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How To Apply For A UK Fiance(e) Visa

Discussion in 'UK Visa and Immigration Help' started by Micawber, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    This guide was created on at 15th September 2011 and is based upon the new UKBA website and information as announced on the 4th September 2011

    Please be sure to check for any updates and changes that may happen from time to time.

    We all share the same basic desires. We want to love, to be loved, to be together and to live 'happily-ever-after'.
    But the 'fairy tale' can be more complicated when you're in love and half a world apart in different countries, with immigration rules.
    Some important decisions have to be made. So what's it to be, a Fiance(e) Visa and UK wedding, or a wedding in The Philippines followed by a Spouse Visa?

    If you decide on the Fiance(e) Visa route to UK then hopefully the following guide might help:-

    The Fiance(e) visa is granted to those applicants who intend to marry (or to form a civil partnership) with British citizens and lawful permanent residents of the UK, and who want to settle permanently in the UK after the marriage or civil partnership.

    If you only want to come to UK to get married, or to register a civil partnership here, and then you will then leave the UK, you should apply as a special visitor for marriage or civil partnership.

    Being granted a Fiance(e) visa allows you entry to the UK for a period of 6 months. During which time you will be expected to actually get married and to subsequently make application for Further Leave to Remain (FLR), which allows conditional permanent resident status and allows the spouse to remain in the UK for a further two years. This period is not exactly a relaxing time, there is still plenty to do. Do remember, that until the marriage is concluded the visa is still counting down to expiry when, at that time, your fiancé(e) will need to return to their home country.
    Remember also that until FLR is granted by UKBA, the fiance(e) is neither allowed to work nor to access any public funds.

    The UKBA page specifically for Fiance(e)'s and proposed civil partners is here

    It's well worth taking a look and checking out the links provided.

    By its very nature this guidance is generic. It may not apply to any given set of conditions. Additionally you may find the ECO interpretations of compliance do vary. Some consulates are more rigorous than others, and some applicant profiles invite more scrutiny than others. Accordingly, this guide should not be taken as authoritative.

    Whenever posting documents to the Philippines use a secure delivery service such as DHL etc.
    Yes it costs a bit, but it’ll cost a lot more in time and money if the normal postal service loses them whether they are signed for or not, as the Philippine postal service is not secure.

    Finally, the UKBA recommend that you read their Information Guide.
    They suggest it can "help you decide which documents may be useful in supporting the statements that you have made on your visa application form (VAF)."

    And of course it makes a handy checklist.

    Due to size limitations within the forum set-up the guide has been split into 2 Chapters:-

    How To Apply For A UK Fiance(e) Visa - Chapter One
    This covers the Key issues in the eligibility
    Details of the documents you MUST include with your application, and
    Detailed information on Financial Requirements

    How To Apply For A UK Fiance(e) Visa - Chapter Two
    This covers detailed information on Accommodation Requirements, and
    Answers to FAQ's

    Here's wishing all you new applicants and sponsors sincere congratulations on your engagement, good luck to with your Visa Applications, and best wishes for your wedding plans and your new life together in the UK.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
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  2. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    How To Apply For A UK Fiance(e) Visa - Chapter One

    The key issues in the eligibility of a UK Fiance(e) Visa are:-

    Can we apply For a Fiancé(e) Visa?
    In order to apply you must show that:-
    - Your Fiance(e) (or proposed civil partner) is currently living and settled in the UK, or is returning to the UK with you to live there permanently.
    - You intend to marry or register a civil partnership within 6 months.
    - You intend to live together as husband and wife or civil partners after you are married or have registered your civil partnership.
    - You have met each other.
    - You meet the UKBA English language requirement.
    - Until you are married or have registered a civil partnership, there is somewhere for you and any dependants to live without help from public funds.
    - There will, when you are married or in civil partnership, be adequate accommodation where you and any dependants can live without help from public funds.
    - You and any dependants can be supported without working or needing public funds, before appllying to extend your stay as a spouse or civil partner.

    How Do We Apply
    See the UKBA information at How do we apply for a UK Fiance(e) Visa (in the Philippines)?

    What documents are required?
    You must send:-
    - 2 recent passport photographs and your passport - see the Photographs and passport page
    The applicant must present a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining.

    - Evidence that any previous marriage(s) or civil partnership(s) have broken down permanently.
    You and your fiancee must be legally free to marry. This means that both of you are single (never married or registered a civil partnership) at the time of application, or that any previous marriages and/or registered civil partnerships have ended through divorce,annulment,dissolution or death.
    Evidence would include Death Certificate of the deceased spouse/civil partner, evidence of divorce (eg divorce Decree Absolute), Annulment or Dissolution Certificate.
    Note: If the divorce / dissolution process is not yet finalised, the Fiance(e) Visa is not automatically refused for this reason alone. The ECO will need evidence that the divorce/dissolution proceedings are well under way.
    If one of the couple are still be waiting for finalisation of divorce/dissolution at the end of the 6-month leave to enter, they may apply to the UKBA for an extension of stay.

