Saturday, 9 February 2019

Spouse, Fiancée or Unmarried Partner visa?

How are they different? What are advantages of each of them? Our helpful table below gives you the visa options for partners of UK citizens.

Spouse visa
Fiancée visa
Unmarried Partner visa
Marital status  Have to be married (or get married) and apply for a UK visa as a Spouse.  Allows you to come to the UK, get married within 6 months and then apply for a Spouse visa.  Instead of being married, you have to have lived together for 2 years.
Where to apply?
You can apply for a Spouse visa in the foreign spouse's country.
You can also apply inside the UK but only if your current UK visa allows such a "switch".
You can only apply for a Fiancée visa outside the UK, usually in the foreign partner's country. 

This includes a situation where your current UK visa allows to switch to a Spouse visa but you prefer to take the Fiancée route (such as if you need more time to meet the Financial Requirement). 
Same rules as for a Spouse visa.
Duration of the visa 
2.5 years, then extension for another 2.5 years, then permanent residency.
Unless you are put in the 10-year route which would need 2 more extensions.

We also have a post on our Blog explaining the difference between 5 and 10-year routes.  
6 months, then Spouse visa for 2.5 years , then extension for another 2.5 years, then permanent residency.  Same rules as for a Spouse visa.
Fewer steps due to fewer applications because each application attracts a government fee, health surcharge, having to meet the requirements and supply a specified pack of documents. 

Some considered it safer than a Fiancée application due to a lower rate of refusals.

Shorter time (by 6 months) to qualify for permanent residence. 

This visa allows to work from day one. 
Gives you 6 months to come to the UK, to plan a wedding here and settle in your new life here first. 
Another advantage is a UK-issued marriage certificate in English language. It may make your future like easier, especially for nationals who require a Schengen visa to travel to Europe (UK visas aren’t valid in Europe, this is not related to Brexit, it has always been the case).
Good option for couples who aren’t ready to get married.

This visa allows to work from day one. 
Disadvantages  The points covered in Advantages of a Fiancé/Fiancée visa.  It is a more expensive route in terms of the visa fees because of an extra application (another fee etc). It depends, however, on how expensive it is to get married in another country.

This visa does not allow working in the UK until you get married and secure a Spouse visa
Has the highest rate of refusals due to the difficulty of proving the ‘living together’ rule. Many couples did live together but can’t prove it in the prescribed ways, especially if they were travelling, lived in each other’s countries temporarily or lived with parents.

For individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: or visit our website: UK Spouse and Partner Visas page.

Let’s start working on your UK Spouse/Fiancee/Partner visa application!

1st4Immigration is a practicing immigration law company, accredited by the OISC at the highest Level 3, reference 200800152. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.

We also provide immigration training and CPD for lawyers and those preparing for OISC exam. We have classroom/livestream courses and online self-study courses, accredited by CPD Standards Office, ref 80001, and accepted by The OISC. Visit our OISC training page here. 

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