UK Marriage Visa: Start Your New Life Together

A UK Marriage Visa allows the spouse or fiancé(e) of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK to join their partner in the country. There are several visa options depending on the relationship status and whether the applicant is inside or outside the UK. Here’s an overview of the key aspects:

Types of UK Marriage Visas:

  1. Fiancé(e) Visa (for Marriage)
    • Purpose: For those intending to come to the UK to marry their British or settled partner.
    • Eligibility: Must intend to marry within six months of arriving in the UK. Must both be over 18 and have met in person.
    • Duration: Six months.
    • Rights: Does not permit work. After marriage, applicants can switch to a Spouse Visa to stay longer.
  2. Spouse or Partner Visa
    • Purpose: For those already married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or settled person.
    • Eligibility: Must be married or in a civil partnership and intend to live together permanently. Must meet financial and English language requirements.
    • Duration: 30 months (extendable).
    • Rights: Allows work and study. Can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years.
  3. Unmarried Partner Visa
    • Purpose: For long-term partners of British citizens or settled persons.
    • Eligibility: Must have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years. Must meet financial and English language requirements.
    • Duration: 30 months (extendable).
    • Rights: Similar to the Spouse Visa, including work and study rights.

General Requirements:

  • Genuine Relationship: Evidence of a genuine relationship is essential, such as photographs, communication records, joint financial accounts, and living arrangements.
  • Financial Requirements: The sponsoring partner must meet a minimum income threshold of £18,600 per year, which increases if there are dependent children. Savings can be used to meet this requirement.
  • English Language: The applicant must pass an approved English language test at A1 level or have an academic qualification that was taught in English.
  • Accommodation: Suitable accommodation must be available for the applicant and any dependents.

Application Process:

  1. Prepare Documentation: Collect evidence of your relationship, financial status, accommodation, and English language proficiency.
  2. Submit Application: Apply online through the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. Pay the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
  3. Attend a Biometric Appointment: Provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) at a visa application center.
  4. Decision: Processing times vary, typically around 12 weeks for applications from outside the UK. Priority services may be available for faster processing.

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After Arrival:

  • BRP Collection: Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
  • Extension and ILR: After 30 months, apply for an extension of your visa. After five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), leading to permanent residency.
  • Citizenship: After obtaining ILR, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship after one additional year.

Important Considerations:

  • Legal Advice: It can be beneficial to seek advice from an immigration solicitor to ensure the application is complete and accurate.
  • Changes in Circumstances: Inform the UKVI of any changes in your relationship status or personal circumstances, as these may affect your visa.
  • Processing Delays: Be aware of potential delays in processing times, especially during peak periods or due to additional checks.

For the most up-to-date and specific information, visit the UK Visas and Immigration website or consult with an immigration solicitor.