What is a UK Fiance Visa?
The UK Fiance Visa can give you the chance to relocate from South Africa to the UK and begin a life with your British partner. It’s the first step for many couples who wish to make the UK their permanent home. If you are granted the UK Fiance Visa you will be allowed stay in the UK for 6 months to marry your partner.
If you want to remain in the UK after this 6 months is up time you will need to apply for another UK immigration category, such as the Spouse Visa. You will be eligible for the Spouse Visa once you have married your partner and this will allow you to live, work, and study in the UK for up to 30 months.
Its worth noting that the Fiance Visa doesn’t allow you to work in the UK.
The eligibility requirements
In order to be eligible to enter the UK as a fiancé you must be in a serious relationship with a British Citizen or person with settled status in the UK. You also must have been in a relationship for at least two years as well as meeting in person at least once before you make the application. As well as this there are several other requirements you will need to meet to be granted a Fiance Visa.
These requirements include:
- Passing the Genuine Relationship test
- Proving you intend to marry or enter a civil partnership with your partner whilst you are in the UK
- Meeting the financial requirement, including having a combined income of at least £18,600 per annum
- Demonstrating your knowledge of the English language
- Showing you intend to live together in the UK once you are married
- Proving you and your partner will have suitable accommodation whilst in the UK
South African citizens will also need to pass a Tuberculosis test before coming to the United Kingdom on a Fiance visa.
Applying for a UK Fiance Visa from South Africa
An application for a UK Fiance Visa can only be made from outside the UK, so you must apply whilst you are still in South Africa. You should start your application by filling in the form on the gov.uk website and paying the application fees.
Before starting your application, you should make sure that you have all of the documents and information that you will need, these include:
- Your name and date of birth
- A passport or other valid form of ID, you will need copies of the photo pages as well as any old visas you may have
- Your parent’s date of birth and nationality
- Information about you and your partner’s relationship
- Details of any previous marriages and divorce certificates if applicable
- Your Tuberculosis test results
You may also be required to submit more information.
The English language requirement
Due to its many national languages, South Africa is not recognized as a majority English speaking country. This means that to get a UK Fiance Visa you must be able to prove that you have a knowledge of the English language.
To do this you will need to prove that you can read, write, speak, and understand the English language. You can do this by passing a SELT test at a registered UK test centre at level A1.
You will need to submit your pass certificate when you make your application.
You don’t have to demonstrate your knowledge of English if you hold a qualification of degree level or higher that was taught in English.
The Genuine Relationship Test
The genuine relationship requirement is one of the most important requirements when it comes to being granted a UK Fiance Visa. It is used to assess whether your relationship is genuine and long-lasting. To to meet this requirement you will need to provide a portfolio of evidence from your relationship.
Information you may need to submit includes:
- Bank statements from any joint bank accounts you may have
- Information detailing your relationship, such as where you met and how long you have been together for
- Reference letters from family members of professionals to support your claims of a genuine relationship
There are many other types of documents and information you can include in your portfolio to pass the genuine relationship test.
How can IAS help?
At the Immigration Advice Service our attorneys have vast knowledge when it comes to UK Fiance Visas they are highly trained and can help you with an application for a visa. We understand just how complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating this process can be, especially when you are eager to begin your life in the UK with your loved one. So, our attorneys will work hard to make the process as stress-free as possible and give you the best chance of having a successful application.
One of the most complicated aspects of the UK Fiance Visa process is having all the evidence you need to meet the requirements, particularly the genuine relationship requirement. Our attorneys can assess you on your eligibility and will help you to gather everything you need for your portfolio, and they can even write you a Letter of Representation to submit alongside your application to support it.
Applying for any UK Visa from South Africa can seem complex when you are so far away, but our IAS attorneys will be there to provide you with all the information you need as well as answering any questions you may have. They offer appointments over the phone and via Skype call and can carry out all of their services this way, ensuring you get all the help you may need.
To learn more about how one of our attorneys can help you, or to begin your Fiance Visa application today simply enquire online or call out team on 0333 305 3612.
Switching from a UK Fiance Visa to a Spouse Visa
The UK Fiance Visa gives you entry to the UK for a period of 6 months, during this time you should have married your partner in the UK. At the end of this period you will need to apply for another type of visa to stay in the UK, the most common choice is the Spouse Visa, this is also known as the partner visa.
The Spouse Visa allows people outside of the UK to remain here as a partner of a British Citizen or settled person, you will be eligible once you are married to or in a civil partnership. The visa is valid for up to 30 months, if you do not wish to return to South Africa after this time then you can apply for an extension of your Spouse Visa which will be valid for another 30 months.
You can apply using the online form on the gov.uk website, you should apply before your Fiance Visa expires. To be eligible you must be able to meet the requirements, many of which are similar to the requirements for a Fiance Visa, such as proving your relationship is genuine and that you have a knowledge of the English language.
If you would like to continue living in the UK once your Spouse Visa extension runs out then you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR is an important step for you and your partner to be able to live together permanently in the UK, being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain status will give you the freedom to live, work, and study in the UK without immigration restrictions and you can apply after living in the United Kingdom for 5 years under a Spouse Visa.
If you don’t wish to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain you can also apply to extend your stay in the UK if you apply for another Spouse visa extension.
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It will usually take around two to three months to get a decision about your Fiance Visa application, but this process can be delayed if you are required to submit any more information. To speed up the process you should ensure there are no errors in your application and that you submit a comprehensive portfolio of evidence alongside the application, our attorneys can help you do this.
If you need a decision quickly then the Home Office also offers priority services for a fee. Our attorneys also offer a fast-track application package that can see your application completed and submitted in as little as 24 hours.
Once the application has been made our attorneys can continue to monitor its progress and give you regular updates.
Usually, you will not be able to get an extension of a Fiance Visa as you are expected to get married within the period of 6 months. However, in some circumstances, you may be able to get an extension if you have been unable to get married within this time and have a good reason for this.
For a Fiance Visa extension you will need to meet the original requirements of the Fiance visa and provide evidence for the reason that your marriage or civil partnership has not already happened.
If your application for a Fiance Visa gets refused by the Home Office then you may be able to appeal the decision and get the Home Office to reconsider your application.
If you wish to launch an appeal you must do so as quickly as possible and our attorneys offer an Appeal Package to assist you through the process. They will explain everything you need to do and will help you gather any more evidence that you may need.
Speak to our attorneys about your appeal today on 0333 305 3612, they are here to help
The current application fee for a Fiance Visa is £1,523. You should also consider other costs, like that of your English language test and other services you may need such as document translations.
If you have a child under the age of 18 who is with you in South Africa then you can apply to bring them with you as your dependent under the Fiance Visa. It’s important to note that you will also need to pay the visa application fees for any dependents you wish to bring with you.