Getting engaged is an exciting and romantic time. Even more so if it means moving to a new country and starting a new life.
But international love stories are not without their hurdles. Especially when it comes to immigration.
If you’re engaged to a British person and want to join them in the UK, you’re probably wondering how it all works. The first step is applying for the right visa.
Joining a fiancé(e) in the UK is part of the Spouse/Partner Visa category of immigration. As is usually the case though when it comes to relationships, each situation is different. That means it can be hard to find a way through the bureaucracy.
To help you towards a ‘happy ever after’, this article is an overview of the Spouse/Partner Visa. With a special focus on the fiancé(e) section and what you need to apply.
A Spouse or Partner Visa is granted to people in a genuine relationship with someone that lives in the UK. To apply, your partner must have one of the following:
This visa category is open for applications from people that are married, engaged, in a civil partnership or a long-term relationship.
Both parties need to be over the age of 18. You will also need evidence that the relationship has been ongoing for at least two years, with a clear intention to live together in the UK.
However, for applicants that are engaged, you must plan to get married within six months of entering the UK. And prove that any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended.
But that’s not all. Applying for a Spouse/Partner Visa as a fiancé(e) means you won’t be able to work during the engagement either. Only once you’re officially married.
So, it’s important to be financially prepared when planning to move to the UK for this reason.
Here are some additional requirements for a Spouse/Partner Visa:
Now, let’s find out how much it costs to apply, how long the application process takes and how long you can stay in the UK once the visa is approved.
The cost of applying for a Spouse/Partner Visa depends on where you are when you apply.
If you apply in the UK, it costs £1,033.
If you apply outside of the UK, it costs £1,523.
You will also have to pay healthcare surcharges and £19.20 to provide biometric information (fingerprints and photo).
For people applying from outside of the UK, the decision usually takes up to 12 weeks.
If you apply from inside the UK, the process is quicker and most people get a decision within eight weeks.
There is the option to use a priority processing service which costs £800.
If your visa application is approved as a fiancé(e), you will be allowed to stay in the UK for six months.
Remember that fiancé(e) visas are granted on the condition that you get married within six months. Once you’re married, you will be able to extend the visa to live in the UK with your spouse.
Then after five years you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (long-term settlement).
The Partner/Spouse Visa is just one way for people from outside of the EEA and Switzerland to join a partner in the UK. But there are other routes available if you don’t meet the visa conditions.
For example, you could apply for a work or study visa, both of which are two of the most popular immigration paths to the UK.
It’s also possible to visit the UK as a tourist or apply for a visa through British ancestry.
To find out more about joining family in the UK, feel free to explore the archive of visa guides on VisaFox.
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