If a Civil Partner Visa is the right path for you, it’s important to make sure that you get the application right on the first try, to save you both time and money. Our London-based team of immigration lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and experience that is needed to guide and assist you through the visa application process. We help clients from across the globe increase their chances of successfully applying for a UK Visa, such as visas suitable for civil partners.
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There are various UK Visa options for those who are either:
- Planning to register as civil partners
- Already registered as civil partners and would like to reside in the UK
Please note that if you are married, there may be more suitable routes such as the Spouse Visa. There is a helpful guide on the differences between marriage and civil partnership (in England and Wales) that you can read through by clicking here.
If you are planning to apply for a UK Visa as a civil partner, you will have to choose a route that is specifically suitable for your situation. You may have to consider many factors, including your desired length of stay. The main visa routes that may be applicable are as follows:
- Proposed Civil Partner Visa – 6 months of stay – This route is ideal for those planning to register their civil partnership and settle in the UK. In this case, the sponsor/partner you are joining must either be ‘settled’, or be a British or Irish citizen.
- Marriage Visitor Visa – 6 months of stay – This route is suitable for those who wish to register as civil partners or get married in the UK, but do not intend to reside within the UK afterwards.
In order to successfully apply for a Civil Partners Visa, you must meet the specific requirements of your chosen route. You must also be able to clearly highlight that you meet these visa requirements in your application, which can be done with a well presented and to-the-point application.
In order to qualify for this specific visa, you will need to show the Home Office that:
- Your partner is British, Irish, or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
- You are both over 18
- You have met in person
- You are both free to enter a civil partnership
- Your relationship is genuine, and you intend to live together permanently in the UK
- Any previous relationships have broken down completely
- You intend to enter a civil partnership within 6 months of your arrival in the UK
- You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds
- There is suitable accommodation for you (and your dependants)
- You speak and understand English to a satisfactory level
In order to be eligible, you must prove that:
- You are both 18 or over
- You are free to give notice of marriage, to marry, or enter a civil partnership in the UK, within 6 months of your arrival
- You are in a genuine relationship
- You will be visiting the UK for less than 6 months and leaving the UK at the end of your visit
- You are able to support yourself without working or help from public funds, and can meet the cost of the return or onward journey
If you are unsure whether you are meeting these criteria, or need help building a strong case, please contact our team.
A Family Visa as a civil partner allows foreign nationals to enter or remain in the UK, so long as they are in a civil partnership with a British/Irish citizen or a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain. To qualify for entry to the UK, you may need to be granted entry clearance prior to your arrival. This route would grant you 2 years, 9 months of stay.
The requirements for this visa are similar to the Proposed Civil Partner Visa. Generally, you will need to prove that:
- You are both over 18
- Your partner is British, Irish, or has obtained ILR
- You are in a recognised civil partnership
- You have a good knowledge of English
- You are financially indepndent (meaning you can support yourself and any dependant, without help from public funds)
As a team that specialises in immigration law, we can offer comprehensive guidance on the requirements and routes that are most relevant to a civil partner seeking access to the UK.
We will help you submit a convincing application that minimises the risks of a lengthy appeals process. We will make sure that you are applying for the right Civil Partner Visa, meet all of the requirements, and have all of the necessary documentation.
FAQs for the Proposed Civil Partner Visa
What is the ‘settled’ status?
Settled status is defined as “free from any restriction on the period which one may remain in the UK, and ordinarily resident in the UK” in paragraph 6 of HC395. In other words, an individual who has ‘settled’ status has certain rights similar to a British Citizen. They usually hold Indefinite Leave to Remain; they have the right to work, remain in the UK and access healthcare and welfare.
Who is a ‘sponsor’?
Do proposed civil partners have a right to appeal?
Yes, there is a full right to appeal should the visa application be refused. The Visa Appeals’ process can be drawn-out and costly. A very strong case will be needed to make the home office reconsider their decision. It is best to work with qualified lawyers such as our team in order to minimise the likelihood of an appeal being needed.
FAQs for the Marriage Visitor Visa
What rights do individuals on a Marriage Visitor Visa have?
You can marry or enter a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of your arrival, however, you must use a venue licensed for this purpose. You can also pass through the UK in transit.
On this visa, individuals cannot get public funds or bring family members (‘dependants’) to the UK – they must apply individually. In addition, individuals will not have the ability to extend or switch their current visas for another one. Further to this, individuals cannot work or study while on this visa.
How much does a Marriage Visitor Visa cost?
The application costs £100, but you may have to consider any additional costs such as legal support, any document translations or similar fees.
FAQs for Family Visa (as a Civil Partner)
How long can I stay in the UK on a Civil Partner Visa?
Civil Partner Visas are initially issued for a period of 2 years and 9 months. A further extension may be sought for an additional 2 years and 6 months.
How much does it cost?
If you are applying from outside the UK, the application fee is £1,538 – otherwise, it is £1,048 if you are applying in the UK. Any dependant added to your application will incur the same fees per person. You may also have to consider additional costs such as legal help, biometric enrolment fee or any documents needing to be translated.
Can I obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain through this visa?
With an extension, this visa route can offer you 5 years of stay. After you have spent a period of 5 years on a Civil Partner Visa, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, so long as you are still in a civil partnership.
Do civil partnerships only apply to same-sex couples?
Initially, those who would have pursued visas suited to civil partners would have been in same-sex relationships. That is no longer the case, with Civil Partner Visas now applying to a much wider demographic.
On December 2nd of 2019, the Civil Partnership (Opposite-Sex Couples) Regulations 2019, came into force, amending the eligibility criteria in the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Both same-sex and opposite-sex couples were legally permitted to enter civil partnerships, opening up new visa options to those now applicable.