For couples looking to reunite in the United Kingdom, the UK offers two different visa options: a fiancee visa and a marriage visa. Both visas are intended to allow non-UK citizens to join their British partners in the UK, but the requirements and processes for obtaining them are different. Understanding the differences between the two visas can help you decide which one is right for you and your partner.
UK Fiancee Visa
A UK fiancee visa is a temporary visa that allows non-UK citizens to enter the UK for a period of six months to marry their British partners. This visa is designed for those who are engaged and have not yet married. Once the couple has married, the non-UK citizen can apply for a UK marriage visa to remain in the UK.
To qualify for a UK fiancee visa, the couple must meet a number of requirements, including proof of a genuine relationship, sufficient income to support both partners without relying on public funds, and the ability to provide suitable accommodation for the non-UK citizen. Additionally, the British partner must be a UK citizen or permanent resident and must intend to marry within the six-month period.
UK Marriage Visa
A UK marriage visa, also known as a spouse visa, is a long-term visa that allows non-UK citizens to remain in the UK with their British partners for an initial period of 30 months. After the initial period, the visa can be extended for another 30 months, and after five years, the non-UK citizen can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
To qualify for a UK marriage visa, the couple must be legally married and must provide evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship. The British partner must be a UK citizen or permanent resident, and the non-UK citizen must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as language proficiency and financial requirements. The couple must also be able to provide suitable accommodation for themselves without relying on public funds.
Differences between Fiancee and Marriage Visas
The main difference between a UK fiancee visa and a UK marriage visa is the status of the couple’s relationship. A fiancee visa is intended for couples who are engaged and have not yet married, while a marriage visa is intended for couples who are already legally married. The fiancee visa is a temporary visa that allows the non-UK citizen to enter the UK for a period of six months to marry their British partner, while the marriage visa is a long-term visa that allows the non-UK citizen to remain in the UK for up to 30 months at a time.
Another important difference between the two visas is the application process. The application process for a UK fiancee visa is typically faster than for a UK marriage visa, as the requirements are less stringent. However, both visas require a significant amount of documentation and evidence of a genuine relationship.
In conclusion, the UK fiancee visa and UK marriage visa are both designed to help non-UK citizens reunite with their British partners in the UK. However, the requirements and processes for obtaining the two visas are different, and it’s important for couples to understand the differences in order to choose the visa that best suits their needs.