Have you ever visited the United Kingdom? Even if you haven’t, its culture, natural beauty, and history have been well represented all over the world. It makes you have a desire to go and live there.
For some people, the idea of a dream is to tie the knot on UK soil. While this sounds like a great plan, and getting married in London or some small church in Derbyshire is a viable option you mustn’t forget about one thing – visa. Having married in the UK, if you’re not a citizen or a resident requires a visa. Here you have two options available – UK’s Fiancée and Marriage Visas.
The marriage ceremony is a stress on its own. Doing it in a foreign country where you’re not even aware of your options, obligations, and law requirements can be even harder. Applying for a visa is not a straightforward process.
The bureaucracy in the UK regarding immigration is strict and not even those in love will get a pass. This is why it is paramount to get acquainted with your options before you make a move. Let us aid you with that.
The Essence of UKs Fiancée and Marriage Visas
When you desire to go to Great Britain and get married you’re presented with the two options we already mentioned. Both serve the same purpose, but the preparation and the outcomes are different. Depending on your purpose of visit, and other necessities, they differ a lot. Let’s check out the Fiancée Visa.
Fiancée Visa is issued for individuals who are planning to come to Great Britain to get married to a person who is a UK citizen or has settled on the island. We are talking of a short-term visa which is issued for a period no longer than six months. Once you tie the knot, you need a different type of visa and a new application.
The second option is of course the Marriage Visa. This one is issued if you have made your commitments to a GB citizen or resident and now you desire to move abroad and live with them. So, while the former visa is issued to those who want to get married on UK soil, this one is intended for those who are already married but still haven’t been together in the UK.
Fiancée Visa Eligibility Criteria
Love is one thing; immigration to the UK is another beast. While you might believe that you deserve to attain a Fiancée Visa, it will not happen before you meet the criteria. Just some of the boxes you need to check include:
- You need proof of your relationship status. Both of the partners should be without commitments, in love, to know each other personally, and spend some time together outside of the UK.
- Beyond the proof of a relationship, to attain this visa the future partners also must meet a few additional requirements – the biggest one being financial one. The partner based in the United Kingdom needs to meet minimum wage requirements or provide proof of savings.
- The third thing on the list of essential requirements is of course accommodation. The UK-based partner needs to provide proof of possession of adequate accommodation.
- Last but not least, the incoming partner needs to show their knowledge of the English language.
If you meet all that’s needed and attain this visa, it will be worth up to six months, and in that time frame, you need to get married. Once the knot is tied, you’ll have to apply for a different visa.
Eligibility Criteria for Marriage Visa
As you could probably guess, the criteria for a marriage visa UK are much stricter. Here is what you require to be able to get this visa:
- First of all, you must be married. When applying, proof of a civil partnership will also do the trick and needs to be presented to the authorities.
- In terms of finances, the UK-based partner needs to possess a substantial amount of savings and regular income.
- Language barriers mustn’t exist and both partners should speak the language. Depending on the country from where you’re coming from, English test could even be mandatory
- Beyond all of that, the most important part needs to be proof of a genuine relationship.
This visa is valid for 2.5 years. After that period you can ask for an extension or seek a different visa depending on your status.
What About Financial Requirements
As you already saw, both of these documents require you to file some sort of financial guarantee for the incoming partner. We are talking about a minimum income required. Every year, this amount needs to be at least £18,600.
If the GB-based partner doesn’t have regular income he needs to provide proof of substantial savings. The amount of money or savings required increases if the married couple has children. The UK government is strict in this department for one sole purpose – they want the pair to be able to afford the costs of living in the UK without the need to rely on public funding.
Visa Application Process
The process to attain either of these visas is not simple and you need to approach it with care. First of all, you need to fill out an application form. After that, you need to deliver all the necessary documents that will make this process start motioning.
When we say documents, it refers to all the requirements we listed above. Once the two initial steps are done you’ll move to the biometric check which is followed by a health surcharge. Once you’ve completed these steps all that is left is to wait for the decision, which will arrive in a few weeks.
Moving to the UK to be with your loved one is possible, but not without effort. You need to fill out a lot of applications, deliver tons of documents, and have your love persist through it all. Once in the UK, it’s vital to take good care of rules and regulations in order not to break the limitations of your attained visa.
Living in the UK is a privilege and as such you need to respect it through the visa application process and consequently as a resident.