UK Fiancé Visa (3 of 3)
This is the final of the trilogy of articles, which I wrote to explain the fiancé visa immigration route.
If you read the previous two articles, you already know that there are 3 elements to a successful UK Fiancé visa application.
- The Suitability Requirements
- The Eligibility Requirements
- The correct procedure.
The suitability requirements are about the criminality, dishonesty and debts to the Home Office (litigation costs) and NHS.
The Eligibility Requirements
The Eligibility Requirements consist of four main requirements: relationship, financial, accommodation and English language requirements.
In the previous articles, I’ve dealt with the relationship and financial requirements. In this article, I’ll explain the accommodation and English language requirements. I’ll finalise this application by explaining the correct procedure.
The Accommodation Requirement
The accommodation requirement is a part of the eligibility requirement. In order to meet it successfully you need to prove two elements:
- The property will not be overcrowded when you join your fiancé in the UK
- The property does not contravene public health regulations.
According to the Home Office guidance, the property will be overcrowded when:
‘the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling and the number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation is such that two persons aged 10 or over of the opposite sex who are not living together as a couple must sleep in the same room’.
You should not be concerned with public health regulations. According to the Home Office own admission, they are incredibly rare. I never came across one myself over the last 16 years of practising immigration law.
English Language Requirement
There are several ways of meeting this requirement. an :
- passing the exam at level A1 or above;
- providing academic qualification proving that you have a Bachelor’s degree or above awarded by an educational establishment in the UK (or recognised by NARIC, if abroad).
- Proving that you are exempt.
English Language Requirement Exemptions
There are three:
- You are from the majority of English speaking countries;
- You are over 65;
- You have a disability (physical or mental condition) or some exceptional circumstances which prevent you from meeting the requirement;
It consists of 3 main steps:
- Complete the correct form and submit it together with the correct documents;
- Pay the fee. It the time of writing, the fee for making such an application is £1,523. This excludes the NHS charges, English language test fees, the Tuberculous test (if you need to make one) and any legal fees. Please note that you will be charged this fee irrespective of whether your application is granted or not.
- Provide your biometrics.
Why You Should Avoid Applying for Fiance Visa
Guys, if you are going to get married anyway, I suggest that you do this in fiance’s country of origin.
There are a number of reasons. I’ll give you two most logical ones.
Time and Money
If You Marry in the UK:
Visa Application No1: Fiancé visa fee: £1,523
Visa granted for 6 months (this time will be disregarded for the purpose of calculating the time for a settlement application)
Visa Application No2: Spouse visa in the UK application No1: £1,033
It will be granted for 30 months
Visa Application No3: Spouse visa in the UK application No2: £1,033
Will be granted for 30 months
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 6 months + 30 months + 30 months = 66 months
Fees before your ILR (excluding Immigration Health Surcharge, biometrics, English language fees, etc.): £3,589
If You Marry Outside the UK:
Visa Application No1: Spouse visa in the UK application No1: £1,523
It will be granted for 33 months (this time is counted for the purpose of making a settlement application)
Visa Application No1: Spouse visa in the UK application No2: £1,033
It will be granted for 30 months
Indefinite Leave to Remain after 30 months + 30 months = 66 months
Total fee payable before your ILR application: £2,556 (this is only visa fee, I excluded IHS, biometrics and other related charges)
Risk of Refusal is Higher
When you apply as a fiancé, genuineness and subsistence of your relationship will be under much greater scrutiny than when you are applying as a spouse. When you apply as a spouse, generally, producing a marriage certificate will be enough.
The reasons for skipping one step in this immigration route are logical and very clear. Yet, I have seen a number of couples, who did not see it this way. I hope this article will help you make the decision, which suits your personal circumstances best.