We use cookies on this site to ensure the most desirable user experience. By continuing to browse this website you are giving implied consent. Find out more.

UK Family Visas: Spouse and Fiancé/Fiancée Visas

UK visa for a spouse or fiancé/fiancée of a British citizen or settled person. Apply for indefinite leave to remain and UK citizenship.

What are UK Family Visas?

There are several visa categories for foreign nationals who are getting married to a UK citizen or settled person:

  1. UK Spouse and Civil Partner visa
  2. UK Visa for unmarried partners, including same-sex partners
  3. Fiancé, fiancée and proposed civil partner visa.

There is also a Marriage Visitor visa – a special immigration category designed for those who want to come to the UK and get married or engaged with no plan of staying or settling here. If a UK marriage Visitor visa holder intends to stay in the UK with their spouse, they must apply for a UK spouse visa from outside the country. 

The first two visa categories mentioned above allow you to apply for indefinite leave to remain and UK citizenship in the future.

All you need to know about family visas to the UK

An overview of different UK family visas: application process and requirements

UK Spouse and Civil Partner Visa 

You can apply for this visa both from inside and outside the UK. This visa route covers same-sex partners as well.

A UK spouse and civil partner visa will give you an unrestricted right to work and study in the UK. 

Eligibility 

If you want to apply for a UK spouse and civil partner visa, you must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Your spouse or partner must be a British citizen or settled person
  2. Both partners must be at least 18 years old 
  3. You are in a marriage or civil partnership recognised in the UK 
  4. You are in a genuine relationship and you can prove it using your photos together (including wedding ones), holiday reservations, bills you have been paying together, correspondence, witness statements etc. 
  5. You have enough income or savings to financially support yourself without relying on public funds 
  6. A non-UK spouse or partner must pass at least an A1 level English test on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale
  7. You are going to stay together in the UK once your spouse has received their UK spouse/civil partner visa. 

If a non-UK spouse or partner does not comply with one or several requirements of the Home Office, there will be exceptional circumstances that will allow them to apply for a UK family visa or extend their current visa.

Which are Exceptional Circumstances?

  • Your child is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK 
  • A UK spouse and civil partner visa refusal will lead to the relocation of the family to another country, which is likely to cause very significant difficulties for the spouses/partners 
  • Stopping you from coming to the UK or making you leave would breach your human rights.

If your UK spouse and civil partner visa is refused, immigration advisors at Imperial & Legal can provide legal support and assistance: we will prepare and submit your appeal and represent you in the UK Immigration Tribunal – an independent court responsible for handling this kind of issues.

Information and Documents you Must Provide to Get Your UK Spouse and Civil Partner Visa 

  1. All your names (in full) 
  2. Date of birth
  3. Your current passport or another valid ID 
  4. Copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports 
  5. Your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you’re applying from outside the UK 
  6. Your criminal record 
  7. A copy of your biometric residence permit (if you are applying to extend a UK spouse and civil partner visa)  
  8. Your national insurance number (if you are applying to extend your visa) 
  9. Details of any previous immigration applications you have made 
  10.  Your tuberculosis test results (for citizens of some countries).

You must provide a certified translation of any document that is not in English. The best you can do to save yourself time and effort is to book a consultation with experienced immigration advisors who will prepare all necessary documents and cover letters, help you gather evidence, fill in all necessary forms and submit an application for a UK spouse and civil partner visa on your behalf in full compliance with the Home Office requirements.  

Duration of UK Family Visas

A UK spouse and Civil Partner visa is issued for 2.5 years if you apply from inside the UK and for 2 years and 9 months if you apply from outside of the country; it is subject to extension. If you want to extend your visa, you must apply before your current visa expires, but not earlier than 28 days before the expiry date.

UK Visa for Unmarried Partners 

The Home Office considers a relationship outside of marriage just as important as a matrimonial one.

