Receiving a rejection for your UK Fiance visa application can be heartbreaking, particularly when it stands between you and your plans to marry or establish a civil partnership with your significant other in the UK. Regrettably, separations due to these circumstances are not rare occurrences.
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If you’re applying for a UK Fiance visa, planning to apply, or have recently been refused, it’s beneficial to comprehend the factors that may result in a rejection. Our team of immigration lawyers in London is on hand to provide remote and in-house guidance to enhance your chances of securing a favourable result in your application.
Feel free to reach us at +44 20 7269 9590 or fill out the form below.
What is the UK Fiance Visa?
A UK Fiance visa grants the holder temporary residency for a period of six months, allowing them to marry or form a civil partnership with their partner who is either a British citizen or a settled resident. The primary intention of the visa is to facilitate entry into the UK solely for matrimonial or civil partnership purposes.
Understanding why a UK Fiance visa could be refused requires familiarising oneself with the basic prerequisites:
- The marriage must occur within six months of acquiring the visa.
- Evidence that any prior relationships for either party have been concluded.
- To apply, individuals must be 18 years of age or older.
- Evidence of a sincere, authentic relationship, proving interaction and at least one physical encounter.
- The partner should be either a British national, hold the settled status with Indefinite Leave to Remain or have Refugee status.
- Suitable housing for you, your partner and your dependents (if there is any).
- English language proficiency at least at level A1.
- Annual income of £18,600, plus an additional £3,800 for a child and £2,400 for each subsequent child.
Possible Reasons Behind UK Fiance Visa Application Refusal
Given the multitude of eligibility criteria, numerous reasons could lead to an applicant’s refusal. Here are some of the most prevalent causes.
Failing to Fulfil the Financial Requirement of the UK Fiance Visa
The UK Home Office ensures immigrants can sustain themselves without drawing on public funds. This is particularly true for those planning to marry and subsequently apply for a Spouse visa to settle in the UK. It is crucial that the partner, who essentially serves as the sponsor, earns at least an annual salary of £18,600.
This demonstrates that the sponsor can sufficiently support the visa holder while in the country. It’s essential to equip as much proof as attainable, such as:
- Cash assets of £16,000.
- Pay slips showing earnings.
- Investments and bonds.
However, it’s important to include original bank statements in your application rather than internet printouts, as the latter could potentially cause a refusal.
Issues with the UK Fiance Visa Application Form
The online application process for a UK Fiance visa is intended to streamline the procedure, but it can sometimes lead to issues, such as selecting the incorrect application form. There are multiple forms available, and it’s essential to select the one that fits your explicit situation.
It is mandatory to use the correct online form available on the government website and complete it duly. When selecting your visa, select the “Appendix FM Partner” option. This process is common to all partner visa applications made from abroad. Different forms exist for applicants applying from within and outside the country.
Submitting Fraudulent or Incomplete Documents
While it’s not necessary to submit your supporting documents immediately with your application, it’s important not to delay. The Home Office will verify all the information you and your partner provide. Any incorrect or falsified submission can lead to application refusal, even if it was an inadvertent mistake.
It’s also important to provide ample supporting documents demonstrating how well you meet the eligibility criteria. If you do not put forward adequate supporting documentation or include a supportive cover letter with your application, there is a possibility of your application being declined by the Home Office.
If you suspect any errors in your application, you have the option to either withdraw it and submit a fresh one or acknowledge the mistake and express your intention to rectify it within your supporting statement.
Insufficient Evidence of a “Genuine Relationship”
To ensure a successful application, you need to provide ample evidence of regular communication with your partner and that you are in a genuine relationship together.
To demonstrate this, you can use, text messages, chats, and images as pieces of evidence. You can also detail additional information about your relationship in your cover letter or supporting statement. Following the submission of your application, you will receive an invitation to visit a visa center, where you will be required to provide biometric information.
Additionally, if the Home Office requires additional information regarding your relationship, you may be asked questions during this process. It’s crucial that you and your partner provide comprehensive details and consistent responses to demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship.
Criminal or Immigration History
If you have a criminal record, have previously been denied entry to the UK, or have been deported or convicted, it will more than likely complicate your eligibility for a Fiance visa. Moreover, if you’ve previously been denied a visa by the Home Office, this could work against you. While not always resulting in immediate refusal, it might warrant a more detailed examination of your case.
It’s vitally important not to lie or withhold information on your applications that might portray you as an undesirable candidate. The Home Office always favors transparency. If you can provide additional information about your previous visa refusal or criminal and immigration history that might support your case, it’s always beneficial to do so.
What Happens If My Fiance Visa Application Is Refused?
If your Fiance visa application is refused, it can certainly be a setback, but it doesn’t necessarily mean an end to your journey. When a refusal occurs, the UK Home Office provides a detailed refusal letter outlining the specific reasons for the decision. This document is critical as it gives insight into the areas of your application that fell short of the requirements.
The first step to take post-refusal is to review the refusal letter carefully with the help of an immigration lawyer. They can guide whether it’s more suitable to appeal the decision or to submit a fresh application.
Appeals can be made if you believe the decision was unjust or if there has been an error in considering your application. If you wish to make an appeal it is highly advisable to speak with an immigration lawyer to explore your options before going at it solo.
Alternatively, if the refusal was due to lacking evidence or unfulfilled criteria, it might be more beneficial to address these issues and submit a new application. This allows you to correct any deficiencies in your original application, including additional supporting documents or correcting errors.
