UK Marriage, Fiancé(e) and Proposed Civil Partnership Visas

This article explains the rules you’ll need to meet when applying for a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partnership (UK marriage) visa.

It consists of 3 parts:


Part 1:          The Difference Between the UK Marriage Visa and UK Marriage Visitor

The Validity and Suitability Requirements

Part 2:          The Eligibility Requirements (Introduction)

The Relationship Requirements

Part 3:          The Financial Requirements

The Accommodation Requirement

The English Language Requirements

The Decision


This is part 1. You can jump to part 2 HERE and part 3 HERE.


The UK Marriage Visa or UK Marriage Visitor?

UK Marriage Fiancé(e) Civil Partnership Visas
UK Marriage Fiancé(e) Civil Partnership Visas

Before I explain the rules for Fiancé(e) and Civil Partnership visa applicants, it’s very important for you to understand the difference between UK marriage visas and UK marriage visitors.

These are two completely different immigration routes. Therefore, different sets of rules apply.

The UK Marriage Visitor route is usually for those who do not live in the UK and would like to come to this country solely to have a wedding ceremony.

The Fiancé(e) and Civil Partnership route (referred to as the UK marriage visa afterwards) is a route for someone who resides in the UK on a permanent basis (for example, as a British citizen) and wishes to marry someone who does not have a right to reside in the UK on a permanent basis (e.g. a visa-national student).


Three Requirements to Satisfy

For you to succeed in your UK marriage visa application, you need to meet the following three requirements:

  1. The Validity Requirements
  2. The Suitability Requirements
  3. The Eligibility requirements

UK marriage visa applications are predominantly submitted from outside the UK, and therefore, all rules, which I’ll explain below, are based on the assumption that you submit your visa application outside the UK. In legal terms, this is known as an entry clearance application.


The Validity Requirements

To meet the validity requirements, all you need to do is to make sure that you comply with the technicalities of the visa application process. There are five of them:

  1. The form

You’ll need to complete the correct application form


  1. The fee

At the time of writing this article, the visa application fee is £1,538


  1. Proof of Identity, Nationality and Age

Both, the applicant (the one who applies) and the Sponsor (the one who invites) will need to submit their passport with the application to confirm their identity, nationality and that they’re over 18.


  1. Biometrics

Home Office outsources the biometrics-taking process to its three commercial partners:

If you are outside the UK, it’s either VFS Global or TLS Contact. You can check which one accepts applications in your country HERE. If you are applying in the UK, it’s The Sopra Steria.


  1. No TB test or IHS

If your UK marriage visa is successful, it will be valid for only 6 months. For this reason, you don’t need to pay the IHS or provide the TB test certificate together with the application, even if your country is on the Appendix T list.


The Suitability Requirements

After assessing if you meet the validity requirements, the decision-maker will check if you comply with the suitability requirements. This is when they assess your character to see if there are any grounds to believe that you may not be ‘suitable for entering the UK’.

You’ll need to meet the suitability requirements at Section S-EC: Suitability-entry clearance.


Mandatory v Discretionary

UK Marriage Fiancé(e) Civil Partnership Visas
UK Marriage Fiancé(e) Civil Partnership Visas

If you read these requirements and pay close attention to the wording of these rules, you’ll note that there are two types of suitability requirements: mandatory and discretionary.

Any suitability requirements with the word ‘must’ mean they are mandatory. In other words, if this rule applies, the decision-maker has no choice and has to refuse the application.

Discretionary grounds, with the words ‘will normally’ or ‘may’, mean that the UKVI has discretion and can either reject the application but may choose not to.


Continue reading part 2 HERE.

UK Marriage, Fiancé(e) and Proposed Civil Partnership Visas