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Immigration UK

UK Fiancé Visa: Everything You Need To Know

Is your fiancé or fiancée in the UK? Do you plan to get married to them, and do you plan to live with them in the UK? If your answer to these questions is yes, you should aim for a UK fiancé visa.

It’s much easier to apply for a spouse visa because you can easily present your marriage certificate as proof. As a fiancé, you’ll have to prove your relationship in many other ways.

Read on to find out all you need to know about the UK fiancé visa.

About The UK Fiancé Visa

The UK fiancé visa is a type of family visa that allows you to join your fiancé or fiancée in the UK. Your fiancé or fiancée in the UK must be a permanent resident (with indefinite leave to remain status) or a British citizen.

The UK Visas and Immigration grants the visa on the basis that you’re coming to the UK to marry or enter into a civil partnership with your partner. 

As a result, the visa lasts for six months, within which you’re expected to get married or enter a civil partnership.

When your visa expires, you can then apply for a spouse visa to continue your stay in the country. You may have to leave the country if you’re yet to get married or enter a civil partnership when the visa expires.

As a temporary visa, the six months you spend won’t count as residency if you apply for permanent residency. However, the spouse visa, which you can quickly get after the fiancé visa, counts as residency.

Therefore, obtaining a UK fiancé visa can lead to permanent residency and, ultimately, British citizenship.

UK Fiancé Visa Eligibility

The primary eligibility requirement is that your fiancé or fiancée in the UK must be a British citizen or permanent resident.

However, there are other eligibility requirements as listed below:

  • You and your fiancé must be up to 18 years old.
  • You must have plans to marry or enter a civil partnership within six months of admission into the UK.
  • You must not have any previous marriage or civil partnership that is still valid.
  • You must have the funds to support your stay in the UK.
  • You must have suitable accommodation to live in, in the UK with your fiancé.
  • You must demonstrate English proficiency if you’re not from a non-native English country or any exempt country.

The above are the basic requirements of the UK Visas and Immigration to qualify for a fiancé visa. The department may request additional requirements depending on your circumstance.

UK Fiancé Visa Income Requirement

Before you can join your fiancé in the UK, you must meet a relatively strict income requirement. It’s part of proving that you have sufficient funds to support your stay in the country.

As a couple, the UK Visas and Immigration demands that you and your fiancé must make a minimum income of £18,600 per year. If you have children joining you as dependents, the minimum income increases.

Your income must include an extra £3,800 for your first child and £2,400 each for your other children.

The income requirement is essential because you won’t have access to public funds during your six-month stay. You can prove you have the funds and make the required income via different means. 

Your income could come from your employed salary, self-employed business, or savings. It can also come from stocks & shares, property financial gains, statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity, or adoption pay.

UK Fiancé Visa Required Documents

You’ll need to provide supporting documents to prove you meet the eligibility requirements. Usually, you’ll scan and upload these documents as part of your online application. Then, you also carry them along the embassy invites you for an interview.

Here are some of the documents you need to provide:

  • Proof of your name and date of birth. You can provide your birth certificate or affidavit of birth.
  • Proof that you’re not in any previous marriage or civil partnership. You can present a divorce certificate if you’ve been married before.
  • Proof that you’re in a relationship with your fiancé in the UK.
  • Proof that you plan to marry or enter into a civil partnership with your partner in the UK.
  • Proof that you have no pending criminal or court convictions. You can present a police or court report.
  • Documents showing your parents’ names and nationalities. You only need to provide this if you’re applying outside the UK.
  • Details of other countries you’ve lived in or visited, aside from the UK and your home country.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support your stay. Bank and account statements should be enough.
  • A valid international passport or other travel documents.
  • Passport photographs.

The UK Visas and Immigration may request some additional documents during your application. Therefore, it’s important to note that the list above isn’t all-inclusive.

UK Fiancé English Language Requirement

The United Kingdom is a native English-speaking country. Hence you must have basic English knowledge to survive in the country.

If you’re from another native English-speaking country, like the US or Australia, you should already have basic English knowledge. As a result, you don’t have to prove your proficiency.

On the other hand, you must prove proficiency if you’re from a non-native English-speaking country. You must demonstrate basic English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

To do this, you must take and pass an approved English language test.