Eligibility for a UK Visa for Unmarried or Same-Sex Partners 

Home Office requirements for an applicant of a UK visa for unmarried or same-sex partners and their British partner (including a same-sex partner) are similar to those for applicants of a UK spouse and civil partner visa:

  1. One of the partners must be a British citizen or settled person
  2. To fall under the definition of “unmarried partners”, you have to prove that you have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years at the same address by providing utility bills you have been paying together, confirming letters from relevant authorities, etc. 
  3. The partner who is a UK citizen or settled person and is acting as a sponsor must have sufficient income to support both of you without relying on public funds
  4. You must pass at least level A1 English test on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale  
  5. Both of you plan to stay together in the UK once the UK family visa is granted.

UK Fiancé, Fiancée and Proposed Civil Partner Visa 

This immigration category is designed for fiancés, fiancées and same-sex proposed partners who are going to marry a British citizen or settled person. 

A UK fiancé, fiancée and proposed civil partner visa is issued for six months, and you can only apply for it from your home country. During the six months, the partners must get married and apply for a UK spouse and civil partner visa from inside the country.

You cannot run a business or get a job in the UK under this visa route.

Eligibility for UK Fiancé, Fiancée and Proposed Civil Partner Visa 

  1. Partners must know each other and be 18 or over
  2. The UK partner must be a British citizen or settled person and must live permanently in the UK
  3. Partners are not currently married to anyone else and any previous marriage or civil partnership has ended 
  4. You plan to marry or register a civil partnership within 6 months of arriving in the UK 
  5. The UK partner must have enough savings or income to support both of you
  6. An applicant for a UK fiancé, fiancée and proposed civil partner visa must be in good health, have a clean criminal record and pass at least level A1 English test on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. 

UK Marriage Visitor Visa 

This immigration category is not a type of a UK family visa; a UK Marriage Visitor visa is a subcategory of a UK Standard Visitor visa, designed for those who plan to get married in the UK but have no intention to stay in the country.

A UK Marriage Visitor visa is issued for six months and cannot be extended. You cannot study, work, run a business or get public funds and benefits in the UK under this visa route.

A UK Fiancé/Fiancée visa allows you to get married to a British citizen and apply for a UK spouse/civil partner visa from inside the country. A UK spouse and partner visa allows you to stay, work and study in the UK, and in several years, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain and subsequently UK citizenship. Immigration advisors at Imperial & Legal will make sure your UK family visa is not refused.
  • We are British regulated immigration advisors 
  • We represent you before the Home Office
  • We assess potential risks of UK visa refusal 
  • We collect and prepare all necessary documents, evidence, and cover letters 
  • We arrange for certified translation of your documents
  • We fill in a visa application form taking into account all the relevant requirements 
  • We provide legal assistance and consultations at all stages of the process 

UK Indefinite Leave to Remain

To become eligible for UK indefinite leave to remain (ILR), or settlement, you need to live in the UK for five years without any considerable periods of absence as a spouse/partner of a British citizen or settled person. The period you stayed in the UK as a fiancé/fiancée is not included. You also need to meet the following criteria:

  • Spouses/partners have to prove to the Home Office their intention to remain together
  • The couple meets financial and accommodation requirements and is not going to rely on public funds
  • The applicant for ILR must pass at least the level B1 English test on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale and the Life in the UK test. 

UK Citizenship and Passport

A UK settled person has almost the same rights and freedoms as a British national. But if you need a British passport – for example, for travelling – you do not have to wait for 12 months and can apply for British citizenship straight after obtaining ILR. You must comply with the following criteria:

  1. You are still married to a UK citizen and live together 
  2. In the 3 years before applying for citizenship you cannot spend more than 270 days outside the UK and more than 90 days in the last year
  3. You have no criminal or administrative offence record, and you have not violated immigration rules 
  4. You must pass at least level B1 English test on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale or confirm studying for your degree in the English language 
  5. You must pass the Life in the UK test.

If you plan to get a UK family visa, get married in the UK or relocate to the UK to join your spouse, book a consultation with our immigration advisors to take all the hassle out of the process of getting a UK visa and to make sure that your celebrations are not ruined by a visa refusal.

