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Partners of British citizens or those with indefinite leave to remain can make an application for leave to enter or leave to remain and these applications will be dealt with under Appendix FM and Appendix FM(SE). It is not always easy to follow the Rules as the paragraphs are not numbered but labelled and Rules refer to other Rules in different sections. We hope to bring some clarity to the requirements by answering some of the most popular questions.

In order to make a valid fiance visa UK application you need to use the correct application form and pay the application fee. Applications also require payment of NHS surcharge. The correct application form will depend on the case. A successful application under Appendix FM will generally result in a grant of leave to enter or remain. During this time, the person is allowed to work but cannot have access to public funds. An applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years in this category. The exception is where an applicant is granted on the basis of “exceptional circumstances” in which case the application will be granted under the 10 years route.

For the fiance visa UK application to be successful an applicant must meet certain requirements. These are divided into suitability criteria and eligibility criteria. The suitability criteria will look at the applicant’s character, check if there are any reasons why he or she should not be admitted or allowed to remain in the UK. The eligibility criteria concern the relationship between the applicant and the sponsor, maintenance and accommodation including a requirement of knowledge of the English language. Knowledge of English language must be demonstrated in applications for leave to enter or remain.

What is a fiance visa?

A fiance is a person who wishes to enter the UK with a view of marriage to a sponsor who is either present and settled in the UK or British.

What is meant by present and settled?

Present and settled means that the sponsor is either settled in the UK and is physically in the UK or is coming to the UK with or to join the applicant with the intention to make the UK their home. Settled is defined in paragraph 6 of HC395 and means free from any restrictions on the period on which they can live ordinarily in the UK.

Is there a requirement for the couple to meet?

The applicant has to have met his or her fiance before making the application and there have been a number of Tribunal determinations on how to interpret the phrase “to have met”. Entry clearance officers in each case, will look into whether the parties have made the acquaintance of each other, and that will be a question of fact.

What if the divorce process for one of the partners is not yet finalised?

An entry clearance would not be refused for this reason alone, as long as you can provide evidence that the divorce proceedings are well under way. While the divorce may well come through within six months, thereby enabling the couple to get married, the entry clearance officer should be aware that divorce proceedings may take longer. Should one of the parties still be waiting for a divorce whilst in the UK, they can apply for an extension of the fiance visa in the UK and once married can apply for leave to remain as a spouse, and obtain leave for 30 months.

What immigration conditions apply to a fiance visa?

The applicant should initially be admitted to the UK for six months and will not be allowed to take employment until after the marriage.

What are the fiance visa requirements?

In order to qualify for a UK fiance visa, the applicant needs to satisfy the UKBA that:

  1. Your partner is British or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain or Limited Leave to Remain under Appendix EU
  2. You are both over 18
  3. Have met in person
  4. Both free to marry
  5. The relationship is genuine and the couple intend to live together permanently in the UK
  6. You intend to marry within six months of your arrival in the UK
  7. Any previous relationship has broken down permanently
  8. There will be adequate maintenance in the UK without recourse to public funds by meeting the financial threshold.
  9. There is adequate accommodation for the applicant
  10. Can satisfy the English language requirement

What are the financial requirements for a UK fiance visa ?

There is usually a financial requirement that the sponsor earns £29,000. There is a further requirement that you must earn an additional £3,800 for the first child and an additional £2,400 for any further children. The financial requirements under the family immigration rules often pose the greatest difficulties to prospective applicants. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance in understanding these rules.

What counts towards the £29,000?

Usually the £29,000 will come from a sponsor’s specified employment. In respect of salaried employment in the UK, the following evidence must be provided:

  • Wage slips for the past 6 months with one employer or the past 12 months with more than one employer
  • A letter from the employers who issued the wage slips
  • Personal bank statements corresponding to the same period as the wage slips
  • Rental income can be included to make up £29,000. In order to rely on rental income you will have to provide:
    • Confirmation that your sponsor owns the property, either by a copy of the title deeds, the title register from the Land Registry or a mortgage statement
    • Personal bank statements for the past 12 months showing that the rental income was paid into an account in the name of the sponsor
    • A rental agreement/contract
  • A pension can also count towards the £29,000. In order to rely on a pension, you will need to provide:
    • Official documentation from the Department for Work and Pensions (for the Basic State Pension and the Additional or Second State Pension)
    • Official documentation from a pension company, confirming pension entitlement and amount
    • At least one personal bank statement in the last 12-months showing payment of the pension into the sponsor’s account

Self-employment

If your sponsor is a self-employed director of a limited company, you will need to demonstrate that he or she is indeed the director of the company and that the shares are held directly or indirectly by him or her. The following documents must be provided:

  • Tax Returns for the last financial year and evidence that this has been filed with HMRC. This evidence may take the form of an electronic or written acknowledgement from HMRC
  • Evidence of registration with the register of companies at Companies House
  • If the company is required to produce annual audited accounts, copies of such accounts
  • If the company is not required to produce annual audited accounts, the latest unaudited accounts and an accountant’s certificate of confirmation (this must be issued by an accountant who is a member of a recognised UK supervisory body)
  • Corporate/business bank statements for the last year and one of the following documents:
    • Certificate of VAT registration and the latest VAT return confirming the VAT registration number if the turnover of the company is in excess of £73,000
    • Proof of ownership or a list of business premises
    • proof of registration with HMRC as an employer for the purpose of PAYE and national insurance
    • a PAYE reference number
  • Where the person is listed as a director of a company and receives a salary from the company, all of the following documents must also be provided:
    • Pay slips and P60s covering the same period as Company Tax Returns CT600
    • Personal bank statements covering the same 12-month period as the company Tax Returns CT600 (the statements must show that the salary as a director was paid into an account in the name of the person)
  • Where the person receives dividends from the company, all of the following documents must also be provided:
    • Dividend vouchers for all dividends declared in favour of the person during or in respect of the period covered (in addition, you must provide the Company Tax Return CT600 showing the company’s and the person’s details with the person’s net dividend amount and tax credit)
    • Personal bank statement(s) showing that those dividends were paid into an account in the name of the sponsor
  • Evidence of ongoing employment as a director of the company or of ongoing receipt of dividend income from the company

Savings

This requirement is £16,000 plus 2.5 times the shortfall of the sponsor’s employment under £29,000. This means that if your sponsor is unemployed, he or she will need to show savings of £16,000 plus 2.5 times £29,000. This would be a total of £88,500. Therefore, the sponsor and the applicant will have to show savings totalling £88,500.

Knowledge of English

You will need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove it with academic qualifications or by taking a test.

You do not need to take an English language test if you are over the age of 65 or have a physical or mental condition which prevents you from taking it, or you are a national of a majority English speaking country.

What are the Home Office fees for a fiance visa?

If you apply from outside the UK the cost of a fiancé visa is £1,846. If you apply in the UK it is £1,048.

You can pay for a super priority service to get a faster decision.

What happens after I get married?

After you get married, you will need to apply for a spouse visa to stay in the UK.

Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped.

If you have any questions about the process or would like to apply for a fiance visa, please contact Danielle or call on 020 7267 4133. Danielle will only charge you for the first consultation if you decide to become her client and if she can assist you.

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