A fiancé visa allows a British citizen or a person with the UK settled status to bring their non-EEA fiancé to join them in the UK with the intention of getting married within the six months period of the visa. Fiancées and proposed civil partners have a special regime found within the Partner route in Appendix FM. Following the marriage ceremony, a stay in the UK can be extended with an application for Further Leave to Remain.
UK Fiance Visa requirements
The requirements that an applicant and a sponsor must meet to be eligible for a fiance visa are
- You qualify as partners meaning you intend to marry
- Either of you must not be a party to another marriage/civil partnership at the date of application
- You must apply for entry clearance meaning Fiancées cannot apply from within the UK
- You must be seeking entry to the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place within six months of arriving here and must marry within the six months or show good reason why this did not happen (and confirming marriage will take place within the next six months)
- The applicant has a good knowledge of English
- You meet the Fiancé/Fiancée visa UK financial requirements to prove you can financially support yourself and your dependents. This is a minimum requirement of £18,600
The applicant will receive up to six months’ entry clearance with no recourse to public funds and no permission to work. The applicant is not required to cohabit following his/her arrival pending their marriage to their fiancé/sponsor.
Furthermore, the applicant must clock up the full 60/120 months of leave before applying for settlement after their initial period of fiancé(e) leave. Meaning the time spent in the UK as a fiance does not count towards an application for settlement.
For example – Rohan is in the UK as a Tier 4 student. He falls in love with Alexandra, a British citizen. They swear lifelong loyalty to one another and become engaged. They do not wish to marry for at least a year in order to explain things to their families. Rohan wants to know whether he can remain in the UK with Alexandra on a long-term basis.
As things stand, there is a difficulty. Firstly fiancés can only enter the UK by seeking entry clearance. If the couple marry within the period of his existing leave, then there would be no difficulty in seeking leave to remain. Rohan should make the trip abroad to seek entry clearance to return here, and they would then have to time his return and their marriage arrangements such as to secure the wedding within that period of fiancé leave, i.e. within 6 months of his arrival in the UK.
How to get married on a UK fiance visa
At one time there was a requirement to seek permission from the Secretary of State to get married in the UK (the notorious ‘certificate of approval’ scheme) if one was subject to immigration control. However, no longer: the courts struck the requirement down. The following are the mandatory steps for marrying in the UK:
- You must decide where to have your marriage or civil partnership ceremony. You can choose to have either a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony if you’re getting married. If you’re forming a civil partnership you cannot have a religious ceremony.
- Religious ceremonies:
- A religious wedding can take place at any registered religious building.
- An authorised person, such as a religious minister, must attend the ceremony and register the marriage.
- Civil ceremonies – You can have a civil ceremony at:
- a register office
- any venue approved by the local council, for example, a stately home or hotel
- You must have at least 2 witnesses at the ceremony.
- A registrar must carry out, or be present at, your ceremony. You can book a registrar yourself or the venue may do this for you.
- Religious ceremonies:
- Once you have decided where to marry, a 29-day notice to marry must be given at the local marriage registry office. To give notice, you’ll sign a legal statement at your local register office saying you intend to get married or form a civil partnership.
- If you or your partner is from outside the EU, EEA or from Switzerland you need to give notice together at a designated register office. The immigration authorities at the Home Office will be told. If this happens you may need to wait up to 70 days before getting married or forming a civil partnership.
- Both parties will need proof of their name, age and nationality, details of the final venue for the marriage ceremony, proof of any name changes, proof of address and proof of Immigration status.
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Frequently asked questions
This will vary depending on your circumstances, some of the supporting documents you will need to provide are:
Evidence that you will get married within 6 months of arriving in the UK
official evidence that your and your partner’s previous marriage(s) broken down permanently
2 recent passport photographs and your passport
Proof of age and your partner’s age
Proof that you intend to marry or register your partnership
Proof that you both have met
Proof that you intend to live together permanently after you have married
Proof of English language ability
Proof that you meet the financial requirement
Supporting letters from friends and family
Personal statements from the applicant and partner
You will have to apply for a fiance visa which grants entry of up to six months during which time you are required to marry your fiance in the UK. After the marriage has taken place, you can apply for a spouse visa from within the UK. The spouse visa will allow you to live and work in the UK for up to 30 months. Thereafter you will have to apply to extend your spouse visa for another 33 months.
The minimum income threshold is £18,600. If non-British dependants are applying with you, this threshold will increase.
The Home Office application fee for a fiance visa to the UK for applications submitted outside the UK is £1,523.