Both the marriage visitor visa and fiancé visa enable individuals to marry in the UK. In this article, we explore the requirements for a fiancé visa and consider when it may be beneficial to apply for this instead of a marriage visitor visa.
A fiancé visa is designed to enable individuals from outside the UK to enter in order to marry or enter into a civil partnership with their British partner or partner who is settled in the UK. It is not to be used by those whose partners are in the UK with leave under a different category, such as those with leave under the Points Based System.
UK fiancé visa: requirements
A fiancé visa will enable an individual from outside of the UK to enter for up to six months, in order to marry or enter into a civil partnership. Once the ceremony has taken place, an application can be made from within the UK to remain as a partner.
Individuals can however only apply for a fiancé visa if they intend to enter the UK to marry or enter into a civil partnership with a British citizen or a settled person.
The requirements to be met in order to obtain a fiancé visa are set out within Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules and are similar to those that then need to be met in order to obtain leave as a spouse.
An applicant and their partner will need to demonstrate that they meet a financial requirement, are in a genuine relationship and intend to marry in the UK within the six months validity of the fiancé visa. The applicant will also need to meet an English language requirement.
Due to the complex requirements to be met when applying for leave to enter the UK as a fiancé, we recommend that individuals plan the timing of their application well in advance, particularly if they have already made plans or bookings in relation to their wedding.
If an individual cannot meet the complex requirements necessary in order to obtain leave to enter the UK under the fiancé route, they may instead wish to apply for leave to enter the UK with a marriage visitor visa. Applicants should note however that whilst the requirements of a marriage visitor visa are less strenuous than those of a fiancé visa, the decision making process is more subjective. If an individual intends to remain in the UK after their marriage, the marriage visitor route is not appropriate.
When seeking to enter the UK for the purpose of marriage, it is vital that an individual carefully considers their plans for the future in order to apply for the correct type of leave from the outset.
UK fiancé visa: How we can help
We are often approached by couples who have obtained a marriage visitor visa but once married, want to remain in the UK together. Unfortunately, in such cases, the non-EU spouse is generally required to leave the UK and then apply to re-enter, often resulting in unnecessary time apart.
If you require legal advice about a UK visa application or wish to discuss your options, our immigration specialists are available for an initial consultation and can be contacted here.