Experienced regulated immigration advisors at Imperial & Legal can offer high-quality legal assistance to those who plan to get a UK Marriage Visitor visa, a UK Fiancé, Fiancée and Proposed Civil Partner visa, or a UK spouse and Civil Partner visa. Contact us right now to begin the preparation of your application. Here is a timeline for a UK family visa application: it only consists of three steps.

 

1
Book a consultation with Imperial & Legal

Timeframe: 1 day

Experts at Imperial & Legal are UK regulated immigration advisors. You can have a consultation with one of them in our office or over the phone or via Zoom/Skype. During the consultation, the immigration advisor will evaluate your circumstances, answer all your questions and help you choose the UK family visa route you need. Once a service agreement is signed, our experts will start working on your case.

2
 Visa application preparation and application

Timeframe: 1–3 weeks

Immigration advisors at Imperial & Legal will be your official representatives until you get a decision on your visa application. Our experts will prepare a personalised list of documents you need to submit to get a UK family visa, arrange for certified translation of your documents into English, prepare detailed cover letters, complete a visa application, fill in official online forms, and pay a fee and submit the application. They will then book an appointment at a UK visa application centre for you to submit biometric information and will upload all the necessary documents.

3
Obtaining your UK family visa

Timeframe: 1–2 months

It may take the Home Office up to two months to process your application for a UK Fiancé, Fiancée and Proposed Civil Partner visa or a UK Spouse and Partner visa. As soon as your application is approved and you have obtained your UK family visa, you can enter the UK. Depending on your visa route, you will be able to stay and work in the UK or will have to leave the country in due time.

Our services are not limited to support in getting a visa – we offer comprehensive assistance in relocation abroad and we can help you find a convenient place to live or a nice nursery or school for your children.

 

FAQ about UK Family Visas

How to prove partnership or marriage?

If you are applying for a UK family visa, be prepared to answer the following questions while completing an online form:

  1. Your relationship with your UK partner: when and under what circumstances you got to know each other, how often you meet and spend time together, etc.
  2. How long you are in a relationship and, in particular, living together. Be prepared to provide evidence, for example, utility bills you have been paying together or letters from relevant authorities.
  3. Shared expenses, for example, paying for your holidays, travel costs together, etc.
  4. You have to say if you are a guardian of your UK spouse or partner.

What level of income do I have to show to get my UK family visa application approved?

The UK Home Office requirements do not apply to married couples only; they also apply to unmarried partners as well as engaged couples. However, in the latter case, only the UK partner is required to bear the costs.

  1. Immigration Rules require two people to have a minimum income of £18,600 a year
  2. If you have a child, the income requirement goes up to £22,400 a year
  3. If you have several children, you must add £2,400 for each child you have after your first child.

This financial requirement applies to every stage of the immigration journey: from your first application for a UK family visa to your settlement in the UK.

What documents do I have to provide to get married in the UK?

To get married in the UK you need to provide the following documents:

  1. Passports
  2. Decree absolute – if one of the partners has been married before
  3. Payment receipt of a registration fee – £35 in the UK.

Can a spouse or unmarried partner include their children in their visa application or visa extension application?

Non-UK partners can include children as dependants in their application for a UK family visa, provided they comply with the following simple criteria:

1. The children are under 18 at the moment of application. If you are going to extend your visa, you can also include children who came of age while your first visa was valid.

2. They rely on you financially and do not live an independent life. From a legal point of view, your child lives an independent life if they have moved out of your accommodation, found a job, got married or had children.

3. If you have a child from a previous marriage, you need to provide evidence that the parent they live with takes all the decisions about and is responsible for the child’s life and health.

Do you want to get married in the UK or relocate here to join your spouse?

Regulated immigration advisors at Imperial & Legal will help you get a UK Marriage Visitor visa, a UK Spouse and Partner visa or a UK Fiancé, Fiancée and Proposed Civil Partner visa. Contact us to begin the preparation.

Make an enquiry

One of our qualified advisors will get back to you today or next business day.

    Detailed information on how we process your data can be found on our privacy policy.