Fiancé/Fiancée visa is for 6 months with no right to work. You have to get married within 6 months and apply for a Spouse visa, which ca an be on 24-hour service. Spouse visa allows work.
Spouse visa allows working in the UK immediately. It is for married couples and also for civil partners who registered their relationship with the Register Office. If you/your partner are outside the UK, you can get married there or you can use a Fiancee option to get married in the UK. A visa is for 30 months (2.5 years) but you get extra 3 months when applying outside the UK to give you more flexibility to plan the move to the UK.
Unmarried Partner visa is similar to Spouse visa in terms of length and path for settlement. However, the qualifying condition is different. Instead of being married you need to prove you have lived together for 2 years. Alternatively, you can get married, or register a civil partnership, and get a Spouse visa.
Book a consultation with a lawyer here, online, by email or in person. From our London office, we serve customers anywhere in the UK and the world, since the visa rules are the same for all nationals!
There are several concessions, which you may be eligible for. Examples: your income was affected by Covid-19 disruptions or lockdowns, or you were on furlough. You couldn’t extend your visa on-time because you were ill or self-isolating. You spent more time abroad than planned because of travel restrictions. You can read about the most common situations here on our Blog.
Switching to a Spouse/Partner visa can only be done from a non-visitor visa, such as Student, Graduate, Youth Mobility Scheme and many others. If you are on a visitor status, you have to return to your country and apply from there. You may be able to switch, however, If you have exceptional circumstances. If the Government approves your visa, they will grant a visa in the 10-year route.
5-year route is a standard one, meaning you can qualify for permanent residency after 5 years in the UK. The 1st visa is for 30 months (2.5 years) if you apply inside the UK, such as when switching from a Student visa. Or for 33 months (2.5 years + 3 months) if you apply outside the UK. Then extension for further 2.5 years, then settlement.
10-year route is used when you have serious, exceptional circumstances why you cannot meet the requirements of the standard route. The 1st visa is again for 30 months (2.5 years), but you need further 3 visas until you can settle in the UK after 10 years. There may be better solutions, however, such as switching from the 10 to 5-year route or settling after 10 years on any visas.
It is the same for all options in the standard 5-year route. Can be income from employment or self-employment in the UK or abroad, savings, property income and other permitted sources (or combination). Savings amount is £62,500 and not £16,000 or £18,600 as it is often (wrongly) thought. We have a detailed page on Financial Requirement here. It is our speciality and we have unbeatable expertise!
If you are unable to meet the threshold now, we can help you to work out how and when you can. Very often, we see clients unable to meet it now, so we guide them to meet it in 6 or 12 months’ time. It may seem like a long wait but you will have a plan of exactly what to do and what to aim for. This is a safer way than ‘trying’, waiting for up to 3 months and having your visa refused (and visa fees lost). If your partner is a visa national, they would usually have to remain outside the UK during this time. If your partner is a non-visa national, they can visit the UK during this time before returning to their country to apply for a settlement visa.
If you have serious exceptional circumstances why you cannot meet the £18,600 threshold, we will guide you on the application under 10-year route. This depends on your situation, and we approach each case individually.
If you do not have a valid visa in the UK, we will guide you on applying under 10-year route. Maybe you overstayed your past visa, came to the UK as a visitor and remained since, and would now like to obtain a legal status here. This includes situations if you were brought to the UK as a child and are now looking to regularise your stay as an adult. We will advise on your chances on success under the 10-year route, and if your application is successful, you could later switch to the 5-year route to speed up your path to settlement. Book a consultation now.
By far the biggest challenge is to figure out what supporting evidence you need in your circumstances. When you engage our services, we make a list of documents that is tailored to your situation and cover Financial, English and the rest – all in one place!
Standard visa processing times are 8 weeks for applications inside the UK for switching from another category (Student to Partner etc) or extension (Partner to Partner). For settlement, Indefinite Leave, it takes up to 6 months. The timing starts from the appointment for biometrics. You can also get a decision within 24 hours for additional Government fee, although it is currently suspended by the UK Government until further notice. The eligibility rules and documents are the same, so we don’t charge more than normal for our fees.
Applying outside the UK: standard service 3 months, priority – 30 working days. At the moment (2022), Priority services are suspended and standard processing time may take up to 6 months, as per the Government page https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk#join-family-in-the-uk
A spouse or a registered civil partner of a UK citizen has to secure permanent residency after 5 years, then can apply for naturalisation. An unmarried partner has to wait for a year after permanent residency.