If you are British or settled in the UK, and are recently engaged to a non-EEA partner, you may be planning for them to join you under the fiancé category of the Immigration Rules.
This blog will not cover the full spectrum of rules related to fiancé visas, but briefly answer the most common questions on the visa category.
My fiancé is in the UK with me, can we apply now?
No, to be considered for entry clearance as a partner the applicant must be outside the UK when submitting their application.
My fiancé and I have not met physically, can we still apply?
No, all partner-based applications require the sponsor and applicant to have met in person under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
My fiancé and I don’t live together, and never have. Will this be a problem?
Section GEN.1.2 of the rules does not expressly require a fiancé to have lived with their sponsor to meet the definition of partner, and so this will not cause a problem.
The applicant and sponsor must however evidence their intention to live together permanently in the UK. They must show that they are in a genuine and subsisting relationship and so will need to provide evidence of how they keep in touch with one another. This could include telephone records, online messaging, flight details showing visits, etc.
Do we need to submit evidence of our plans to marry?
As with many areas of Appendix FM, it is not explicitly required but worthwhile doing so. Fiancé visa applications are most commonly refused because the decision maker is not satisfied that the applicant is genuinely planning to enter the UK for marriage. To avoid the frustration of refusal, make sure you have adequately evidenced your wedding plans.
How detailed do the plans need to be?
There is no immutable rule on this, but credibility is key. It would be prudent to gather evidence which could include email correspondence with wedding venues, religious or humanist celebrants, receipts for items such as wedding dresses, engagement rings, etc.
If granted, how long can my fiancé remain in the UK?
Successful applicants are granted 6 months leave, during which time they must get married. It is not possible to extend the applicant’s leave if they fail to marry during this time. Upon marrying their sponsor, an applicant may then apply in-country for a standard spouse visa.
Is it worth the hassle?
Unless the applicant and sponsor are set on a UK marriage, it may be worth considering marriage outside of the UK. Seeking entry clearance as a spouse means avoiding the needs for two visa applications, and two fee payments to the Home Office.
The rules in Appendix FM are a strain to read, and the requirements are at once complicated and maddening. This means preparing a strong application can be very difficult to those unaccustomed. It is important to have someone assisting you who knows what the Home Office are looking for.
If you would like more information tailed to your situation, we offer consultations and a full application service to provide advice and assistance on the best course of action to take to secure your position the UK, please fill out our online enquiry form.
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