    - Evidence that you intend to marry or register your civil partnership within a reasonable time (usually 6 months).
    The ECO needs to be convinced that a marriage/civil partnership in the UK will take place.
    The law relating to marriage in England and Wales does not allow for any arrangements to be made with a Registrar until the foreign national has arrived in the UK. Of itself, a booking at a Register Office or church is not proof that a marriage will take place.
    However the ECO can reasonably expect the couple to have made some tentative plans for the wedding. Any evidence at all, however small, that's available to show that wedding arrangements are in hand will help in this respect.
    Think about including any facebook messages, e-mails or texts that specifically refer to wedding plans.

    - Evidence that you have met each other
    A relationship that has developed over the Internet would not satisfy the 'to have met' requirement unless the relationship included a personal face-to-face meeting between the couple concerned. Evidence of a face-to-face meeting might include a travel history (passport stamps, boarding passes etc.), Photo's of you both together as a couple, e-mails, Chat logs and Text messages showing that you had met.
    Although there is no requirement that two people must spend a specific amount of time together in person, it is reasonable to expect that the ECO may be skeptical of couples with only a very minimal face-to-face history prior to application.

    - Evidence that you intend to live together permanently after you have married or registered your civil partnership.
    Again think about all the evidence you might have (details of future plans, facebook messages, e-mails and texts etc)

    - Evidence of your English language ability - see the English language page

    - Evidence that you can maintain yourselves and any dependants adequately without needing public funds
    Please take a look at the Evidence of Maintenance (funds) page which clearly indicates the type of documents needed

    There really isn't any actual amount stated in the 'immigration rules' that indicate just how much is considered as 'sufficient'. It's up to the sponsor and applicant to prove there is sufficient for them to maintain themselves.

    Basically, the UKBA will be looking at the amount of money left after any regular non-discretionary expenditure (such as rent or mortgage payments, council tax and secured loans etc)
    Everyone has have different non-discretionary expenditure.(eg payments of Child support would also be considered a key fixed/regular payment)

    Various Immigration Tribunal's have concluded that it would not be appropriate to have immigrant families existing on resources that were less than the 'Income Support Level' for a British family of the same size. This is probably the best guide available.

    In principle this means that if it is more likely than not that the total amount of money that the applicant and sponsor will have to live on will be below what the income support level would be for a British family of that size, then it may be appropriate to refuse the application on maintenance and accommodation grounds.

    The 'Income Support' rates do vary each tax year - so make sure you know the current amounts. Key amounts for tax year 2011/2012 are £105.95 per week for a couple and £62.33 pounds per week for a dependent child.

    In many ways it's a bit of a myth that you absolutely must show plenty of savings. Maintenance (sufficient funding) can be proven by reference to both savings and/or regular income. However, most of those who have gone though the Fiance(e) Visa process would advise on having savings.
    It clearly costs quite a bit to cover the costs of Visa Application, Air fares, Weddings and supporting someone in settlement in UK. It would be reasonable to expect something like £2000 in the form of savings.

    Your bank statements will normally show your income and your outgoing expenditure. ECO's are not accountants but, if you are generally living within your means and can afford the cost of another adult consumer joining the household, this should be immediately obvious.

    Only those people with very low income that regularly leave them with a discretionary income close or equal to the equivalent of means-tested benefit might feel the need to make a budget plan to signpost how they can afford another consuming person in the house.

    Maintenance may be provided by either:-

    The applicant with their own funds or with funds available to them; Or
    The sponsor; or
    A combination of applicant and sponsor funds; or
    Third party support (from family members). The ECO may request evidence (for example, original bank statements over at least three months) of the third party's assets. Third party support is not precluded from consideration under the maintenance requirements relating fiancé(e)s.

    - Financial Standing
    The application must be supported by evidence that proves the applicant will not require public funds. Generally this takes the form of the sponsor/applicant (or co-sponsor) providing:-
    Bank Statements covering at least 3 months (preferably up to 6 months)
    Salary slips for at least the previous 3 months.(preferably up to 6 months)
    The sponsor's (co-sponsor's) employment contract (if the sponsor is not independently wealthy). A letter from the employer will suffice.
    The sponsor's (co-sponsor's) most recent P60.
    If the sponsor (co-sponsor) is self-employed, owns his own company, or if the sponsor (co-sponsor) is unemployed, then the employment contract and P60 can be substituted with certified copies of the previous 2 years' tax returns accompanied by a notarized version of his/her business accounts.
    If the sponsor (co-sponsor) is retired, then a statement from his pension scheme will do.

    If there are disproportionate deposits and withdrawals in the bank statements, they must be explained in the sponsor's letter, in fact explain as much as you can about the transactions.

    Now go to Chapter two to learn about Accommodation Requirements and more..................
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
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  3. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    How To Apply For A UK Fiance(e) Visa - Chapter Two

    - Evidence of your accommodation

    Accommodation - General Requirements
    The Rules require that there must be adequate accommodation for a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner and any dependants both up to and after the date of the marriage or registering of the civil partnership.
    The ECO will be looking for evidence that the accommodation complies with the following requirements:-

    - It is (or will be) owned or legally occupied for the exclusive use of the couple.
    - It is capable of accommodating the couple, and any children, without overcrowding as defined in the Housing Act 1985.
    - The ECO should be satisfied that housing the couple in rented accommodation will not be in breach of any tenancy agreement as regards sub-letting.
    - That no additional public funds will be necessary for accommodating the applicant in cases where the sponsor lives in accommodation from public funds.

