How Can I Bring My Husband or Boyfriend to the UK?

Ways to Bring Your Husband or Boyfriend to the UK

Are you trying to figure out how to bring your partner or spouse to the UK? Well, this article has got you covered.

Dating someone from another country can add extra steps to your love story, especially when dealing with complex UK immigration laws. The details of your partner’s UK stay, like how long and why they’re visiting, will greatly affect the best visa path to take. This guide explains different visa options to help you choose the right one and move forward.

However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that this guide is not a substitute for legal advice. Always keep up-to-date with the most recent immigration rules and seek direction from a legal expert for your specific circumstances.

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The Visitor Visa Route

Your partner can gain single entry access to the UK for a maximum period of six months using a Visitor Visa. Alternatively, they can apply for a long-term Visitor Visa which is valid for multiple visits over a two, five or ten-year period. However, the long-term Visitor Visa is still subject to the same six-month maximum duration for each visit.

To apply for a Visitor Visa, you will not have to show proof of your relationship for a successful application; tourism will suffice as a reason for entry to the UK.

What your partner may have to prove:

  • They plan to leave the UK upon the expiration of their Visa
  • They can look after themselves financially whilst in the UK
  • They have or can at least afford to buy their return ticket
  • They do not plan to live in the UK through successive visits or attempt to make the UK their home.

Your partner is not permitted to do any of the following once in the UK:

  • Apply for government funds
  • Attempt to gain employment 
  • Get married or enter a civil partnership 

The Visitor Visa provides a relatively cheap and straightforward route for you to spend up to six months in the UK with your partner and is a process which can be repeated over time. We should, however, stress that this is strictly a Visitor Visa. Should the Home Office believe that your partner is using the visa as a means to ‘live continuously in the UK’, then they will revoke it.

Consequently, time spent in the UK under a Visitor Visa will not contribute to your partner’s chances of gaining permanent residency in the UK. It is, therefore, paramount to be clear about the intention behind your partner’s trip to the UK.

The Fiance Visa

The Fiance Visa is sometimes called the Marriage Visitor Visa as its purpose is to ensure you get married in the UK. Your partner will be allowed to enter the UK for a maximum of 6 months, but unlike the Visitor Visa, they will be allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership. 

Your partner is eligible for the Fiance Visa if:

  • Both of you are 18 or over.
  • Both you and your partner are legally free to marry or enter a civil partnership. Neither party is currently married. If either party was previously married, they should be able to show a death certificate of the previous partner or the decree absolute for the divorce.
  • Your partner will not stay in the UK longer than six months in the UK if you do not get married.
  • Meeting the financial requirements. In a recent update, the UK government increased the financial requirement for family visas will be increased from £18,600 to £29,000 as of April 11th 2024, and will further escalate to £38,700 by the beginning of 2025. For the latest information regarding family visa financial requirements click here, or contact our team.

  • You will not attempt to make the UK their home.
  • You can pay for return travel out of the UK.
  • You can provide details of the marriage or civil partnership being planned and evidence of monies already spent.
  • You can show proof of a ceremony being planned. Venue bookings, for example. 

This is the ideal visa route if your intention is to organise and celebrate your big day amongst friends and family in the UK. The Home Office specifically states that the Fiance Visa is unavailable to those wishing to settle in the UK. Therefore, if you harbour hopes of bringing your partner to the UK on a permanent basis, you need to look at other options.

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The Unmarried Partner Visa

The Unmarried Partner Visa allows the Home Office to be more inclusive and extend the same rights to couples who cannot or do not wish to get married or enter a civil partnership. 

As long as you can show that you are in a relationship which is akin to a marriage or a civil partnership, then you may be entitled to an Unmarried Partner Visa. 

You will be required to satisfy the following criteria:

  • You are both over 18
  • You must have been in the relationship for two years or more and have met in person
  • You intend to stay together permanently, and the connection is genuine
  • Neither of you is involved in any other relationships
  • You have the finances to support yourselves in the UK: a joint income of £18,600, which is set to rise to £38,700 by spring 2024. As an alternative, possessing savings of £62,500 is sufficient, but note that this amount will also increase to £112,750 by spring 2024. For families with children, an additional £3,800 is needed for the first child and £2,400 for each subsequent child.  It’s important to consider the application fees as well: £1,048 for applications within the UK, and £1,846 for those applying from abroad.
  • Your partner has the necessary knowledge of English

An Unmarried Partner Visa is valid for 33 months and open to extension. After spending more than five years in the UK on an Unmarried Partner Visa, your partner can then apply for indefinite leave to remain.

The Spouse Visa Route

The Spouse Visa will allow your husband to move to the UK, live there and also work there. On this visa route, your husband will be able to stay in the UK for 2.5 years and can later extend this application for another 2.5 years. Once your husband has completed five years in the UK, he can make an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and eventually British Citizenship through naturalisation.

The Spouse Visa is available for your husband if you can show proof of the following criteria:

  • You and your husband are both 18 or over 
  • You are a British citizen or an individual with indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or have refugee or protected status in the UK
  • Your husband’s intention is to settle in the UK for the long term.
  • Your marriage or civil partnership is recognised by the UK system
  • You also need to prove that you have already lived for two years or more with your partner. This will need to be proved to the Home Office during the application by letters from a government, bank or utility provider which are no older than four years. Showing proof of a joint address or joint finances will be accepted as proof of a genuine relationship between you and your partner.
  • Your husband must also speak English to the required level 
  • You can demonstrate that you are able to support yourself and your husband in the UK. A combined yearly income of no less than £18,600 is mandated, which is anticipated to escalate to £38,700 by the spring of 2024. In lieu of income, possessing savings amounting to £62,500 is viable, though this figure is also set to rise to £112,750 by the same period in 2024. Additionally, for those with a child, a surplus of £3,800 is required for the first child, with an extra £2,400 for each subsequent child. It’s important to consider the application fees as well: £1,048 for applications made within the UK, and £1,846 for those applying from abroad.

