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Fiancé Visa UK Refusal Reasons

For any foreign national whose future spouse is a British citizen or person permanently settled in the UK, navigating the process of securing a fiancé visa UK can be a nerve-wracking time. After all, if you both plan to get married and then settled down together in the UK, making a successful application for a fiancé visa is essential. With careful planning and preparation, it should be relatively straightforward to apply for a fiancé visa in the UK, but we have seen at first-hand how visas can be refused, sometimes for seemingly unfair reasons. In this article, we will explain why UK fiancé visas can be refused by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and what you can do to ensure your application is successful.

What are the eligibility criteria for a UK fiancé visa?

One of the main criteria or fiancé visa requirements which must be met in order to successfully secure a UK fiancé visa is that your relationship and plans to marry must be genuine. The Home Office is extremely alert to any possibility of a ‘sham marriage’, i.e., one that is not genuine and has been manufactured solely for the purposes of securing a visa to live in the UK. Applicants also need to prove they intend to get married to their UK based partner within six months of arriving in the country. The Home Office rules state, applicants must be “a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within six months of arriving”.

You and your partner must be 18 years or over, intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply, and your partner must be:

  • A British or Irish citizen, or;
  • Have settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • From the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status - they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa

You will also need to provide evidence with your application to UKVI that:

  • any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended
  • you plan to marry or become civil partners within six months of arriving in the UK
  • have a good knowledge of English – this means that you will need to provide evidence of passing an English language test to at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale (this does not apply if you are from one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta,
  • New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA).
  • You can financially support yourself and your dependants – this means you have to have an income of at least £18,600 per year. Plus, if you have children, you will need to show additional income of £3,800 for your first child and £2,400 for each child you have after your first child.

What are some of the most common UK Fiancé Visa refusal reasons?

Receiving a refusal of a UK fiancé visa can be deeply distressing, leaving those affected unsure of how to proceed. If you have received a refusal of your UK fiancé visa application, speak to an immigration solicitor, who will be able to advise how best to proceed. It is also advisable to ask specialist UK immigration advisors to review your application before it is submitted. Some of the most common reasons for refusal of fiancé visas in our experience include the following:

Reason 1) UKVI does not believe the relationship or intention to get married or enter into a civil partnership is genuine

To avoid any suspicion that your relationship and plans to get married or enter into a civil partnership are not genuine, you will need to provide plenty of evidence to prove this is not the case, including:

  • How you met your partner
  • That you have been living together in a genuine relationship
  • Your plans to get married in the UK
  • Your plans to live together in the UK

Evidence can take the form of bills in joint names, communication transcripts (e.g., WhatsApp, email, texts), photographs, tenancy agreements in joint names, joint finances business ventures or commitments (such as tax returns, business contracts, investments) and receipts for wedding items and bookings.

Reason 2) UKVI does not believe you meet the minimum income requirement

Refusal for this reason typically comes down to not providing enough evidence. If you are relying on income from employment (such as your partner’s income), we recommend providing at least six months of the most recent wage slips with your application. If you are relying on self-employment income, ensure that you and your partner use figures which show you meet the minimum income requirement after business tax and expenses (rather than total revenue or pre-tax profit). Also, remember to take into account any additional income you will need for your dependant children. For a detailed understanding of how you can ensure you meet the financial requirements, it is advisable to review ‘Family Migration: Appendix FM Section 1.7 Appendix’.

Reason 3) Poorly prepared applications with missing documents

One of the most common reasons for the refusal of family visas, including fiancé visas, includes poorly prepared applications. This may include missing or incorrect information and missing documents requested by the Home Office (or documents in the wrong format or which have not been properly translated). This reason for refusal is entirely avoidable if you take the time to prepare your case and include all the information required in the prescribed manner. An immigration Solicitor in the UK can prepare your application or review your already completed application for a fiancé visa.

Final words

Securing a positive decision on your fiancé visa comes down to submitting a strong application which proves without doubt that you meet all the eligibility criteria. In some cases, there may be other factors that may lead to a refusal, including prior criminal convictions, non-payment of taxes, or overstaying in the UK previously. If you have any concerns that your fiancé visa application may be refused, speak to an immigration lawyer before you go any further. If there are reasons for possible refusal, they will advise how such an outcome can be avoided and put you on a path to securing the immigration permission you need.

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