Dreaming of starting a new life in the UK? If your partner is a British citizen, or they have the right to reside in the UK, you may be eligible for a UK marriage visa.
There are many different routes to consider if you are hoping to relocate to the UK and settle down. The route you choose will depend on whether you are already married, or if you are coming to the UK with the intention of getting married. You will also need to check if your marriage is recognised in the UK.
If you’re considering starting a new life in the UK with your partner and want to better understand the rights and benefits you will enjoy on a UK marriage visa, this guide is a great place to start. We are expert UK immigration lawyers with an excellent track record of securing positive outcomes.
What is a UK marriage visa?
A UK marriage visa is sometimes known as a marriage visitor visa or a fiance visa. This visa category allows foreign nationals to enter the UK with the intention of getting married to their British partner, or someone with leave to remain in the UK. This is a short-term visit visa that will enable you to come to the UK to get married.
Once you are married you can then apply for a UK marriage visa. This is sometimes known as a spouse visa. This will allow you to live and work in the UK. Eventually, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) which can eventually lead to British Citizenship.
Who can apply for a UK marriage visa?
The UK spouse visa or marriage visa is suitable for non-UK residents over the age of 18. You will need to be married to or in a recognised civil partnership with a UK resident over the age of 18.
The most important aspect of this visa is that you are in a genuine relationship. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will require you to show proof of your relationship. You’ll also need to show that you have been living together for the past 2 years prior to your application.
If you hold a fiance visa, you will need to show that you are planning to get married within 6 months of being in the UK. Once married, you will then be eligible for the UK marriage visa or spouse visa.
What are the requirements for the UK partner visa?
The application process for the UK partner visa is complex and lengthy. You will need to meet the following stringent requirements:
- Complete the application and provide all relevant documents
- Pass the “genuine relationship test”
- Meet the minimum income threshold and meet the financial requirements
- Demonstrate good knowledge of the English language
- Show that you have suitable accommodation for you, your partner and your dependents
- Depending on your country of origin, you may need to pass a medical test to show you are free from tuberculosis (TB)
- On arrival in the country, you will need to attend a biometrics appointment
If this sounds overwhelming, don’t panic. We can help you understand the visa requirements and make sure that your application leaves no room for doubt. Finally, we can also check an existing application for potential errors so that you don’t fall for common visa application mistakes.
What you can do in the UK on a marriage visa
If you are in the UK on a fiance visa or a marriage visitor visa, you will be granted entry to the UK for a 6 month period. During this time, you will be legally allowed to marry your fiance in the UK. Consequently, you will need to apply for a UK marriage or spouse visa.
Once you have the UK marriage visa, you will be allowed to live, work and study in the UK. You can stay for up to 33 months initially. Then, you can apply to stay for a further 30 months. Finally, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
What you cannot do in the UK on a marriage visa
If you apply to come to the UK on a fiance visa or a marriage visitor visa, you will not be able to work or study during this time. You also cannot use multiple visitor visas to essentially live in the UK. You’ll need to get married and then apply for a UK spouse visa if you intend to settle down.
If you are already married, or if you get married in the UK and switch to a UK spouse visa, you will not be able to access public funds. You can use the NHS, but this is only as a result of paying the NHS healthcare surcharge.
You also cannot bring dependents to the UK on a marriage visa or spouse visa. They will need to be included in your application. Consequently, when applying for a UK spouse visa with dependents, the financial requirements will change.
You will need to show that your partner has the funds to support you and any dependents. You will also have to demonstrate that you have suitable accommodation lined up in the UK.
What are the benefits of the UK marriage visa?
The primary benefit of choosing the marriage visa over other visa categories is that you will be granted leave to enter the UK to start your life with your partner. It is the best route for couples in genuine relationships who want to start their shared life together in the UK.
How can A Y & J Solicitors help?
If you are thinking about applying for a partner visa and are worried about the costs of getting it wrong, we can help. Without a doubt, the best way to ensure success with your UK spouse visa application is to work with a UK immigration lawyer to fine-tune your application. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how we can help you.
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