If you cannot satisfy these criteria, then it is highly likely your application will be rejected by the Home Office. In this case, you can appeal the decision in a number of ways. One way would be to claim that your partner may still be entitled to a Spouse Visa by proving he would face ‘insurmountable obstacles‘ should you both try to pursue your relationship outside of the UK.

The Spouse Visa might entail more paperwork than the other visa routes but is clearly the best option if you intend to build a life with your partner in the UK. Your partner will have the right to work and study in the UK and will even be able to bring dependent children to the UK. It is clear that the freedom which the Spouse Visa can offer your partner could be the key to convincing them to move to the UK on a permanent basis. 

UK Dependent Visa

The Dependent Visa in the UK permits the dependents of those who are UK nationals, settled in the UK, or on a particular visa category to join them. Dependents can include spouses, civil partners, unmarried or same-sex partners, children under the age of 18, and in certain circumstances, even parents or adult children. 

Eligibility for the Dependent Visa to bring your boyfriend includes:

  • You must be a dependent of someone who is present and settled in the UK or who is on a Work Visa
  • You need to prove the relationship to the main applicant or ‘sponsor’
  • You must provide proof that you intend to live with your sponsor in the UK for the span of your visa. 
  • You must prove that you have adequate funds to sustain yourself (and any dependents) within the UK without turning to public funds. For couples residing in the UK, adhering to certain financial standards is key for application success. To begin, a joint income of at least £18,600 is necessary, a figure that will increase to £38,700 by spring 2024. Alternatively, having savings of at least £62,500 is acceptable, but this amount will rise to £112,750 by spring 2024. For those with children, an additional £3,800 is required for the first child, plus £2,400 for each extra child. Be aware of the differing application fees: it’s £1,048 for submissions within the UK, and £1,846 for those made from outside the UK.

These are the basic prerequisites for a Dependent Visa in the UK. Keep in mind that UK immigration rules are subject to change, and always refer to the latest guidance from the UK Government or a legal professional before proceeding with your application.

EUSS Family Permit

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) family permit allows immediate family members of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who resides in the UK to relocate and reunite with them in the country. The family member in the UK must either have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Eligibility for the EUSS family permit includes:

  • You must be an immediate  family member of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who is living in the UK
  • The relationship with the EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens must have existed before 31 December 2020
  • The EU, EEA or Swiss citizen must have pre-settled or settled status

The EUSS Family Permit is a valid document for six months and does not impose any restrictions on work or study in the UK. It provides an opportunity for family members to apply for pre-settled or settled status on their own.

Civil Partner Visa

The Civil Partner Visa is similar to the Spouse Visa but specifically for individuals who are in a civil partnership with a UK citizen or a person with settled status. The Civil Partner Visa allows the holder to remain, work, and study in the UK.

Requirements  for the Civil Partner Visa include:

  • Both you and your partner need to be 18 years of age or older.
  • Your civil partnership must be valid in the UK
  • You and the proposed civil partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK
  • You must have sufficient knowledge of English
  • Fulfil the financial requirement (support yourselves without recourse to public funds financially). The requirement is a joint income of a minimum of £18,600, expected to increase to £38,700 by the spring of 2024. Alternatively, maintaining a savings balance of £62,500 is permissible, though this will increase to to £112,750 by spring 2024. For families with children, an additional £3,800 is essential for the first child, with £2,400 required for each additional child. Applicants should also be mindful of the fees: £1,048 if applying within the UK, and £1,846 for applications from overseas.

The Civil Partner Visa lasts for 2.5 years and can be extended. After five years on this visa, the holder can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

How can Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors help?

Our London immigration lawyers are experts in visa and nationality law. They can guide you in applying for any visa routes mentioned in this article.

Having a lawyer when applying for a visa is important. This can help you decide what is right and how it affects your future. Our team can handle your immigration application, making it smooth and raising your chances of success.

FAQs

If you are a British citizen or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you are qualified to apply for a spouse visa to bring your husband to the UK. Upon completing 5 years on a spouse visa, your husband can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which confirms permanent residency.

If the visa is denied, you usually have the option to challenge the decision by resorting to an appeal. The appeal process can be complex and equipped with legal advice might be favourable. Reapplication is also a possibility if your circumstances undergo a change or you can address the issues that led to the denial of your initial application.

The appropriate course of action primarily depends on your association and the purpose of your boyfriend’s visit. If he’s planning to stay temporarily, a General Visitor Visa may suffice. But, if you’re engaged and planning to get married in the UK, you can apply for a Fiancé Visa. Alternatively, if you’re already married or in a long-term relationship, a Spouse or Unmarried Partner Visa could be the best route.

The expenses related to bringing your partner to the UK can vary greatly depending on the type of visa, application location, and any additional services used. For instance, the application fee for a Fiancé or Spouse Visa, as of August 2023, is £1,538 when applying from outside the UK and £1,048 inside the UK. You should also consider the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge, English language tests, and any legal consultation fees.

This is based on your current relationship and ambition. If you’re already married, then applying for a Spouse Visa would make sense. However, if you’re not yet married but plan to do so within six months in the UK, a Fiancé Visa is the appropriate choice. Remember, a Fiancé Visa is temporary and does not allow for work rights.