The Fiancée Visa is for immigrants who intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK with a British citizen or a person who has settled here, after which they will switch to a Spouse Visa.
What is the fiancé visa?
The UK Fiance Visa (also known as a Fiancee Visa, Proposed Civil Partner Visa or Engagement Visa) is part of the Family Visa Scheme and allows an eligible foreign national over the age of 18 to come to the UK for get married or enter into a marriage. a civil partnership with a British citizen or a person who has settled here (for example a person with indefinite leave to remain or EU Settled Status).
Applicants must meet a number of eligibility criteria as detailed below. If you are granted a fiancé visa, you will have 6 months from the date of entry to the UK to get married or enter into a civil partnership.
UK Fiance Visa Requirements
To successfully submit an application for a fiancé visa, you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria and show:
- You and your partner are over 18 years old.
- You both intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
- Your partner is a British or Irish citizen or has settled in the UK (for example by obtaining indefinite leave to remain or settled status in the EU). Your UK-based partner may also hold a UK Turkish Businessman Visa or a UK Turkish Worker Visa or have refugee or humanitarian protection status in the UK.
- You and your partner intend to live together in the UK once you get married or enter into a civil partnership.
- You and your partner must be able to support each other financially. You will need to demonstrate that you have a combined income of at least £18,600.
- You must have suitable accommodation in the UK.
- You have sufficient knowledge of the English language (for example, you have passed an English language test at level a1 on the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Authentic relationship requirement
You will need to demonstrate that you are in a suitable relationship; as follows:
- You have an authentic relationship with your UK based partner
- You both intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving in the UK
- You intend to live with your partner in the UK once you are married or in a civil partnership
Crucially, it is important to understand that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is always alert to the potential for ‘fictitious’ relationships, whereby applicants falsely claim to be in an eligible relationship when they are not.
Fiance Visa Financial Requirements
As a Fiancé Visa applicant, you and your UK-based partner must have a minimum combined gross annual income of £18,600. If you have children, you need a further £3,800 per year for your first child and a further £2,400 for each subsequent child.
This means that the minimum income for an applicant with two dependent children will be £24,800 and for three children it will be £27,200.
The following sources of income may be considered for a fiancé visa application:
- Income from employment or self-employment
- Pension of the applicant and/or partner
- Maternity pay or bereavement pay received from your partner in the UK
- Any other income and/or savings specified by the applicant and/or partner
Using savings for financial needs
You can use your savings to meet the financial requirements for a fiancé visa, as long as they exceed £16,000. If you have sufficient savings (£62,500), you will not need to demonstrate any income. The way this is calculated by the Home Office is as follows:
- Step 1: Divide the amount of savings you have over £16,000 by 2.5 (2.5 is the number of years the savings need to last)
- Step 2: Take the amount that matches the minimum income requirement for your situation (i.e. £18,600 or more if you have children).
- The last amount you have left is your new minimum income requirement.
- £30,000 in savings: £30,000 – £16,000 = £14,000 / 2.5 = £5,600
- £18,600 – £5,600 = £13,000
In this example, you would only show an annual income of £13,000 if you have savings of £30,000.
When you submit your application for a fiancé visa, you will need to make and sign a declaration about the source of your cash savings.
Obtain an exemption from financial requirements for a fiancé visa application
Exemptions from meeting the financial requirement are available if a sponsor receives income from one of the following sources:
- Living allowance for disability
- Severe disability allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation System
- Mobility supplement, constant attendance allowance or war disability pension under the War Pensions Scheme
- Police accident pension
- Disability compensation for accident at work
- Accompanying allowance
- Allowance for companions
This means sponsors will not have to prove they earn £18,600 (or more). It is important to note, however, that where a partner is entitled to exemption in line with the above, the applicant will still need to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves in the UK, as well as having suitable accommodation (without resorting to public funds). For further assistance, speak to one of our immigration lawyers who will be able to advise you.
English language requirement
As a fiancé visa applicant, you will need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language; this can be achieved in 3 ways:
Passing an English language test
You will meet the English language requirements if you pass a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) English test from an approved test centre. This must be at least A1 level in speaking and writing.
- You will also meet the English language requirements if you have a bachelor’s degree or other academic qualification taught in English.