Your pass certificate will need to be included in your portfolio of evidence to submit to the Home Office. The recommends four secure English language tests (SELT):

  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd if you’re outside the UK or Trinity College London if you’re in the UK.
  • IELTS SELT Consortium.
  • LanguageCert.
  • Pearson.

You may get a waiver for the English language requirement even if you’re from a non-native English-speaking country. 

It’s possible if you hold a degree or higher qualification taught in English at a NARIC-recognised educational institution or you are over 65, or you have a physical condition that prevents you from taking the exam.

UK Fiancé Relationship Requirement

To qualify for the UK fiancé visa, you must prove that your relationship with your spouse is genuine. It’s important because many people arrange fake marriages to become permanent residents in the UK.

Nevertheless, you can prove that your relationship with your fiancé is genuine by providing a few details. These include:

  • Documents that show you have been living together.
  • Bank statements if you have joint accounts.
  • Confirmation from family members and friends that you’ve been in a relationship.
  • Texts, emails, etc., to show how long you’ve been in the relationship.

Note that you don’t have to provide all of this. You only need to provide some, depending on which the embassy requests.

UK Fiancé Visa Cost

The fiancé visa UK cost is the same as the UK spouse visa. You’ll pay £1,538 if you’re applying from outside the UK and £1,048 if you’re applying from within the UK.

It’ll take the UK Visas and Immigration up to 24 weeks to process your fiancé visa if you’re outside the UK. If you’re in the UK, it’ll take up to 8 weeks. In some cases, it might take longer.

However, the UK Visas and Immigration can process your visa faster at extra charges.

If you pay an extra £800, they’ll finish processing your visa at the end of the next working day. If you applied during the weekend, you’ll get a verdict after two working days.

However, to get a verdict that fast, you must have submitted your biometric information.

Your visa processing will only take longer than necessary if you don’t meet specific requirements, like the income and English language requirement, or if you have a pending court or criminal case.

UK Fiancé Visa Application

Once you have all the necessary paperwork and supporting evidence, you can begin your UK fiancé visa application. You must apply online whether you’re inside or outside of the UK.

You must submit your biometrics to obtain the visa, so at the start of the application process, you will be given the option to choose where you will do so. Since it might be challenging to change later, picking the ideal location is crucial. 

There are six steps in the application. You must complete and submit the online application form, supporting files, and proof. You must also pay the visa fee; note that the UK exempts some nations from this requirement.

The health surcharge is paid in the third step, and your biometrics—including your passport and fingerprints—are submitted in the fourth. 

Fifth, if you live in one of the nations on the UK list, you must take and submit your tuberculosis test results. The last step is to present your passport and all supporting documents physically. 

If your application is approved, the visa will be stamped in your passport, allowing you to travel to the UK.

After Your Application

You can stay in the UK for up to six months if your fiancé visa application is successful. Endeavor to follow the requirements placed on your immigration permission and be married or enter a civil partnership within the six-month time frame of your fiance visa.

You must report to border control when you arrive if you are coming from outside the UK. When traveling to the UK, it’s crucial to have copies of critical papers and application information. These will be needed to gain entry as your visa alone doesn’t give you the right to enter the UK.

If you are granted a fiancé visa, you will be expected to move to the UK and establish yourself there. This necessitates that when your visa expires, you change to a different kind of long-term visa – the spouse visa.

You won’t typically be able to apply for a fiance visa extension. However, the UK Visas and Immigration may decide to give you an extension if extraordinary circumstances prevent you from being married within the first 6-month window. 

You must still meet the same conditions to qualify for the extension, and your circumstances cannot have materially changed.

Switching To Spouse Visa

There is a clear path from the fiancé visa to the much-desired Spouse Visa, which is one of the visa’s key draws. Although the usual Spouse Visa application process must be followed, you need not leave the UK so long as you apply before your fiancé visa expires.

A spouse visa will allow you to remain in the UK for 30 months, and you can request an additional extension of your stay after that if your circumstances have not altered. You can stay in the UK for another 30 months if your application for an extension is successful.

You can work and go to school in the UK if you have a spouse visa, and every day you spend in the country counts toward the residency requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British citizenship. 

As a result, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residency after five years of residency in the UK on a spouse visa.

