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The Fiance Visa comes under the umbrella of the Family Visa route. a wide array of visas concerning family members coming to the UK. One such visa is the Fiance Visa, wherein individuals can come to the UK to get married. In this article we're going to look at the Fiance and Spouse Visa in more detail and help you understand both the process and eligibility criteria for both visa routes.

What is the Fiance Visa?

The Fiance Visa allows those who intend to get married (and settle down to live and work) to come to the UK to do so (you can only work once you have a Spouse Visa). Once gained, you have 6 months to get married. Once you are married you can then apply for a Spouse Visa. which then entitles you to live and work in the UK. Once you have a Spouse Visa, you will then be allowed to remain in the UK for 2 years, this can be extended by a further 2.5 years at the end of the initial visa period. If you do extend, you may then, after 5 years, apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

The Spouse Visa is one of the most generous in the UK making it not only the most applied for, but also the most abused. For this reason, significant checks will be made as to the eligibility criteria of the applicants and whether the relationship qualifies as genuine.

A Fiance Visa would be ideal if you are coming to the UK to register your marriage with a person present and settled in the UK. It allows settled persons (i.e. individuals who are not subject to immigration control) to bring their prospective spouse into the UK for the purpose of getting married.

The new immigration rules now allow for entry clearance applications under the Fiance Visa category. If your application is successful, you will be normally granted leave for up to 6 months. It is expected that within the 6 months period, everything about the marriage should be finalised. After this, the applicant will then be able to extend his/her leave to remain on the basis of said marriage.

UK Fiance Visa Requirements

As well as needing to prove that the relationship is genuine, you will also need to meet other criteria as laid out in the application guidance. This extended eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • Your partner must be a British citizen or have "settled" status
  • Have strong English language skills (this will need to be proved depending on your country of origin)
  • You will also need to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself/partner during your stay in the UK.

As long as you satisfy this eligibility criteria, you can make an application.

The eligibility criteria for the UK Fiance Visa are stipulated in the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The requirements for the UK Fiance Visa include the following:-

  • There must be a demonstrable intention to live together
  • There must to be an intention to get married within 6 months of receiving the Fiance Visa
  • You must be in a genuine relationship
  • You must meet the maintenance requirement, you will have no recourse to public funds.
  • The sponsor (your partner on the basis of which you are coming to the UK) must be a settled person in the UK. A settled person in the UK is not subject to immigration restrictions.
  • There should be no legal constraints to you and your fiance getting married. This means that there must be no legal injunction against your marriage or previous marriage that is yet to be dissolved by a decree absolute or any other thing that may render the marriage illegal.

Feel free to contact our family immigration lawyers should you need any Fiance or Spouse Visa advice we also offer our initial immigration advice on family visa applications for free. We would advise on the entire process and your merits, as well as the costs to prepare and submit the application at the British Embassy or relevant UK government body.

Importantly, the United Kingdom has a route set out in the Immigration Rules for a fiance or proposed civil partner of a British citizen settled and present in the UK to enter or remain as a family member.

The immigration rules on UK Fiance Visas specify a number of requirements; making sure that the sponsor is very much involved throughout the entire process. This is evidenced from the rules on the financial requirements for the Fiance Visa

The Financial Requirement

To be able sponsor an overseas partner to the UK, the sponsor (settled person) would have to meet certain financial requirements to show that they are able to take care of their partner here in the UK. The following are ways of meeting these requirements.

  • The sponsors will need to be earning a minimum of GBP 18,600 for a continuous period of 6 months just before submitting the application. They will also have been with the same employer for the last 6 months prior to the application; or
  • Where sponsors have worked for less than six months with their current (or same) employer (as above), they will need to have held savings of at least £62,500 for a continuous period of 6 months prior to submitting the application.
  • Note also, that the sponsor can combine their earnings and savings to make up the financial requirement

It is important to note, that there are different ways to meet the financial requirements depending on your situation. For example, a self-employed person would need to show that they meet the financial requirements using a different process to that of a regular employee of a company. Failing to meet the financial requirement is a major cause of Fiance Visa refusals; so we advise you to make sure everything is thoroughly in check.

Adequate Accommodation

The sponsor would also need to show there is adequate accommodation available upon your arrival to the UK. It is also very important that size of the property is adequate. The size of the property is also very important with the adequate property size would depending upon the number of persons would would be living there.

The Fiance Visa application also requires proof that the property is available for the applicant. This can be demonstrated using tenancy agreement, mortgage statements or title deeds (amongst several other documents).

Genuine Relationship

Fiance Visa applicants would need to demonstrate to the UKBA that they are in a genuine and durable relationship. It is important not to forget that the Fiance Visa is for those looking to get married in the UK to a settled person. It is therefore important that the application is prepared in such a way that shows that the marriage / wedding will go on as scheduled within 6 months of the visa being granted.

In addition to demonstrating that the wedding will go on as planned within 6 months, we often recommend that our clients provide extra documents including reference letters from friends and family, personal statements and other similar paperwork to further demonstrate evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship.

English Language Requirements

Applicants will need to show that they can speak and understand the English Language as a requirement for coming to the UK on a Fiance Visa. To meet the English language requirement for a Visa, applicants would need to:-

  • Pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)English language test at level A1. It is usually just speaking and listening - for this particular visa
  • A degree taught in English will also be enough to meet the English language requirement.
  • Nationals of certain English-speaking countries may also meet the English language requirement based on their nationality.

How Soon Do We Have to Marry After Entering the Country on a Fiance Visa?

If you are on a Fiance Visa, you will need to get married in the UK within 6 months of entering the country.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply For a Fiance Visa?

The fees that you will pay will depend largely on where you are coming from and your situation, but the standard fee is £1,523. The fee that you will pay will also depend on the type of processing service that you require. There are a few options such as Premium Processing that allow you to have your application fast tracked. This is a great option for those who are looking for a quick decision, but you will pay significantly more for the processing.

If you do decide to stick with the standard processing time, then this will usually take anywhere up to 8 weeks to be dealt with. You should take these wait times into account when you think about how quickly you need your visa. These 8 weeks can also be missed if there is anything in your application which requires further explanation. For this reason that it is usually a good idea to seek the advice of experts before lodging your application so that you can be sure that you have all of the evidence you need to ensure the best chance of success.

How Do We Convert a Fiance Visa Into a Spouse Visa?

Once you have got married (congratulations!), you will need to fill in another application. for the Spouse Visa. This will entitle you to 2 years leave to remain in the UK after it is granted. Once the initial period has finished, if you wish to remain in the UK you will need to apply to extend your visa. By extending your visa, you will have the opportunity to reach 5 years of living in the UK and therefore have the option of applying for ILR. If you gain ILR you will be classed as "settled" and will no longer have to worry about visa restrictions in the UK.

A Spouse Visa will allow you to both work and live in the UK. It is one of the UK's most generous visa routes and is very sought after. For this reason you must ensure that your application is both accurate and truthful.

Fiance Visa Lawyers in London

At Reiss Edwards, we boast some of the best immigration lawyers in London, with over 50 years of combined experience in immigration law. We have handled a variety of visa applications, all of which have ranged in varying degrees of complexity. So, if you wish to discuss a potential Fiance Visa application or you have a general immigration-related enquiry, do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

Call us now on 020 3540 7770, or email us at info@reissedwards.co.uk. We also offer a free initial assessment over the phone, wherein we assess whether or not you meet the given requirements.

UK Fiance Visa Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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