Fiancé(e) visa - what do I need to know?
If you want to join your partner in the UK and you intend to get married within six months of entering the UK, you may want to consider applying for a fiancé(e) visa. Your partner must be a British citizen in the UK, present and settled in the UK, or in the UK with refugee leave or with humanitarian protection.
It is important to note that this category is different to the marriage visitor visa. The marriage visitor visa is for individuals who want to get married, or form a civil partnership, or give notice to marry while in the UK, but have no intention to stay in the UK after the marriage or civil partnership.
Who is eligible for a UK Fiancé(e) visa?
Below is a summary of the main requirements to be met in order to make a successful application for a UK fiancé(e) visa:
- You must meet the suitability criteria and not fall for refusal under any of the general grounds for refusal;
- Both of you are over the age of 18;
- Both of you are not in a prohibited relationship;
- You have met in person;
- Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting;
- Any previous relationships must have broken down;
- You are seeking to enter the UK to get married or for a civil partnership to take place;
- You and your fiancé(e) intend to live with each other permanently in the UK after the marriage or civil partnership;
- You and your fiancé(e) cannot be married to or in a civil partnership with another person at the date of application;
- You are able to meet the financial requirements;
- There is adequate accommodation and it is not overcrowded;
- You are able to speak English to the required level;
Financial requirements for a UK Fiancé(e) visa
In order to show that you can meet the financial requirements, you can rely on a number of sources and it is also possible to combine some of them.
Employment income, salaried or non-salaried can be relied upon if you can demonstrate that your partner in the UK has an income of at least £18,600. Income from self-employment can also be relied upon. Other sources of income may be taken into account include non-employment income (such as rental income or interest from certain investments), pension income and savings.
If you have any dependent children, you will need to show evidence of a further £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. However, this is not applicable if your children are British, settled or an EEA national.
Is there a time limit for the marriage to take place?
You will be able to stay in the UK on a fiancé(e) visa for up to 6 months to allow you to get married. If you are not able to get married within the 6 months then an application can be made to extend your fiancé(e) visa.
Once you are married, you will need to apply for leave to remain in the UK as a spouse.
What happens if I cannot get married within the 6 months?
You may be able to apply to extend your fiancé(e) visa without leaving the UK. You will need to provide evidence as to why the marriage or civil partnership did not take place during that period of leave. For example, if due to the coronavirus and your marriage or civil partnership is not able to take place, you may need to apply to extend your leave so that your marriage or civil partnership can take place. You will be expected to have documentation to show that the marriage or civil partnership will take place within the next 6 months. Please see our blogpost on failure to marry within 6 months.
What are the next steps?
If your entry clearance application is granted, your fiancé(e) visa will be valid for 6 months. During this period, you will be prohibited from working in the UK. Once your wedding or civil partnership has taken place, you can apply for leave to remain in the UK as a spouse. You will be able to submit the application for leave to remain as a spouse in the UK and this should be done prior to your current visa expiring.
Can I apply for a Fiancé(e) visa as a visitor in the UK?
A visitor is allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. According to the Immigration Rules, if you entered the UK as a visitor, you must not intend to marry, form a civil partnership or give notice to marry or form a civil partnership unless you hold a visa specifically for this purpose. Therefore, if it is your intention to marry in the UK you will either need to apply for a Marriage Visit Visa (if your intention is to remain in the UK short term) or a fiancé(e) visa if you intend to stay in the UK long-term as a spouse.
Contact our Immigration Barristers
If you would like further advice on an application for entry clearance as a fiancé(e) or leave to remain as a partner, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.