The UK settlement fiancee/fiance visa, otherwise known as the prospective marriage visa, can be filed by eligible British citizens and lawful permanent residents of the UK who wish to bring their prospective spouse to the United Kingdom with the intention of getting married. If the foreign fiancee is qualified to receive this visa, she or he may be admitted to the UK for the purpose of concluding a marriage to the sponsor within a six-month period. After the marriage, the foreign husband or wife can apply immediately for a provisional spousal visa by making an application for further leave to remain or FLR(M) from inside the UK, which grants the holder conditional permanent resident status and allows to remain in the UK initially for two and a half years.
Generally, in order to file a successful application for a UK fiancee visa, you and your loved one must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- The sponsor must be either a British citizen or permanent resident of the UK. To be considered a UK permanent resident, you must be permitted to live and work in the UK indefinitely without restrictions on your stay. The qualifying sponsor must hold an indefinite leave to remain or right of abode in the UK. Eligible EEA nationals can also use this category to bring their non EEA-national fiancee/proposed civil partner to the UK.
- As the sponsor, you must demonstrate that you are present and settled in the UK or, if living overseas, expect to return to the UK to live before or at the same time as your fiancee arrives in the UK on a settlement visa. In order to submit a successful application, you must be financially secure and have suitable accommodation arranged for you and your loved one. You must be able to prove that you and your future spouse can afford to live in the UK and support yourselves and any dependents without requiring any disbursements of public funds.
- You and your fiancee must be legally free to marry in order to apply for a settlement fiancee visa. This means that both of you are single (never married or registered a civil partnership) at the time of application, or that any previous marriages and/or registered civil partnerships have ended through divorce, annulment or death. There is an exception to this rule – click here for details.
- You and your fiancee must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have met in person prior to filing your settlement application. You will need to provide sufficient proof that you have met face to face.
- Both you and your fiancee must have a serious intention to marry in the UK within six months after receiving a prospective marriage visa.
- You must demonstrate that you and your loved one intend to continue living together after the marriage.
- You must be able to prove that you and your fiancee have a bona fide relationship.
- One of the most important qualifying criteria set out by the UK Border Agency is that you must be financially secure and have adequate accommodation arranged by the time your fiancee or proposed civil partner enters the UK on a settlement visa. You must assure the British government that you are capable of supporting the person you wish to sponsor and can afford to live in the UK with your family, including any dependents, without requiring any disbursements of public funds.
- Effective 9th July 2012, to sponsor a foreign fiancee with no children the new minimum threshold is £18,600. This rises to £22,400 if there is one dependant, £24,800 for two children, £27,200 for three (£2,400 for each additional child involved in any settlement application). Sponsors are required to provide evidence to show that they meet the new threshold standards, unless exempt from the financial requirement under the new Rules.
Important Announcement: New UK Immigration Rules after 9 July 2012
Important reminder: Effective 29th November 2010, applicants who are not citizens of a predominantly English-speaking country, are required to take the mandatory English language test prior to applying for a UK settlement visa as a fiancee, proposed civil partner, husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried (de facto) partner of a British citizen or lawful UK permanent resident.