Bottom Line

The UK Fiance Visa is the route to relocate to the UK to join a fiancé or fiancée. Primarily, they must be citizens of or have settled status in the United Kingdom. 

Fiance visas are valid for six months and are issued on the assumption that the couple will get married in that time.

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Immigration UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain In The UK: Everything You Should Know

Have you lived long enough in the UK and believe you deserve to be a permanent resident? If so, you need to obtain Indefinite Leave To Remain Status. 

The UK is one of the best European countries, so it’s not surprising that you would want to live permanently in the country. 

In this post, you’ll find all the information you need to know about applying for and obtaining indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

What Is Indefinite Leave To Remain Status?

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Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) means settlement in the UK. When you obtain indefinite leave to remain status, you become a permanent resident in the country. You can live, work, and study in the UK for as long as you want.

It’s important to note that indefinite leave to remain doesn’t make you a British citizen. You are only a permanent resident. You can’t participate in exclusive activities like voting in general elections. However, having indefinite leave to remain status makes applying for and becoming a British citizen easy.

There are different ways to apply for indefinite leave to remain, as you’ll find out later. How you apply will depend on your circumstance in the UK. If you work in the UK, for example, how you apply for ILR will be different from that of someone staying with a family member in the UK.

Ultimately, the process is strict and involves many documentation procedures. All of these are to ensure there’s no immigration fraud. If you are a legal resident in the UK, you can seek the help of qualified immigration lawyers to evaluate your chances of applying for indefinite leave to remain.

Who Can Apply For Indefinite Leave To Remain

The following are the categories of UK residents that qualify to apply for indefinite leave to remain status:

  • People who work in the UK.

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You can apply for ILR if you work in the UK and have worked for at least five years. However, if your work visa is a tier 1 visa, you only need to have worked for two or three years. For Global Talent and Innovator visas, the requirement is just three years. Furthermore, your visa type hugely influences how you apply.

  • People who have family in the UK.

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Your family could be your parent, unmarried partner, spouse, child, or other qualifying relatives. Importantly, they must have settled status. Your application procedure depends on how they obtained their settlement status and your visa type.

  • People who have lived in the UK for a long time.

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If you’ve lived in the UK for ten years or more, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. It doesn’t matter whether you are working or studying. You can apply if you prove that you’ve been a legal resident of the country for at least ten years.

  • People who are Commonwealth citizens.

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The Commonwealth realm is a group of countries that recognize the Queen of the UK as their head of state. Canada, Jamaica, and New Zealand are some examples. If you’re a citizen of any country in the Commonwealth realm – not the Commonwealth of Nations – you may have the “right of abode” in the UK.

Right of Abode permits you to live and work in the UK without worrying about visa and other immigration requirements. If you have this “right of abode,” you are automatically a UK permanent resident.

Time In The UK Requirement For Work Visa Holders

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Residing in the UK for a particular period is one of the critical requirements of getting ILR to remain status if you’re on a work visa. For most visa types, you must spend at least five years in the UK before applying. However, not all UK visas count as residency. The primary visas that matter include:

  • All Tier 1 visas, except the graduate entrepreneur visa.
  • Skilled worker visas.
  • Minister of Religion visas.
  • International Sportsperson visas.
  • Innovator visas 
  • Global Talent visas.
  • Representative of an Overseas Business.

Different rules apply if you travelled outside the UK during the period or were on more than one visa. Generally, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the country in any 12 months. Otherwise, it won’t count. 

On the other hand, if you were on multiple visas, you can combine the period of your stay in the UK.

Financial Requirement For Work Visa Holders

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If you’re a work visa holder, you must also meet specific financial requirements. These financial requirements mainly involve your salary, which depends on your visa type.

If you have a skilled worker visa, your salary must meet the minimum £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour threshold. However, the minimum may be higher if your job has a higher going rate.

For example, your salary may be up to £25,600, but your job’s going rate is up to £28,000. In such a situation, you do not meet the financial requirement and can’t apply for indefinite leave to remain.

To be safe, check the UK GOV website for the various going rates for jobs under the skilled worker visa.

If you have an international sportsperson visa, your salary must be at least £35,800. Note that this minimum only includes what you earn from your main job and not more than 48 hours a week. Any money you make outside these doesn’t count as part of your salary.

Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK Requirement

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If you’re between 18 to 64 years, you must take and pass the knowledge of language and life in the UK test before getting ILR status. The test proves that you lived in the UK for the five-year minimum period and that you’re accustomed to the country’s way of life.

The knowledge of language and life in the UK test is also necessary when applying for British citizenship. However, people who passed the test while applying for permanent residence don’t need to retake it when applying for citizenship.

You can apply for the test online via the official website. You only need an email address, acceptable ID, and a debit or credit card to pay the application fee. Acceptable IDs include an international passport, residence permit, residence card, and a valid travel document. You can present any of them, not all.

The knowledge of language and life in the UK test costs just £50. You have thirty test centres in different parts of the UK to choose from. Ideally, you should select a centre closer to you.

You must study the Life in the UK test handbook to pass the test. The book isn’t expensive and costs just £12.99. Alternatively, you can go for the practice questions and answer book. It costs £7.99.

The knowledge of language and life in the UK test comprises twenty-four questions about British customs and traditions. You have forty-five minutes to answer all questions and must score at least 75% to pass.

If you fail the test, you can reapply and retake the test after seven days. You’ll have to pay a fresh fee for any new application, and you can apply as many times as you need until you pass.

How To Apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain

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Like every other UK visa application, the application for indefinite leave to remain is online. You must apply at least twenty-eight days after you meet all the requirements. As you apply, you can save your progress and resume any time.

The documents you submit during your application will depend on your visa type. You’ll get a comprehensive list on the application website. However, documents to prove that you met the salary requirement and passed the Life in the UK Test are compulsory. You also need to pay the indefinite leave to remain fee.

Among the application forms, you’ll need to apply for a biometric immigration document and biometric residence permit (BRP). In other words, you may need to submit your biometrics afterward.

You just book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) centre to submit your biometrics. You could submit your supporting documents at the UKVCAS centre if you did not upload them during your online application.

It takes about six months to get a verdict on your indefinite leave to remain application. However, in urgent situations, you can pay for super priority service and get a verdict within five days. You can also pay for super-priority service and get a verdict within two days.

Indefinite Leave To Remain Application Fee

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The indefinite leave to remain fee is relatively expensive, which isn’t surprising considering the weight of the outcome. It costs £2,404 per applicant. If, for example, you’re applying with your family members, each person must pay the £2,404 fee.

As mentioned before, it takes around six months to get a verdict, but you can pay extra to speed up the process. Priority service, which provides a verdict in 5 working days, costs £500. On the other hand, the super-priority service, which provides a verdict in 2 working days, costs £800.

Frequently Asked Questions About Indefinite Leave To Remain UK

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How Long Does Indefinite Leave To Remain Last?

The word “indefinite” means lasting for an unknown or unstated length of time. So, if you have an indefinite leave to remain, it means you can stay in the UK for as long as you want. The status doesn’t expire.

Indefinite Leave To Remain makes you a permanent resident in the UK. You can travel in and out of the country as often as you want, and you won’t need a visa to enter every time.

However, while indefinite leave to remain doesn’t expire, it can become invalid. Your indefinite leave to remain status will become invalid if you continuously stay outside the UK for up to 2 years.

Nevertheless, even then, you can still get into the UK by applying for a Returning Resident visa. If your visa is approved, you’ll get your indefinite leave to remain status back.

What Benefits Can I Get With Indefinite Leave To Remain?

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The number one benefit of Indefinite Leave to Remain status is that you can make the UK your home. You can live, work, and study for as long as you want. In addition, you can travel in and out of the country at any time.

However, there are other exciting benefits as well.

With Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can vote in some UK elections. The possibilities are slim, but they exist. Furthermore, you get access to free healthcare once you’re settled in the UK. You may also qualify for certain NHS entitlements.

Since you can live in the UK for as long as you want, you can start a family – if you haven’t already – and your children will automatically become British citizens.

What Are the Conditions of Indefinite Leave To Remain?

Generally, you only need to abide by UK laws. Don’t break the law, and you won’t have any problems. If you commit any serious crime, the government can strip you of your ILR status and deport you to your home country.

Bottom Line

Obtaining indefinite leave to remain status is the only way to reside permanently in the UK. The process can be complex due to the much documentation, but with the information in this post, you should find it easier. Ultimately, you can seek assistance from experienced immigration lawyers.