- What is a Fiancé Visa?
- Eligibility for the UK Fiancé Visa
- Financial Requirements for the UK Fiancé Visa
- Documents Required for UK Fiancé Visa Application
- English Language Requirements for the UK Fiancé Visa
- The Genuine Relationship Requirement
- Costs and Processing Times of the UK Fiancé Visa
- Receiving a Decision for the UK Fiancé Visa
- Switching to a UK Spouse Visa from the UK Fiancé Visa
- How can Total Law help?
What is a Fiancé Visa?
The UK Fiance visa will allow you as a US citizen to enter the UK to marry or enter a civil partnership with your UK-based fiancé. As an applicant, your partner must be either a UK citizen or someone with settled status in the UK.
A Fiancé Visa would last for 6 months and is usually given to you under the assumption that you will marry your UK-based partner within the 6 months of the visa’s validity.
Once your Fiancé Visa runs out, you must put in an application for another immigration permission to stay within the UK. The easiest option is to begin an application for the Spouse Visa, which would offer you 30 months of residence in the UK. Under the Spouse Visa, you can work and study without any restrictions.
Eligibility for the UK Fiancé Visa
The applicant and their partner must meet a certain set of requirements. The main points of eligibility are:
- You and your UK-based partner are both over the age of 18 years old
- You and your UK-based partner must be planning to get married within the 6-month long validity period of the Fiancé Visa
- Your UK-based partner must be a UK citizen or hold settled status in the UK
- You and your partner must intend to live in the UK once you enter your marriage or civil partnership
- You must be able to prove that you have the ability to financially support yourselves as a couple and are not at risk of becoming financially unstable and relying on state support. As a couple, your combined income must be at least £18,6000 a year
- You must be able to prove that you and your partner have suitable accommodation that you can live in, with each other and any dependents.
- If you are or have been non-English speaking, you must take an approved SELT test which will prove that you have the ability to understand and communicate in English to the level of A1 as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Financial Requirements for the UK Fiancé Visa
When applying for the visa, it will be necessary for you to prove that you can meet certain financial eligibility criteria and minimum financial thresholds. You will need to provide evidence to the Home Office that you and your UK-based partner will have enough money to sustain and support yourselves and any dependents whilst in the UK.
As a couple, your combined yearly income should be no less than £18,600 and if you have any child dependents who will be coming to the UK with you, this number will increase by £3,800 with your first child and £2,400 for every child after your first.
To prove your financial situation, you can use any of the following:
- Regular salary through employment or self-employment
- Statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity or adoption pay
- Savings, stocks and shares
- Pension payments
- Property financial gains, such a regular income from rent
It is important for you to know as a Fiancé Visa applicant, that with this visa you will not be considered a permanent resident of the UK. This means that you will not have access to public funds whilst holding this visa.
Documents Required for UK Fiancé Visa Application
In the application process for this visa, it will be necessary for you to submit certain information and documents that will ensure that you are eligible. Information will need to be given about yourself, and your UK-based partner, plus any dependents that will be traveling from the US to the UK with you.
It would be wise when preparing for your application to go through this list and ensure you have all this information prepared and ready.
- Your name and date of birth
- Copies of your photo page of old passports and visas
- Information surrounding your relationship with your UK-based partner, including how long you have been in a relationship, how you met each other and how regularly you see each other
- Details of previous marriages or individuals you have had children with
- Divorce certificates but only if applicable
- Details of any previous criminal convictions
- Details of any countries outside of the UK which you have previously lived in or visited
- The date of birth and nationality of your parents
English Language Requirements for the UK Fiancé Visa
If you are or have been non-English speaking, it will be necessary that you fulfill an English language requirement in order for you to be successful as a Fiancé Visa applicant. There are some individuals that will be exempt from this, which will be discussed.
Demonstrations of your level of English reading, writing, listening, and speaking will need to be at least at the level of A1, which is set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This can be done by passing a SELT test at this level, at any approved English language test center. You will then receive a pass certificate which can be added to your portfolio of documentation previously discussed.
Those that are exempt from needing to prove an English language requirement include:
- Those who hold a degree or higher qualification which was taught in English and an educational institution formally recognized by NAIRC
- Those over the age of 65
- Those who are a recognized refugee
- Those who are victims of domestic abuse
- Those who have a physical or mental condition that would prevent you from sitting the SELT exam
The Genuine Relationship Requirement for the UK Fiancé Visa
In order for you to receive your Fiancé Visa, you will have to provide evidence that proves you are indeed in a genuine relationship with your UK-based partner.
To do that, you will need to provide bank statements of any of your joint accounts, documents that show details of any accommodation you have lived in together, and the birth certificates of any children you have together.
You will also have to provide divorce certificates where applicable, reference letters from family/friends/professionals who have known you as a couple, and information on how you met/how often you see each other/how long you have been together.
Costs and Processing Times of the UK Fiancé Visa
As of now, the costs for a UK Fiancé Visa are £1,523 when applying from the US.
When applying for the visa, there is no specific wait time or schedule on when you may receive a decision regarding your application. When applications are more detailed and are completed fully to required standards, it can be expected that you will receive a decision quicker.
However, if your application is missing important information, the processing stage will be significantly delayed. In these instances, immigration officials will probably contact you to request the necessary information for your application to be successful.
Generally, decisions on applications for the UK Fiancé Visa are received between 2 to 3 months after the application is received by the Home Office.
Receiving a Decision for the UK Fiancé Visa
If your visa application is approved, you will be allowed to remain in the UK for up to 6 months. Within this 6-month period, you must get married to your UK-based partner and abide by the rules and conditions attached to your visa permissions.
When traveling from the US, you will be required to report to border control when you arrive in the UK. It is imperative you bring photocopies of your key documents, discussed earlier, and all the information from your application when you arrive in the UK
In most cases, you will not be able to apply for any extensions to the fiancé visa. Exceptional circumstances that prevented you from getting married to your UK-based partner in the 6-month eligibility period may be considered at the discretion of the Home Office as bounds for an extension. In order to receive an extension, you will need to fulfill the same requirements as the first time around and your circumstances must not have drastically changed.
The alternative is to switch from the fiancé visa after 6 months to a longer-term form of immigration permission like the spouse visa if you wish to make the UK your home.
Switching to a UK Spouse Visa from the UK Fiancé Visa
The Fiancé Visa is known for offering an easy transition to receiving a Spouse Visa in the UK. You will need to go through the usual application process for the Spouse Visa, but you will be able to do this within the UK instead of the US if you apply before your Fiancé Visa expires.
As a Spouse Visa holder, you will have permission to work and study in the UK for the whole period of time you are here. Furthermore, the time that you live in the UK with a Spouse Visa will count towards the minimum residency requirements that are needed to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship.
Under the Spouse Visa, you will have permission to remain in the UK for 30 months and can then apply for an extension to the Spouse Visa when this period expires if your situation has not changed. This extension would also last for another 30 months.
Once living in the UK under a Spouse Visa for 5 years, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to remain. This is a more permanent form of residence, which allows you to stay in the UK without any restrictions.
After staying in the UK for a year under Indefinite Leave to remain, you can then apply for full British Citizenship. Holding citizenship would allow you to apply for a British passport and enjoy all the full benefits of being a citizen of the UK.
At Total Law, we are professional immigration lawyers that help individuals obtain visas and immigration permits. We can help you get a UK Fiance visa if you are in the US. Our immigration services cover the following:
- Assessing your eligibility and necessity for a Fiance visa
- Advising on the evidence and documents to provide
- Completing a high-quality application for you
- Liaising with the Home Office on your behalf
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
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With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
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