of the following visa types under the family migration scheme:

  • Fiancé visa
  • Spouse visa

It is important to note, to switch to one of these visas, in most cases, you have to be outside the UK. That said, it may be possible to ask the Home Office to exercise discretion if you are unable to leave the UK, e.g. if you are medically considered unfit to fly on the basis that your pregnancy has passed 6 months or you have certain medical conditions.

It is important to seek the advice of an immigration solicitor in this situation to ensure you have the right information based on your circumstances.

Fiancé visa

The UK fiancé visa is specifically for people who are planning to get married or enter into a civil partnership within 6 months with a British or Irish citizen, or a person who has the right to remain indefinitely in the UK. Once married or have a civil partner, fiancé visa holders can apply to switch to a spouse visa from within the UK (see details below on the spouse visa). As mentioned above, it is not normally possible to switch to a fiancé visa from a visitor visa within the UK unless. This is the case even if you are pregnant unless you can make a case that leaving the UK is not possible on medical grounds.

Spouse visa

The UK spouse visa enables foreign nationals to enter and remain in the UK to live with a partner who is a British or Irish citizen or a person who has indefinite leave to remain. You will be able to switch to a spouse visa from within the UK if you currently hold a fiancé visa and are now married or in a civil partnership with your UK-based partner. Alternatively, if you are in the UK and do not hold a fiancé visa, you will normally need to leave the country to submit your spousal visa application.

To qualify for a spouse visa, you will need to show that you:

  • Are married, in a civil partnership, or have lived with your partner for at least 2 years
  • And your partner has a combined income of at least £18,600
  • Meet the English language requirements

If your application is approved for a spouse visa, you will be able to stay for up to 33 months initially. This can then be further extended by 30 months. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Pregnant on limited leave to remain visa

If you are currently in the UK on a valid (i.e. non-expired) limited leave to remain visa and you become pregnant (e.g. pregnancy as a Tier 4 student visa holder), you are not required to inform the Home Office and will be able to continue your stay.

If your visa is due to expire, it is important to understand that you will not be permitted to stay on the basis that your child was born in the UK. Under the UK’s immigration and citizenship rules, even if your child is born here, they will not automatically become a British citizen unless their other parent is a British citizen or holds indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

If you choose to leave the UK and later return on another limited leave to remain visa (e.g. student visa or work visa), you will need to apply for a child dependant visa if you wish to bring your child with you.

Documentation required to stay in the UK while pregnant

As explained above, it may be possible for you to stay beyond the expiry of your visitor visa and switch to another visa while in the UK if you are pregnant. It is important to note that the exact documents you need will to provide to the Home Office depend on your personal circumstances. Documents that may be used to prove that you are genuinely unable to leave the UK in order to apply for a family visa (and hence need to switch inside the UK) may include:

  • A letter from your doctor explaining that you are not fit to fly on medical grounds
  • A marriage certificate
  • A civil partnership certificate
  • Proof you have been living together for 2 or more years (e.g. bills, tenancy agreement)
  • Proof you intend to get married or enter into a civil partnership within 6 months if applying for a fiancé visa

When to take action

Exactly when you need to apply for a visa to remain in the UK depends on how long you have to remain on your current visa and the remaining term of your pregnancy. Regardless of your personal circumstances, it is essential to take action before your current visa expires. If your child is born in the UK during the term of your visitor visa, it is advisable to take action as soon as is reasonably possible after the birth to ensure you have a proper plan of action in place to ensure your immigration status.

If you want to discuss the best actions to take and the exact timings, speak to one of our experienced immigration solicitors in complete confidence at 020 3744 2797 or email info@reissedwards.co.uk.

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