Many people will be familiar with the ‘spouse visa’, a type of visa which allows a foreign national to live with their partner in the UK as long as the partner is either British or settled in the UK. However, there is another similar type of visa – the fiance visa. Both visas are separate categories under the broader ‘UK family visa’.


The fiance visa is ideal for couples who wish to start a new life together in the UK, but are not yet married or in a civil partnership. However, the fiance visa is just 6 months, and you must prove that you will wed within that period.


Although a fiance visa does not directly lead to indefinite leave to remain, the ability to switch to a spouse visa from the fiance visa can put you on the path to citizenship.


Keep reading to learn more about the fiance visa.


What is the eligibility criteria?


The requirements of the fiance visa are very similar to the spouse/partner visa, with two key differences:


1. You must prove that any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended

2. You must also prove that you plan to marry or become civil partners in the next 6 months


The remaining requirements are as follows:


  • You and your partner must be aged 18 or over when the application is submitted.
  • You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK.
  • The applicant and UK partner must have met in person.
  • Our relationship with your partner must be ‘genuine’ and ‘subsisting’
  • You and your partner are legally married in a marriage that is recognised in the UK;
  • Any previous relationship has broken down permanently
  • You satisfy a financial requirement.
  • You speak and understand English to a required level.
  • There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents.



What are the financial requirements?


When you make a fiance visa application, you must be able to provide evidence that you will be able to support yourself financially. Firstly, you and your partner must have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year if:


  • you’re applying as a partner
  • you want to settle in the UK (get ‘indefinite leave to remain’) within 5 years


This increases by £3,800 for your first child, and £2,400 for each subsequent child.


There are a number of ways that you can satisfy the financial requirements which include:


  • Employment income
  • Self-employment income
  • Savings
  • Investments in stocks and shares
  • Rental income


If you are in receipt of certain public funds, you may be able to relay on the adequate maintenance and accommodation alternative to satisfy the financial requirements. Please contact us for more information.


What are the costs and the processing times?


The cost for a fiance visa is exactly the same as a spouse visa – £1,846. For in-country applications this is £1,048. However, one advantage is that you won’t need to pay the immigration health surcharge while on the fiance visa. However, as it is likely that you will switch to a spouse visa, this will cost £1,560 for an in-country application if you are staying for 2 years and 6 months as of 4th October 2023.


While there is no specific timetable for the fiance visa, the processing time for the fiance visa is usually around 2-3 months on average after the application has been received.


However, it’s worth bearing in time that should you need your application to be processed faster than usual then you can apply for fiance visa entry clearance through the Home Office priority service. This costs around £500 to £800 but will mean that you will receive a decision within 1 week. Nevertheless, this is not always available depending on the country you live in.


What documents are required for a Fiancé Visa?


In order to apply for your fiance visa, you will need to provide the following information and evidence for you and any dependents:


  • all your names
  • your date of birth
  • your current passport or other valid travel ID
  • copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports
  • a copy of your biometric residence permit, if you have one
  • details of any previous immigration applications you’ve made
  • details of any criminal convictions
  • your national insurance number, if you have one
  • your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you’re applying from outside the UK
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh


You will also need to provide to the Home Office that your relationship is genuine and that you intend to marry within six months.


Finally, you will need to show that you speak and understand English to the required level to meet this requirement.  You can prove this by passing an approved English language test.


You must pass at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale for your first visa application. Level A2 if you wish to stay in the UK after your first visa and are intending to apply for a renewal. Level B1 if you are applying for settlement here in the UK.


How to switch to the spouse visa?


Once you have a fiance visa and are married, you can switch to a UK spouse visa. A spouse visa allows holders to stay in the UK for up to 33 months initially as well as to extend their stay for 30 months further.


It is important to make your spouse visa application before your fiance visa expires. If it does expire, you will need to leave the UK and apply for a Spouse visa anew.


When applying, you may need to attend both a visa application centre and/or an interview with the Home Office.


Contact us today to apply for your fiance visa and begin your new life in the UK!


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