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Partner-visa

 

 

UK partner visas

 

 

If you have a partner who is living in the UK, or if you are living in the UK and have a non-UK partner you'd like to bring to the UK with you, you're in luck. There are a variety of partner or spouse visas that you and your loved one can apply for. Visas are available to those married to (or in a relationship with) a British citizen, or an EU national or even a non-EU national.

immigration-ukpartner-visa

Partners of British citizens

It is relatively easy for British citizens to bring their spouse or partner to the UK on a spouse or partner visa. There are a variety of relationships that qualify in this regard, so you should never feel put off from investigating your options just because your relationship is non-traditional.

UK spouse visa basics

This visa class covers three different partner statuses: Married partners, unmarried partners and fiancés. 

The partner visa, which is initially issued for a two-and-a-half year period, allows the partner to work without restriction in the UK. You may also exit and re-enter the country multiple times. At the end of the two-and-a-half years, you will need to extend the visa in the UK for a further two-and-a-half years.

In order to apply for the visa you must:

  • Have met Have met (not just online)
  • Live together Intend to live together permanently
  • Financial requirements Meet the financial requirement (see below)
  • Language requirements Meet the English language requirement
  • imm-accommodation Have satisfactory accommodation in the UK

You must apply for the visa outside of the UK in your home country.

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Eligibility and requirements

Married partner

You can apply for a visa  if you are lawfully married to a British citizen. This is the most common type of partner.

Unmarried partner

If you are in a long-term relationship with a British citizen, you can apply for a visa if you have been cohabiting for two years.

Fiancé

As the fiance of a British citizen, you can apply for a visa if you intend to get married or become civil partners within six months.

The financial requirements

If both the applicant and the British citizen are resident in the UK, then the requirement can be met by either partner. If the British citizen is resident overseas, then the earnings requirement must be met by the British citizen alone. If the cash savings route is taken, then it can be held jointly or separately. One of the following criteria must be met:

  • Gross income Annual gross income of £18,600* (or the Pound equivalent)
  • Combination Cash savings of £62,500* (or the Pound equivalent)
  • Savings A combination of the above

* If children are included in the application, then these financial requirements increase accordingly.

Indefinite leave to remain

The UK spouse or partner visa counts as qualifying time in the UK towards indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Read more about indefinite leave to remain.

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Partners of EU nationals

A European Union (EU) national can bring their spouse or partner to the UK on a six-month EEA Family Permit. 

Understanding your EEA family permit

The EEA family permit covers two different partner statuses:

  • Married partner
  • Unmarried partner

The visa, which is initially issued for six months, allows the partner to work without restriction in the UK. You may also exit and re-enter the country multiple times.

In order to apply for the visa, you must:

  • Have met Have met (not just online)
  • Live together Intend to live together permanently
  • Moving Intend moving to the UK within six months
  • Accommodation Have satisfactory accommodation and financial resources in the UK

You must apply for the visa outside of the UK in your home country.

During the six months, the partner or spouse can apply for an EEA Family Residence Card, which is valid for five years.

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immigration-ukpartner-visa

Partners of non-EU nationals

Many people are surprised to discover that a non-EU national can bring their partner or spouse to the UK on a dependant visa. This is only possible if the non-EU national holds a visa from some specifically designated visa classes.

What kind of a visa does your partner need?

You may apply for a UK dependant visa when you are married to (or in a long-term relationship with) someone who holds a valid:

  • UK Ancestry visa
  • UK student visa
  • UK work permit
  • UK Tier 1 visa

In all of these cases, you must apply for the visa outside of the UK, typically in your home country.

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How you can qualify

The visa is initially issued for the same period as the length of time remaining on the main visa holder’s visa. The Home Office can refuse an application where this is a short period of time, although this is not specifically referred to. The visa allows you to live and work freely in the UK.

In order to qualify, you must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Married Be married to or in a long-term relationship of more than two years with an eligible visa holder
  • Moving Intend on moving to the UK within six months
  • Live together Intend to live together permanently

Extension and indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

An extension of this visa occurs when the main visa holder applies for their own extension. If the main visa holder applies for ILR, then the partner can either qualify to apply for ILR (visa dependent) or would need to apply for a further extension.

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South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120

Durban

201 The Annex
Ridgeside Office Park
Umhlanga +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom

London

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

Croydon

5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
CR2 6PU +44 (0) 20 7759 7581

Australia

Melbourne

9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 7070528) registered in England and Wales. Sable International is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Board in South Africa (FSP no. 41900) and holds an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (AFS License number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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