- What are the eligibility criteria for a UK partner visa?
- What do you need to apply for UK Partner visas?
- What are the required documents for the UK partner visa?
- How do applicants pass the genuine relationship requirement?
- What are the spouse visa financial requirements and how do I prove it?
- What are the English language requirements?
- How long can partners stay in the UK?
- What are the fees associated with the visa?
- Can my children come with me to the UK?
- Frequently asked questions
What are the eligibility criteria for a UK partner visa?
The partner visas that allow you to join a partner in the UK are the Spouse, Fiance, and the Unmarried Partner Visa.
You can apply for a partner visa if you are in a relationship with a British citizen or someone who has settled status in the UK. The types of relationships that are eligible for a partner visa include spouses, civil partners, proposed civil partners, fiances and unmarried partners if you have lived together for a minimum of 2 years.
In the instance that the partner is in the UK with a skilled worker visa or student visa, the partner will need to apply to come as a dependent instead.
What do you need to apply for UK Partner visas?
Requirements vary depending on the type of partner visa.
For the Spouse Visa Application, you must be legally married to a British citizen or to someone who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain. You also need to:
- Pass the genuine relationship requirement
- Reach the financial requirement, as you will need proof that you can support your family without seeking public funds
- Reach the accommodation requirement, to offer your family adequate accommodation to live together in the UK
- Pass the English language requirement, meaning that your non-British partner must be able to speak and understand English.
For the Fiance or civil partnership route, you have to prove that any previous marriages or civil partnerships have been ended legally and that you fully intend to be married or become official civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
In the instance you do not fulfil the above UK spouse visa requirements, you may be eligible to get permission to stay if you have a child in the UK who’s a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it would be unreasonable for them to move out of the UK.
What are the required documents for the UK partner visa?
Per UK immigration rules, the applicants need to provide specific documents and information. This includes:
- The applicant’s names and date of birth
- A valid passport or other valid travel IDs
- A copy of their biometric residence permit (if applicable)
- Details of any previous immigration applications and criminal convictions
- Medical results
- National insurance number (if applicable).
You will need to provide information from any previous marriage or civil partnership, or anyone you had children with and evidence of the marriage ending such as a divorce certificate.
How do applicants pass the genuine relationship requirement?
An important part of the visa application is passing the genuine relationship requirements.
Evidence that will prove the relationship should be government documents or governments from a bank, landlord, utility provider, or medical professionals. Documents should be less than 4 years old and could be:
- Marriage certificate
- Civil Partnership certificate
- Tenancy agreement, utility bills, or council tax bills
- A shared bank account statement
- A letter from medical professionals proving you live together
If you don’t happen to have these evidence pieces, you can use the following – though they carry less weight:
- A one-off bill
- Voters registration
- Student finance paperwork
Items like greetings cards, travel tickets, receipts, photographs, text, or social media messages are not considered strong evidence of your relationship and are not likely to help your application.
What are the spouse visa financial requirements and how do I prove it?
You must prove that you reach the financial requirement of a combined minimum income requirement of at least £18,000/year.
You’ll have to prove additional funds if you also have children who are not British or Irish citizens, do not hold pre-settled status, and are not permanently settled in the UK. This financial requirement is £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each child after.
Income counts as:
- Income from employment before tax and National Insurance (check your
- Income from self-employment or as a director of a limited company in the UK (must be over 6 months)
- Cash savings that exceed £16,000
- Pension money
- Passive income
To highlight you reach the financial requirements, you must provide the following documents:
- Bank statements
- 6 months of payslips
- A letter from an employer, dated and on headed paper confirming the name, position, job title, length of the contract, salary, etc.
What are the English language requirements?
Applicants in the family visa category need to prove their English language skills.
This skill can be proven by academic background, if, for example, they have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English.
If their degree is from an institution outside of the UK, they will need a statement of comparability and a visa and nationality statement, confirming its adequate.
Alternatively, they can take an approved English language test.
You do not need to take the English language test if:
- You are a child, you’re already in the UK by way of a family visa for 5 years and you’re extending it as a partner or parent.
- You’re over 65 years old, or you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the requirement
- You are from a majority English speaking country
How long can partners stay in the UK?
The spouse visa UK permits 2 years and 9 months in the UK. Fiance or proposed civil partner permits 6 months. After the visa expiry date, couples can apply to extend their stay in the UK.
The partner can continue to extend their visa until they get to five continuous years in the UK, at which point they can apply to ‘settle in the UK,’ (also called indefinite leave to remain). If someone is granted settled status, they no longer need to worry about visa and other immigration processes.
What are the fees associated with the visa?
Currently, the fee for a Partner Visa is approximately £1,523 for applications made outside the UK. This comes under the Family Visa Category
If you are applying inside the UK, the application costs £1,033.
As part of the spouse visa, applicants are required to also pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge, towards the UK healthcare which is £1,872 applicable to applications made outside the UK and £1,560 inside the UK.
Can my children come with me to the UK?
Children can be included as dependents on partner visa applications.
For your children to get entry clearance to come with you to the UK, they will need to be under the age of 18 at the time of the application and not live an independent life. Their life is considered independent if they’ve gotten married and have children.
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You are within your right to appeal the decision. However, it is important to only appeal if you can prove that the decision will make it impossible to be together. Appealing a decision is challenging and often takes a lot of time.
The UK will recognize most unions so long they:
- Their marriage/civil partnership is legally recognized where it took place and was legally conducted to reach all requirements laid out by the law in the country the wedding happened
- Any previous marriages or civil partnerships of the couple have legally broken down permanently
In general, applications that take place inside the UK take 8 weeks, whereas applications submitted outside can take up to 12 weeks. Due to covid19, there may be some delays.
You don’t have to meet the income requirement if you’re on certain benefits. These are:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Police Injury Pension
Applicants who receive one or more of these benefits don’t need to prove they earn £18,600 a year, but they do have to prove that they can maintain their partner.