UK Visa Options for Civil Partners
Previously, the law only allowed same-sex couples to be civil partners.
In 2005, civil partnerships were introduced for same-sex couples which offered almost identical rights as marriage; including inheritance, tax entitlements as well as property.
However, in 2018 Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan won their legal bid at the Supreme Court for the right to have a civil partnership as an opposite sex couple rather than a marriage. As a result, the rules were changed, and civil partnerships are now available to everyone in England and Wales!
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019, which came into force on the 2nd of December 2019 amending the eligibility criteria in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 enabled opposite sex couples to register civil partners under the law of England and Wales. Following the Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019, mixed sex couples in the UK entered civil partnerships.
See here a helpful guide on the differences between Marriage and Civil Partnership: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/851152/Marriage_and_Civil_Partnership_in_England_and_Wales.pdf
An example of a successful application for opposite sex couples registering as civil partners is published within Independent. To read more, please visit: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/civil-partnerships-mixed-sex-legal-uk-new-years-eve-a9265676.html
There are various UK Visa options for those who are:
- Planning to register as Civil Partners
- Registered as Civil Partners and would like to reside in the UK
If you are planning to register as Civil Partners
|Visa Options||a. Proposed Civil Partner Visa||b. Marriage Visitor Visa|
|Who is it suitable for?||This route is ideal for those planning to register their civil partnership in the UK in order to join a sponsor/partner who is ‘settled’ in the UK.||This route is suitable for those who wish to register as civil partners in the UK, however, do not intend to reside within the UK thereafter.
|What are the eligibility requirements?||In order to qualify for this specific visa, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that:
· Your partner is British 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 adequate accommodation for you (and your dependents)
· You speak and understand English to an adequate level
|In order to be eligible, you must prove that:
· you’re 18 or over
· free to give notice of marriage, to marry or enter a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of your arrival
· you must be in a genuine relationship
· 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 ability to meet the cost of the return or onward journey
|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)||
What is ‘settled’ status?
‘Settled’ status is defined as ‘free from any restriction on the period which he/she may remain in the UK, and ordinarily resident in the UK’. In other words, an individual who has ‘settled’ status has identical rights to a British citizen; they have the right to work, the right to remain in the UK and the right to access healthcare and welfare.
Who is a ‘sponsor’?
In an application as a proposed civil partner, the ‘sponsor’ is the person with whom the applicant intends to register a civil partnership.
Do proposed civil partners have a right to appeal?
Yes, there is a full right to appeal should the visa application be refused.
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, individual cannot get public funds or bring family members (‘dependants’) – they must apply individually. In addition, individuals will not have the ability to extend or switch their current visa for another one. Further to this, individuals cannot work or study for more than 30 days.
If you have ALREADY REGISTERED as Civil Partners and would like to reside in the UK:
|Civil Partner Visa|
|What is it?||A civil partnership visa UK allows foreign nationals to enter or remain in the UK where they are in a civil partnership with a British citizen or a person with UK Settled status, i.e. someone who is living in the UK lawfully with no time limit on their stay. To qualify for entry to the UK, you will need to be granted entry clearance prior to your arrival.|
|Who is it suitable for?||This route|