Which partner visa to apply for?

Which partner visa to apply for?

Deciding which partner visa is right for you can be tough when you’re new to all this and don’t really know what you’re doing.

Well, it all starts with learning more about the options and the consequences associated with choosing them.

We’re going to cover all of the most important things you need to know about partner visas, what your options are, as well as the costs and fees associated with them and much more.

Read on now to start learning all about partner visas.

Choosing a partner Visa

Select one of the 3 options below.

Do you want to apply inside or outside UK?

Click here

Do you or your partner intend to make the UK your permanent home?

Click here

The different types of Partner Visas

Spouse Visa

A spouse visa allows you to settle in the UK where your husband or wife is currently settled.

Your partner must have permanent residency, indefinite leave to remain or be a British citizen.

FLR M Visa

AN FLR M visa allows you to stay in the UK and extend your visa if you’re already in the UK, as long as you have a partner with permanent residency, indefinite leave to remain or they are a British Citizen.

Fiancé(e) Visa

A fiancé(e) visa allows you to enter the UK and stay for 6 months, in which time you’re expected to marry your partner.

Your partner must have permanent residency, indefinite leave to remain or be a British citizen.

Unmarried Partner Visa

If you’ve been living in the UK with your partner for 2 years, you can get an unmarried partner visa.

Your partner must have permanent residency, indefinite leave to remain or be a British citizen.

You can apply from Inside the UK or Outside the UK for an Unmarried Partner Visa.

Marriage Visitor Visa

A marriage visitor visa will allow you to come to the UK for 6 months to marry your partner in that time.

Standard Visitor Visa

Standard visitor visas last 6 months and they can’t be extended while you’re in the UK.

Should you apply inside or outside the UK?

Applying Inside the UK

If you’re inside the UK, the only type of visa you can apply for is an FLR M visa.

Applying Outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK, you can apply for a spouse visa, fiancé(e) visa, marriage visitor visa or standard visitor visa.

How do I get Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residency?

Not all visas can lead to indefinite leave to remain and the ones that do vary in terms of how long it takes to achieve it. Find out about all that information below.

Spouse Visa

After 5 years, a spouse visa can lead to indefinite leave to remain after extending the visa via an FLR M visa.

  • Spouse Visa (33 months)
  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain

FLR M Visa

The FLR M visa can be applied for twice, and after that indefinite leave to remain can be achieved after a total of 5 years.

  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain

Fiancé(e) Visa

With a Fiancé(e) Visa, it takes just over 5 years to get Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

First, you would apply for a Fiancé(e) Visa (6 months), then an FLR M Visa (30 months), then you would apply for a second FLR M Visa (30 months) and then Indefinite Leave to Remain.

  • Fiancé(e) Visa (6 months)
  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain

Unmarried Partner Visa

Similarly, an unmarried partner visa can lead to an FLR M visa and later indefinite leave to remain. If you’re applying inside the UK, you’ll need a first and second FLR M visa.

Inside the UK

  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain

Outside the UK

  • Spouse Visa (33 months)
  • FLR M Visa (30 months)
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain

Marriage Visitor Visa

The 5-year qualifying period cannot be worked towards with a marriage visitor visa.

UK Visitor Visa

A UK visitor visa doesn’t count towards the 5-year qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain either.

What are the financial requirements for each Partner Visa?

Spouse Visa

Your UK partner needs to earn at least £18600 annual income but it can be lowered if they have substantial cash savings.

FLR M Visa

£18600 annual income is required and the income of the applicant and the sponsor can be combined. Cash savings can also be used.

Fiancé(e) Visa

Your UK partner needs to earn at least £18600 annual income and it can be lowered if they have substantial cash savings.

Unmarried Partner Visa

Your UK partner needs to earn at least £18600 annual income and it can be lowered if they have substantial cash savings.

Marriage Visitor Visa

You have to be able to show you can support yourself without working and without using UK benefits. You must also be able to pay for the cost of your flights. Your UK partner can help with this.

How much are the Partner Visa fees?

VisaHome Office FeeImmigration Health SurchargeTotal Cost
Spouse Visa£1523£1200£2723
FLR M£1033£1000£2033
Fiancé(e) Visa£1523£0£1523
Unmarried Partner Visa (applying inside UK)£1033£1000£2033
Unmarried Partner Visa (applying outside UK)£1523£1200£2723
Marriage Visitor Visa£93£0£93
UK Visitor Visa£93£0£93

When considering these options, you should remember that the Fiancé(e) visa will only be valid for 6 months and before it expires you will need to apply again with an FLR M if you want to extend it.

You will then have to pay for that application in accordance with the fees listed above. So, a Fiancé(e) visa could end up costing you more in the long-term.

Do you and your partner intend to make the UK your permanent home?

