What is the difference between a Spouse Visa and a Fiancé Visa

When it comes to joining your partner or spouse in the UK, there are several visa options available, including the UK spouse visa and fiancé visa. While these visas may sound similar, it’s crucial to understand the key differences among them.

Fiancé Visa

The fiancé visa is designed for individuals who are engaged to be married to their partner. They should either be a British citizen or have settled status in the UK. To meet the eligibility requirements for the fiancé visa, applicants must demonstrate their intention to marry within six months of entering the UK.

Spouse Visa

The spouse visa is intended for individuals who are already married or in a civil partnership with their British partner or someone with settled status in the UK. While the fiancé visa is valid for only six months, the spouse visa allows individuals to stay in the UK for up to 30 months.

The spouse visa can also be extended, whereas the Fiancé visa cannot.

Requirements of a UK Fiancé Visa

Here are the main eligibility criteria:

  • Your partner must be a British national, hold indefinite leave to remain, limited leave to remain under Appendix EU, or limited leave to remain under Appendix ECAA.
  • Both you and your partner must be at least 18 years old.
  • You and your partner must have the intention to live together permanently in the UK and provide suitable accommodation arrangements to the Home Office.
  • Upon entering the UK, you must get married to your partner within six months.
  • You must satisfy the English language requirement.
  • You need to provide evidence that any previous relationships or marriages have ended.

In addition to the above, there are some financial requirements:

  • Your partner must have an annual income of at least £18,600.
  • If you plan to bring dependents (e.g., children) to the UK, there is an additional financial requirement of £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 per child for any additional ones.
  • You must provide proof of a genuine relationship, including evidence of having met your partner in person.

Spouse Visa Requirements

You must meet the following requirements:

  • You and your partner must pass the ‘Genuine Relationship Test’ to convince the Home Office that your relationship is legitimate.
  • Your marriage must be lawful.
  • Both you and your partner must be 18 years of age or older.
  • You must be married to or in a civil partnership with a British national or someone who has permanent residency in the UK.
  • You and your partner must have lived together for a minimum of two years before making the visa application.
  • You need to meet the necessary financial requirements and demonstrate that you will not rely on public funds.
  • You must provide evidence of suitable accommodation in the UK where you, your partner, and any dependents will reside.
  • You must satisfy the English language requirement by demonstrating a strong understanding of English.

Individuals entering the UK on a fiancé visa are not permitted to work during the initial six months, which is the period before their marriage or civil partnership. However, once married or in a civil partnership, successful applicants for a spouse visa are allowed to work in the UK without any restrictions.

Changing from a Fiancé Visa to a Spouse Visa

Many individuals who enter the UK on a fiancé visa subsequently switch to a spouse visa. You can apply for a spouse visa from within the UK itself. While the processing time for the application can take up to 12 weeks, it usually does not exceed this timeframe.

Need help processing your visa? Contact our team at 020 8578 7778.

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