Whether you choose to appeal the decision or reapply, it’s important to act promptly (read more in our FAQ’s below). Grasping why your application was denied is the key to improving your chances of success in your next attempt. It’s strongly recommended to seek professional advice from an immigration lawyer to ensure that your next steps are strategic and effective.
What Happens in A UK Fiance Visa Appeal?
A fiance visa appeal is a judicial procedure where you must provide proof that the initial denial was unfair or founded on false information.
The appeals procedure can be difficult and lengthy. First of all, you have 28 days from the judgment to deny your appeal to file it. You must complete an IAFT-6 form outlining your appeal’s justifications. The reasons why you think the refusal decision was inappropriate should be indicated on this form, and you should include proof to back up your claims. Evidence could consist of materials that were not initially supplied or additional information that could help explain the initial submission.
A separate tribunal known as the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) will then review your appeal and objectively assess the provided evidence.
You are allowed to have legal counsel present at the hearing to submit arguments on your behalf. It is advisable that you present your case at the hearing and give the tribunal a more thorough grasp of your circumstance so an informed decision can be made about your circumstance.
The tribunal will decide following the hearing whether to uphold or reverse the first denial. If you are successful in your appeal, your visa application will be reviewed. If your appeal is denied, however, you have the option of taking the matter to the Upper Tribunal, but this normally only applies to legal rather than factual concerns.
Keep in mind that this procedure can be difficult and complicated, and it is frequently advised to obtain assistance from an immigration expert with knowledge of UK immigration law.
How We Can Assist You
While it’s not legally compulsory to hire an immigration lawyer, having professional assistance significantly enhances your chances of creating a successful application. At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we are trained to advise on legal requirements and assist you in navigating the practical steps needed to give your application the highest chance of success.
We offer comprehensive remote services, including online and over-the-phone consultations. Whether you need detailed information on UK Fiance visas or assistance with other immigration routes, our team is prepared to offer the guidance you need. Feel free to contact us at +44 20 7269 9590, and let’s start your journey toward a successful visa application together.
The Home Office usually communicates the approval of your visa via mail or email. You may also check your visa application status online using the application tracking system provided by the respective immigration authorities.
The refusal rate for fiancé visas varies depending on numerous factors such as application quality, compliance with requirements, and specific circumstances. It’s best to ensure you meet all eligibility criteria and provide strong evidence to support your application.
If your application for a UK fiancé visa is denied, you may well be entitled to fight the decision through an immigration appeal.
The UK fiancé visa appeal procedure takes on several stages:
- Appeal Form: Make sure you meticulously fill out and submit the designated appeal form, accessible via the UK government’s official website. This form mandates the inclusion of comprehensive details pertaining to your case and your rationale for the appeal.
- Supplementary Documentation: Support your appeal with any additional evidentiary materials or documents which buttress your case. This may encompass fiscal records, substantiation of your relationship, and any germane correspondence or dialogue.
- The basis for Appeal: It is imperative to demonstrate the grounds upon which you are challenging the decision. This could be predicated on a judicial error by the Home Office in the original decision or by showing fresh evidence that was overlooked during the primary application process.
- Appeal Fee: Lodging an appeal is typically accompanied by an associated fee. Ensure that you pay the fee as stated on the UK government’s website (this fee is separate from any legal fees you will have if you choose to hire an immigration lawyer).
- First-tier Tribunal: Your appeal will be subject to the scrutiny of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), which will assess your case and formulate a judgement based on the evidence proffered.
- Appeal Hearing: Under certain circumstances, there may be an appeal hearing where you, along with any witnesses, can articulate your case in person. This forum permits you to present supplementary evidence and respond to queries from the tribunal.
- Upper Tribunal: In the event that your appeal does not find favour with the First-tier Tribunal, you may be eligible to lodge a further appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), provided there are compelling legal grounds.
Please be mindful that the process and prerequisites are subject to alteration. You can stay up to date by following the UK government’s official website or obtaining legal counsel to ensure you are privy to the most recent information and advice pertinent to your unique circumstances.
The specifics of your case will determine whether you should appeal a visa decision or submit a fresh application. Both strategies have advantages and pitfalls to watch out for.
If you think there was an error in the decision-making process, you can challenge the refusal by appealing the decision. If there is a blatant legal or administrative error, appeals may be advantageous since they may allow the refusal to be reversed. Appeals cost £80 but might take a while to resolve, occasionally requiring months or even years.
However, if the problem with the initial application was due to incomplete or inaccurate documents that can be easily fixed, submitting a new application might be a speedier option to get a visa. You have the option to address the reasons for rejection listed in the decision letter and submit a stronger application if you decide to reapply. There will be additional application fees to take into account (which are far more costly than making an appeal), and the outcome of the new application is not guaranteed.
It’s always good to consult an immigration expert before making a choice so you can decide on your next course of action wisely by properly finding out first why your application was initially rejected.
Yes, a previous visa refusal may influence future applications. The details of the refusal are often stored in immigration databases, prompting authorities to scrutinise your subsequent applications more closely.
You can not make an application for a UK fiance visa from within the UK.
There’s no official limitation to the number of periods you can reapply for a fiancé visa. However, each refusal could make it more challenging to succeed in subsequent attempts. It’s crucial to address the reasons for refusal in your new application.
Visa interview questions typically revolve around your relationship with your fiancé, plans for marriage, understanding of your partner’s lifestyle and culture, and your intentions post-marriage. It’s essential to answer honestly and consistently.
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At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.
Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.
Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.