Yes, we do intend to make the UK our permanent home

If you intend to make the UK your permanent home, there are a few visas that are suitable for you, including spouse visas if you’re applying outside the UK, FLR M if you’re applying inside the UK, Fiancé(e) visas and unmarried partner visas.

One type of visa that’s not a good idea for you is a marriage visitor visa.

It will only last for 6 months and you will have to return to your home country before that visa term ends.

You can’t simply stay in the UK and extend it from there.

There are some instances in which a standard visitor visa might work for you. It’s good for people who want to sample life in the UK before committing to a longer-term stay here and the money involved in that.

Similarly, you might not want to stay longer than 6 months in one go.

Finally, it’s a good option for people who don’t qualify for a spouse visa yet.

No, we don’t intend to make the UK our permanent home

The two visas that’ll be suitable for you if you don’t want to make the UK your permanent home are the marriage visitor visa or the standard visitor visa.

The others won’t be suitable for you because they all require you to make the UK your permanent home going forward.

Do you want to work?

There are three partner visas that allow you to work in the UK and those are the spouse visa, FLR M and unmarried partner visa.

The ones that don’t let you work in the UK are the Fiancé(e) visa, standard visitor visa and the marriage visitor visa.

What is your English language ability?

There are English language requirements attached to some partner visas, so if your English language skills are still at a beginner level, you might find it difficult to qualify for certain visas. Here are the specific requirements for each partner visa.

Spouse Visa

For spouse visas, you need to have a minimum A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

FLR M

For an FLR M visa, you need to have a minimum A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Fiancé(e) Visa

For the fiancé(e) visa, you need to have a minimum A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Marriage Visitor Visa

There is no English language requirement for this visa.

Unmarried Partner Visa

If making an unmarried partner visa application inside the UK, you will need an A2 level and an A1 level if you’re applying outside the UK.

Standard Visitor Visa

There is no English language requirement for this visa.

Is it easy to take a tuberculosis test?

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that impacts the lungs and because of its highly contagious nature, there are some visas that require you to take a test to prove you don’t have it.

This can be difficult because the test has to be carried out at a Home Office approved clinic and for some, these can be tricky to access.

There’s a list of countries that you should check because people coming from these places have to get a TB test before their visa is approved if the visa is a spouse visa, fiancé(e) visa or unmarried partner visa.

You usually don’t have to get a TB test if you are applying for an FLR M visa, unmarried partner visa (Inside the UK), marriage visitor visor or standard visitor visa.

Should I risk applying for a UK Visitor Visa?

There is a risk that if you’re refused for one visa, you can be more likely to be rejected again when making further applications in the future. That’s why you should think carefully before applying for a standard visitor visa.

If you don’t have confidence you’ll succeed in your application, you should not make the application in the first place. If you do have an application rejected and you decide to apply again, you should be sure to address the reasons outlined for your original refusal.

Would it be easier if we get married?

This is a difficult question to answer, but in some ways, applying for a spouse visa is easier to apply for than an unmarried partner visa.

There are more documents to deal with if you’re applying for an unmarried partner visa, whereas spouse visas only required a marriage or civil partnership certificate along with other basic supporting documents.

Unmarried partner visa applications require the supporting documents and evidence that they’ve been living together for at least two years before the application was made.

But if you put together a good application, there should not be any problems.

How will previous UK Visa refusals affect my partner or Settlement Visa Application?

If you’re applying for the same kind of visa as the one you’ve already been refused, it will definitely make a successful application more difficult for you.

These applications tend to be judged more harshly and more scrutiny is applied to them.

There are a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of your second application being accepted.

Firstly, you should make sure your application is as strong as it can be.

Also, when writing your covering letter, you should cover your previous application refusal and explain why those refusal reasons don’t apply to your new application.

What are some things I should know about Partner Visa documents?

There are some documents that all types of partner visas require.

They don’t need to be originals anymore; you can provide copies in most cases.

If the documents are not in English or Welsh, they must be translated.

Translated documents should come with the translator’s credentials, the date, translator’s signature and a confirmation of accuracy.

What are the Partner Visa UK Application forms called?

Spouse Visa

You can make an online application on the visa4uk site and you’ll need to complete VAF4A financial requirements form.

FLR M

You can complete a paper form or online form.

Fiancé(e) Visa

You can make an online application on the visa4uk site and you’ll need to complete VAF4A financial requirements form.

Unmarried Partner Visa (applying outside UK)

You can make an online application on the visa4uk site and you’ll need to complete VAF4A financial requirements form.

Unmarried Partner Visa (applying inside UK)

You can complete a paper form or online form.

Standard Visitor Visa

You can make an online application on the visa4uk site.

Marriage Visitor Visa

You can make an online application on the visa4uk site.

Hopefully, the information above will have provided you with the answers you need.

But don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need more help with UK visas and you feel professional assistance is required.

UK Partner Visa infographic

Use this graphic to help you decide which Visa to apply for.