The legitimate partners of UK residents may be able to apply for a Partner Visa which will allow them access to the UK and a potential route towards settlement. These visas are commonly known as Family of a Settled Person Visa with the application varying on what member of the family is applying. For partners, there is a range of requirements that must be met and those requirements can further vary depending on the status of the partner i.e spouse, civil partner etc.
General application requirements
In order for any partners to successfully apply for a Partner Visa, they must meet certain general requirements that apply to all relevant subsections for application.
The applicant and their partner must be over the age of 18. The applicant’s partner must be settled in the UK through either being a UK or Irish citizen, have proven Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through relevant documentation, or have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
When applying, you must prove that you are able to financially support yourself as well as any dependents that you may have. A good level of English is also required and can be proven through a degree or an academic qualification or through a UKVI approved test.
In order for your visa to be approved, you must be able to show that your relationship is legitimate. A qualifying couple must have the intention to live together once their chosen Partner Visa is approved and applicants must meet further requirements.
Requirements to prove that you are in a legitimate relationship are as follows;
- You are in a legally recognised marriage or civil partnership; or
- You have been living with your partner in a relationship for at least 2 years; or
- You are planning to register your marriage or civil partnership within 6 months of entering the UK
For those who could not meet the above requirements, there can still be an application or extension put forth if any of the following situations are applicable:
- The applicant has a child in the UK who is a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years, making it unreasonable for them to be removed from the country.
- Living as a couple outside the UK would present difficulties for both parties that could not be overcome.
- It would breach an applicant’s human rights to block access to the UK or to make them leave.
Types of Partner Visas
If you intend to apply for a Partner Visa, you must consider the several applicable categories and choose a visa that is relevant to your situation. Here are the types of visas partners can apply for:
The Spouse Visa application allows for a married partner of a UK Citizen or Settled Person to gain access to the UK. In order to successfully apply for a Spouse Visa, you must be in a marriage recognised as legitimate by the UK government and prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. Other general requirements include adequate financial resources and suitable accommodation where you and your partner intend to live together.
If you are not yet married but wish to enter the UK in order to get married, the Fiancé(e) Visa offers the option to enter the UK for 6 months wherein you must get married (extensions are available amid mass delays caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and other compelling reasons). Once married, you may switch to a Spouse Visa providing that you meet
all of the relevant requirements.
Those in registered Civil Partnerships may apply for this visa. This is now open to both same-sex and heterosexual couples, as in 2019 opposite-sex civil partnerships became available in England and Wales.
All civil partnerships must meet the general requirements and can be granted a period of up to 33 months (30 if applying from within the UK). Civil partnerships are also covered under the Spouse Visa route which offers a 5-year path to ILR.
Proposed Civil Partner Visa
Those intending to enter a civil partnership may apply for a Proposed Civil Partner Visa, so long as they can prove that they have previously met in person and are both free to enter a civil partnership, with any previous relationships having broken down completely. Their relationship must be genuine and must plan to live together permanently in the UK with the intention of entering a civil partnership within 6 months of arrival in the UK.
Those who are in a relationship but do not wish to marry may also apply for a visa through the Unmarried Partner or Same-Sex Partner application. This is for couples, one of whom have qualifying UK status, who meet all of the relevant general requirements
and are in a legitimate relationship. It allows 2.5 years of access to the UK with an option to extend at the visa’s expiry.
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through a Partner Visa
Indefinite Leave to Remain offers partners the option to live together permanently. Partners may apply for a 5-year route to ILR which will offer not only the security of permanent UK residence but also the option to pursue British Citizenship.
How QC Immigration can help
Our skilled team offers an array of services that will assist you with the heightened chances of a successful application. We will ensure that you are pursuing the correct application, will provide customised advice and guidance and will ensure that any and all relevant documentation is well presented, clearly outlining your case, and is submitted to UKVI in a timely manner.
How much does a UK Partner Visa cost?
Applications submitted from abroad carry the current fee of £1,538. Those submitting their application form from within the UK will have a reduced fee of £1,048. Additionally, the charge will vary depending on whether you are applying with dependents and can also change depending on which country you are applying from. There may be additional fees, such as Immigration Health Surcharge, Biometric enrolment and optional Priority Service fees.
How can I qualify for the Partner Visa accommodation requirements?
Accommodation must have enough rooms to accommodate both the couple as well as any dependents that they may have, with individuals having enough space. However, couples can share the same bedroom and living rooms can be included when counting bedrooms.
There are additional requirements relevant to children including the following:
- Children under 1 do not need their own room
- Children aged 1-9 years old count as half a person
- Children aged 10 years or over count as an adult
- Children aged 10 or over of the opposite sex cannot share a room
What happens if my Partner Visa application is rejected?
If your chosen application is rejected, you may be able to appeal against the Home Office’s decision. In order to change their mind, you must put forth a strong application clearly highlighting why they should reconsider. It is a process that will benefit greatly from expert legal assistance.