For the purposes of this visa, a “partner” is recognised as one of the following.

  • Civil partner
  • Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner or
  • A person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application.

For the purposes of this visa, a “partner” is recognised as one of the following:

  • Civil partner or spouse
  • Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner or
  • A person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the partner visa, you and your partner must both be over 18 and intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply.

Your partner must:

  • be a British or Irish citizen
  • have settled in the UK. This includes indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
  • have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

PROOF OF ELIGIBILITY

There are many conditions to be met to apply for a Partner or Spousal visa:

  • You must either be in a UK-recognised civil partnership or marriage or have cohabitated for at least two years.
  • You must prove that you can financially support yourself and any dependents.
  • You must have a good knowledge of English either through being a national of a majority English speaking country, an academic qualification or through taking an approved English language test. 

If you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, you will need to prove that you will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of your arrival. If your wedding or civil ceremony has been delayed because of COVID-19, you may be able to request to extend your stay. You can read more about this here.

You must prove that:

  • any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended
  • you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK

There are certain instances where you may be able to apply for a partner visa even if you do not meet these requirements. These include:

  • If you have a child in the UK who is a British or Irish citizen, or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK
  • If there would be significant difficulties for you and your partner if you lived together as a couple outside the UK that could not be overcome
  • If it would breach your human rights to stop you coming to the UK or make you leave

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • You can work and study in the UK

WHAT YOU CANNOT DO

  • You cannot claim public fund
  • You will not be able to work during your engagement if you are applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.

Length of stay

The initial partner visa grants entry for 2 years and 9 months. If you extend or switch your visa you can stay in the UK for a further 2 years and 6 months.

If you are applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, you can stay for 6 months.

After you have been in the UK for 5 years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as ILR, or permanent residence).

  • Once approved, you will typically be given permission to enter and remain in the UK
    for up to 2.5 years.
  • After 2.5 years you will be able to submit further applications to extend your visa, which would be valid for 2 years.
  • After 5 years in the UK in the family visa category, you may be granted permission to remain in the UK permanently.
  • After 1 year of Indefinite Leave to Remain you can then apply for British Citizenship.

Dependents

  • Any dependent children under the age of 18 may be added to your application to join you in the UK as your dependent.
  • You must demonstrate that you have enough funds to support your dependents in addition to the money you must have to support yourself.
  • The dependents will receive the same period of leave as the main applicant and will be able to work.

FAQ

Family Visa: Applying as a partner

If you are applying from outside the UK, you should make an application for a Partner Visa no more than 3 months before you plan to be in the country.

For applications made within the UK, you should make an application for a Partner Visa no more than 3 months before your current visa expires.

  • It takes between 8 to 12 weeks for the Home Office to make a decision on applications from outside the UK following submission. The timeline may currently be longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It takes up to 8 weeks for the Home Office to make a decision on applications from within the UK following submission. The timeline may currently be longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Priority service is available as an additional purchasing option for applications made within the UK with a decision made in either 5 days or 24-hours depending on the service chosen.

You may be able to extend your Partner Visa to stay longer and work towards achieving Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you are already in the UK on a Partner Visa.

You must have completed 2.5 years in the UK on the visa already and must resubmit evidence of your relationship with your partner.

You should apply to extend your dependants’ visas at the same time as you extend your own visa. If you cannot apply at the same time, it must be submitted before their current visa expires.

CONTACT US FOR OUR EXPERT ADVICE

There are many requirements to be met to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration. The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the evidentiary documents that must be provided.

Woodcock Law is well placed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on making a Partner Visa application. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous, but we can assist you in your application.

We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7712 1590 for our expert advice on such an application before any action is taken.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on www.gov.uk.