The partner route allows a partner of either a British citizen or someone settled in the UK (i.e. someone who has Indefinite Leave to Remain) to live and work in the UK. Partners of those who have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK may also be able to apply.
In all cases you and your partner must be 18 years of age or older.
No. You do not need to be married or in a civil partnership to apply for this visa. You are able to apply for this visa if you:
Each of the visa options have slightly different criteria which are detailed below.
To be eligible for this visa, you will need to show that you are in a marriage or civil partnership that is recognised in the UK with a British citizen. This will typically require you to submit your marriage or civil partnership certificate.
You will also need to show that you:
To be eligible for this visa, you will need to show that you are a fiancé or proposed civil partner of a British citizen and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of your arrival. You will need to provide documentary evidence to show this with your visa application.
You will also need to show that you:
To be eligible for this visa, you will need to show that you have been living with your partner (who is a British citizen) in a relationship for at least two years when you apply. You will need to provide documentary evidence to show your cohabitation (for example property documents such as a mortgage deed or lease, council tax bills and utility bills).
Some partners may not have these documents and it can be challenging to determine what documents can be used in order to make this sort of application. We have experience of assisting couples in these circumstances and if you are interested in finding out how we can help please contact us.
You also need to show that you:
The fiancé/proposed civil partner and the marriage visitor visa are both valid for six months and allow you to get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK.
However, marriage visitor visas are for individuals who intend on getting married/entering into a civil partnership in the UK but do not want to stay or settle in the UK permanently. After 6 months, marriage visitor visa holders must leave the UK and cannot extend their visa or apply to switch to a visa under the spousal route.
Only a fiancé/proposed civil partner visa allows you to apply for a visa under the spousal route in the UK after you marry or enter into a civil partnership. This may then lead to indefinite leave to remain (“ILR”) in the UK after 5 years.
It is therefore essential that you understand which visa you are applying for.
If you have been married or in a civil partnership before, you will need to provide evidence to show that this relationship has been dissolved and that you are/were able to marry or enter into a civil partnership again. This may include a decree absolute or death certificate of a previous partner.
You will need to inform the Home Office if you divorce or separate from your partner. You may then need to apply for a new visa under a different route or leave the UK.
If you are applying for a partner visa you must show that:
The accommodation will not be considered adequate if it:
You must provide evidence of how your accommodation is owned or occupied. This can be done by providing:
One reason why applications can be rejected is because visa applicants fail to understand the complicated rules on how many rooms are needed in their case and fail to provide the necessary evidence. If you would like to know more information about supporting documents, please contact us.
Most candidates will need to prove their knowledge of English to apply for this visa. This can be done by:
You do not need to prove your English language abilities if you are:
If you are applying under the partner route and wish to obtain ILR in the UK, you and your partner will need to have a combined income of at least £18,600 per annum.
If your children are not British citizens, EEA nationals or settled, you will also need to show that you have income of:
You may be able to use cash savings instead of income, and you can use a mixture of different income sources in some circumstances. You and your partner can prove that you have met the financial requirement through your:
You must provide supporting evidence to show this income and the Home Office have set rules on what this must be depending on the income source or savings you seek to rely upon.
The rules on the financial requirement are extremely complex and can often trip applicants up. Applicants are often rejected for providing the wrong type of evidence for the income they are trying to prove.
We have extensive experience of advising applicants on how they can meet the financial requirement and the documents they need to provide as evidence, for more information on how we can help you, please contact us.
Yes, you will be able to work and/or study in the UK when you successfully obtain a visa under the partner route.
The visa under the spousal route is granted initially for a period of 2 and a half years. If you are applying as a fiancé or proposed civil partner, you will be able to stay in the UK for 6 months. You will then need to apply to extend your stay.
No. We have helped clients who have had an arranged marriage obtain a spousal visa. The Home Office is aware of cultural differences, however it is important to ensure that you provide the right evidence to ensure that the Home Office has no doubts about the genuine nature of your relationship. Our expert team have expertise in preparing successful applications in these circumstances, for further information please contact us.
The partner visa requires an applicant to provide many different documents. Which documents you are required to provide will be largely dictated by your personal circumstances. However, in general terms, all applicants will need to provide the following:
You may also need to provide additional documents depending on your individual circumstances, such as whether you will be applying alone or with your dependants. In some cases, you must also provide a negative tuberculosis test result depending on where you are applying from.
Submitting missing or incorrect supporting documents can result in your application being rejected. Our expert team have significant expertise in preparing successful applications, for further information contact us.
If you are applying from with outside the UK, the current application fee is £1,523.
If you are applying within the UK the application fee is £1,033.
Each applicant will also have to pay £19.20 for biometric enrolment if they are extending or switching to this visa.
You will also have to pay the immigration health surcharge which is currently £642 per year that you hold your visa.
The Home Office advises that you should get a decision on your visa within 12 weeks when you apply from outside the UK and within 8 weeks when you apply from within the UK.
You may be able to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility criteria detailed above and you are wanting to stay in the UK with your partner.
You can switch to this visa at any time before your current UK visa expires.
You will not be able to switch to this visa if:
You can apply to extend this visa if you meet certain eligibility criteria. If you have a visa under the partner route you may be able to extend your leave in the UK by a further 2 and a half years.
You can apply for settlement if you have lived in the UK for 5 years on a partner visa. However time spent on the fiancé/proposed civil partner route does not count towards this five years.
If you are not eligible to apply for ILR after 5 years, in some circumstances you can apply to settle in the UK after 10 years.
For more information on settlement/ILR please see our information on this here.
We routinely assist individuals with their partner visa applications. This commonly includes:
The fee estimate for the above service will depend on your individual circumstances however our fees are routinely between £2,000 and £4,000 (plus VAT) for partner visa applications. Please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a quote.
Given the fast pace of change, we would stress that this information is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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