Westkin Associates – Help I’ve fallen in love with a Brit, what do I do?
In this blog we will provide an overview of the options for migrants whom are in relationships with British Nationals or persons whom have settled in the UK (known as having Indefinite leave to remain or ILR) – Please note the rules are different if your partner is an EU National.
What are the visa options to enter or remain in the UK?
If you are in a romantic relationship with a British national or a person with ILR then there are a few visa categorises at your disposal.
Firstly if you have already married then you may qualify for a Spouse visa, this includes persons whom have undertaken a same-sex or heterosexual union that are akin to marriage, such as a civil partnership. Some lesser forms of Civil unions may not however be accepted so it is always best to check this with a UK immigration expert.
If you are outside the UK and not married yet and you wish to marry in the UK, you can apply for a Fiancée visa, this would give you the right of entry for 6 months to marry your partner. After you have married the visa allows you to remain in the UK to make an application to vary your status to a Spouse visa.
Finally if you have been living with your partner either inside or outside the UK for a period of 2 years or more, then you can apply for a visa as an unmarried-partner. The rules for this visa largely the same as the above two visas however applicants are expected to be able to produce at least 10 documents per year to show that they have lived with their partner.
For all three visas there is a requirement that your partner has adequate income or savings to look after you and that there is adequate accommodation for you to stay in the UK. If you are from a non-english speaking country then you may also need to take a basic English language test.
What if I just want to get married in the UK?
If you are currently outside the UK and you just wish to obtain permission to marry your partner in the UK (regardless of if they are British themselves) then you should apply for a “marriage visitor visa” – This visa which should not be confused with a fiancée visa, allows a migrant to enter the UK to marry, so long as they are planning on leaving the UK within a 6 months period. The requirements of this visa are more relaxed that the aforementioned Fiancée visa.
Please note that it is not possible to marry in the UK using just a normal visit visa, you must make an application for a “marriage visitor visa”.
Can we get married somewhere else?
Yes, the UK recognised any legal married , anywhere in the world, just make sure you have a certified translation of your marriage certificate. Once you have your certificate you will be able to make the application for a Spouse visa.
I’m married to a British national, where can I apply for my Spouse visa from?
If you are married to a British national then you can apply for a spouse visa from any country where you hold nationality or you hold a form of long term residence visa, this does not include visit visa.
As such if you are in the UK as a visitor you will not be able to make your application from inside the UK, you would be required to exit the UK and apply from your Home country or the country where you hold residence.
If you are in the UK on any non-visit visa then you are apply for vary your leave to Spouse or even unmarried-partner visa.
If you would like more specific advice, including the exact requirements of each visa, you can visit our website or contact us to discuss your case.
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1 Maddox Street
0207 118 4546