If you are planning to marry a British citizen or a permanent resident of the UK, but before marriage, want to see what it is like living in the UK, you can apply from abroad for a visa, to enter the UK as a Fiancée. It is crucial to show that your relationship is genuine and the parties intend to live together permanently upon marriage but it is not necessary to show that the parties had been living together prior to making the application.
What are the main requirements?
- The main requirements are that the British sponsor and the applicant must intend to marry within six months of entry to the UK under this category. The visa will be for a six-month period, and will not entitle the applicant to work.
- Furthermore, the parties must obviously have met and must intend to live together permanently, and the applicant must be able to support him/herself or be supported by their partner without access to public funds, and there must be adequate accommodation in place.
Most of the requirements are as in a marriage visa application
Most of the requirements for this visa are the same as for those who wish to apply to come to the UK on the basis of marriage, or switch in the country from one Visa category to the spouse Visa category.
How long will the visa be for?
Successful applicants are granted a six-month visa to come to the UK and marry. The Visa can be extended for another six months from within the UK if reasonable grounds can be shown that the marriage could not take place within the first six months.
What happens after the marriage takes place?
Once the marriage takes place an application can then be made for the applicant to remain in UK based on marriage. Whilst the fiancé/ fiancée Visa can only be applied for by way of entry clearance from abroad, the marriage/ spouse visa following the grant of the fiancé/ fiancée Visa can be applied for whilst the applicant is in the UK.
Once the applicant has been granted leave to remain in the UK on the basis of marriage, then the grant of leave should be for 2.5 years followed by a further grant, and after a five-year period in this capacity, an application can be made for indefinite leave to remain.
What if you need to extend your Fiance Visa?
If you can prove extenuating circumstances for extending your fiancé visa beyond the 6 months, you can apply to switch to a family visa. You must wait to apply until 28 days prior to your current visa’s expiration date. If your plan is to stay in the UK, you will need to apply in person for same day premium service turn around. If you apply by mail you will not have a response for approximately 8 weeks, which will be past the expiration date of your current visa—meaning you will need to leave the country. Unlike the fiancé visa, with a family visa, you are required to live with your sponsor.
What if the Applicants Fiance has children?
It can be challenging to bring children who are not biologically related to the sponsor into the UK under a fiancé visa. However, if you can prove that it would cause serious problems if a child under the age of 18 is not allowed to enter the UK at the same time, then it may be possible. Otherwise, you will need to wait until you are married and apply for a family visa for your children. Reach out to a member of the Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors name team to help increase your odds of entering the UK with a dependent.
If a child is biologically related to the sponsor, they can apply to enter the country under a family visa. We can assist with this process too.
Do you have to apply for a Fiance Visa if you are engaged to an EEA National?
EEA immigration laws are expected to change at some point in 2018, in preparation of Brexit on or after March of 2019. Currently, if you are an unmarried partner in a lasting relationship with an EEA national who has settled in the UK you can apply for an EEA family permit.
Do I have to apply for a Fiance Visa if I qualify for another kind of Visa?
The answer to this question depends on your circumstances. For example, if you already have a job or have been accepted to a school in the UK. You don’t want to violate the terms of your visa, so it may be best to enter the country under the UK fiancé visa requirements. Either way we should discuss all your options and identify a legal path to citizenship.
Filling out the fiancé visa application, or any visa or immigration application is something you can do on your own—but is always better if you have a UK immigration lawyer helping you through the process. The Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors team will walk you through the application process, and drastically reduce your odds of being denied. At the very least, reach out to us if you or your fiancés application is denied.
For further information
If you’re interested in applying for a UK fiancée Visa, or switching into the spouse Visa category and require to have full details of the documentation required and additional advice, please do not hesitate to contact us by filling out the form below and one of our legal experts shall reply to you very soon.