Application for Spouse visa whilst on a Student visa

My son's fiancé had a visa for study here to do a degree after completing this she went home to Indonesia. My son got engaged to her when she went home as he went to visit her. She wants to come back now to do her masters but, they also what to get married when she completes her degree in 2018. What should she do? Come on student visa then apply for marriage visa? Or apply for marriage visa now as she may not get it after? Can she study if she get said a married visa? They lived here with me for 9 months before she returned home July 2016.

Our Response

The order in which your son's fiancée applies, whether that will be student-spouse or spouse who subsequently studies in the United Kingdom, does not lead to any material difference - unless as you rightfully pointed out, the Immigration Rules are amended. Your email does not set out your son's nationality and so the answer below is on the presumption that he is a British national or someone who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Having said that, I will set out the requirements that need to be satisfied in regards to the spouse visa (also known as the 'Partner Route' of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules).

Firstly, the definition of a Partner is as follows-

  1. Married spouses.
  2. Unmarried (that is living together for at least 2 years).
  3. Fiancée.

Therefore, based on your son's circumstances, it appears his partner can apply as either the spouse or fiancée of a British national. Which route we go through will depend in where your son and his fiancée wish to marry. Aside from whether or not they are married, the Rules primarily remain the same between both the fiancée and spouse options. Summarily speaking the following must be satisfied-

Suitability - the Applicant must not have any issues in regards to your character or background which makes them unsuitable to residence in the UK.

Relationship - it must be demonstrate that there is a genuine relationship and in cases involving marriage, confirmation of a valid marriage which can be evidenced through a marriage certificate.

Immigration Status - if the application is being made in the UK, the Applicant must not be a visitor and there must they must not be living in the UK in breach of any immigration rules or requirements.

Financial - the Applicant must demonstrate that either through their Sponsor's income and/or their combined savings, that they meet the threshold of £18,600. The Applicant and Sponsor must also demonstrate that they have adequate accommodation available to them.

English Language - assuming your son's fiancée obtained her Degree certificate in the UK, she will be exempted from this requirement.

Tuberculosis-  the Applicant will need to pass the TB screening and be issued with a certificate from an approved provider.

If his partner wishes to enter the UK as a fiancée of a British national, she will be given a visa for 6 months, during which time she must enter the UK, they must marry and then submit an application as someone the spouse of a British national. During this time and until such time she is issued with the spouse visa, she will not be permitted to work or study in the UK. Once the application is approved, she will then be given leave to remain for 2.5 years and at which point she can work and study in the UK.

Alternatively, if the two of them marry first and then apply for leave to remain as the spouse of a British national, she can bypass the need for a 6 months visa and apply for leave to remain for 2.5 years instead.

How we can help

If you need help with either a spouse visa, student visa (Tier 4 visa), Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR) or other immigration issues feel free to contact us at 020 3744 2797 or email us at

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