- Exemption: You will not have to meet the English language requirements if you are exempt, including if:
- You are over 65 years old
- You have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the requirements
You are from one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States United
Accommodation requirements for the UK fiancé visa
Applicants for the UK fiancé visa must demonstrate that they have suitable accommodation in the UK and that they:
- It is owned or occupied exclusively by the applicant and his family members
- It has sufficient living space
- Meets all public health requirements
Documents required for fiance visa in the UK
You will need to provide several documents along with your visa application. When you apply for the fiancé visa, UKVI will advise you of what documents and forms of evidence to provide; these may include:
- Completed application form and application fee
- Valid passport
- Previous passports
- Evidence of your authentic relationship; this can include:
- letters of reference from friends, family or professionals who can confirm that you have a genuine relationship with your UK-based partner
- shared invoices, bank statements
- divorce certificates from a previous marriage
- photographs, correspondence and messages that demonstrate your relationship
- details of your relationship, including how, when and where you met.
- Evidence that you meet the English language requirements (e.g. CEFR exam certificate).
- Two passport-sized color photos in line with UK requirements.
- Proof of compliance with financial requirements (e.g. bank statements, savings statements, pay stubs)
- Details of any previous immigration applications, if any
- Details of any criminal convictions
- Your Social Security number (if you have one)
- Proof of accommodation in the UK
- Biometric information (fingerprints and a digital photograph).
- Tuberculosis test results if from a country where you need to take the test
To ensure you receive a positive decision on your fiancé visa application, it is essential that you provide all the evidence and documentation required by UKVI. Failure to provide all elements in the correct format (and translated correctly where necessary) may lead to visa refusal or delay.
How to apply for a fiancé visa to the UK
The application process for a UK fiancé visa is completed online (on the Home Office website). The application phases are as follows:
- Check your eligibility for a fiancé visa: If you are unsure whether you are eligible, speak to one of our family visa lawyers who will be able to confirm this for you.
- Prepare the necessary documents to prove your eligibility: if you prefer, one of our family visa lawyers can complete these for you.
- Fill out the online application form
- Pay the registration fee (see in the FAQ section below)
- Upload all documents necessary to support your request
- Schedule a biometric appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken
- Attend an interview if invited
How long can you stay in the UK on a fiancé visa?
If granted, your fiancé visa will allow you to stay in the UK for an initial period of 6 months to get married or enter into a civil partnership. Once married, you will be able to apply for a spouse visa, which will last up to 30 months. It may subsequently be extended for another 30 months. You must be in the same eligible relationship with your UK-based partner and must apply before your current visa expires.
Fiance visa for ILR
Once you have resided in the UK for 5 years on a combination of the fiancé and spouse visa, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This means that you will be able to remain in the UK permanently and will no longer be subject to immigration control. To get ILR, you will need to:
- I lived in the UK for 5 years on a family visa as a partner
- You have been living with your partner since you last renewed your visa
- Have a genuine and lasting relationship with your partner
- You intend to continue your relationship after applying for ILR
- Meets the English language and Life in the UK requirements
- Demonstrate that you have adequate accommodation
- Continue to meet financial requirements
Fiance visa or spouse visa
There are many differences between UK fiancé visa and UK spouse visa, as follows:
- The Fiancée visa is for eligible couples who intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership before applying for a spouse visa.
- A spouse visa is for couples who are already married, in a civil partnership or have already been living together for at least 2 years when they apply.
- A fiancé visa allows the holder to stay for an initial period of 6 months only.
- A spouse visa allows the holder to stay for up to 33 months initially (30 months if switching from a fiancé visa) and this can be further extended for 30 months.
What happens if my fiancé visa is rejected?
There are several reasons why a spouse/partner visa application may be refused, including if:
- The Secretary of State determines that the exclusion of an applicant from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good
- The applicant is subject to an expulsion order from the date of application
- The applicant’s exclusion from the United Kingdom was deemed to be conducive to the public good because of the applicant’s conduct, character or association
- Without reasonable excuse, the applicant failed to attend a mandatory interview, provide specific information, undergo a medical examination or appear when required. It is irrelevant whether the misrepresentation is intentional or known to the applicant or not
- It is not desirable to grant entry permission for medical reasons
- The mandatory IHS surcharge, along with other mandatory charges, was not paid or failed
- You have not provided sufficient evidence of maintenance and accommodation
If your partner or fiancé’s visa application has been refused, speak to one of our immigration lawyers, who will be able to advise you on the best steps to take to ensure a successful outcome to your case.