    Accommodation (Home Owners)
    If the sponsor (or co-sponsor) owns his home, he should include a certified copy of the deed showing this, or other proof of ownership.
    If the sponsor has a mortgage, the appropriate entry from the Land Registry should be provided,(this is available online for a fee), or a letter from the building society.The mortgage payments should appear in the bank statements.

    Accommodation (Rented)
    If the sponsor rents a flat or house, a copy of the tenancy agreement should be provided.
    If the applicant is not a signatory to the tenancy agreement, then an additional statement from the landlord (or estate agent) should be provided confirming both the size of the property and agreement that an additional occupant may take up residence there.
    If an existing tenancy agreement is to be used, it should have at least six months before expiry. If the tenancy agreement does not have at least six months before expiry, then an additional statement from the landlord/agent showing intent to renew at the same terms should be provided.

    If the accommodation is owned by a local authority or council estate, a landlord's confirmation should also be obtained, but if this cannot be obtained a
    report from an independent surveyor which confirms the size and suitability of the premises can be submitted instead.

    Accommodation (Shared with others and co-sponsors offering accommodation)
    If the sponsor and the applicant are to live in accommodation with multiple occupants (Such Family/Friends/etc), the information shown for renters should be provided. Additionally, the applicant and sponsor need to show that they have exclusive access to a bedroom that will be occupied solely by them.
    A bedroom may be a family room or study which has been converted for exclusive access (kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms do not qualify). Account is taken only of rooms with a floor area larger than 50 square feet(4.65 square meters).

    Accommodation Overcrowding
    There are statutory definitions of overcrowding in residential housing contained in the Housing Act 1985.
    A house is considered to be overcrowded if 2 persons aged 10 years or more of opposite sexes, who are not living together as husband and wife, must sleep in the same room.
    The Housing Act also details the maximum number of people allowed for a given number of rooms.

    Rooms................Permitted number of persons


    Each additional room in excess of 5 = An additional 2 people
    A child under one does not count as a person.
    A child aged 1-10 years counts as only half a person.

    - What identification is needed from my sponsoring Fiance(e)
    The sponsor's identification usually takes the form of the sponsor's passport. If the passport itself cannot be presented, then a notarized copy of the portrait page should be made .

    - Should my sponsoring Fiance(e) send a supporting cover letter?
    Yes, have your sponsor write a good letter to the Embassy supporting your application, and outlining how long you have been together and important events and meetings between yourselves.
    You may also briefly outline the start of the relationship, how it developed, the times you met face-to-face, some things you did together, your feelings for each other, why you want to marry, plans for the future and where you will live and how you will support yourselves.
    Keep it simple and above all be honest about everything.

    If there is anything complicated or unusual about your application you should include a clarification for the ECO.
    It would certainly strengthen the application to include a supporting letter from the sponsoring fiance(e)s parents saying that they support the future marriage and that they are looking forward to meeting and welcoming you into the family. Nothing complicated.

    There is usually no need for the applicant to write a letter.

    - How long will it take to process my application?
    Visa processing times in Phils

    - Can my fiancé(e) come to the UK on a visit visa and then apply for a Fiance(e) or spouse visa?
    Many couples initially discuss the possibility of one party coming to the UK on a visit visa as they want to be involved with the wedding preparations and find that three months apart is a daunting prospect.
    However, to be successful in obtaining a visit visa the applicant must show that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit. In many cases this is not the intention of the applicant as they want to stay in the UK with their fiancé(e) and then get married.
    You cannot get married in the UK on a visit visa so a Fiancé(e) visa will need to be obtained from the Embassy or Consulate of your Fiancé(e)’s country of origin or residence.

    - How much will it cost?
    All the UKBA fees can be found on the Fees for our services page
    The table showing all the fees is here

    - My Fiancé(e) has been refused a visa before, can they re-apply?
    Having been previously refused a visa does not prevent you from making any further applications unless you have incurred a ban for UK entry.
    Each application is reviewed on its own merits and on the supporting evidence supplied

    - What happens if the application is refused?
    If your application is refused, you will have a full right of appeal. When the UKBA refuse your application they we will also give you a letter fully detailing why the application has been refused and explaining how to appeal.
    More detailed information can be found on the UKBA Appeals - visas and entry clearance page

    - What if we have not met face-to-face for a long time?
    If the applicant and sponsor have been separated for a lengthy period of time before the application is submitted (i.e., longer than 3 or 4 months), then evidence of 'intervening devotion' should be included. This would normally take the form of phone records or other forms of communication.
    When submitting email, chats, IM logs, it is important to keep in mind that intervening devotion means "evidence of contact" and not a complete transcript of each and every chat. Examples are enough.

    - If my fiance(e) is in receipt of public funds. Can I still apply for a Fiance(e) visa?
    There is no objection to the British citizen / settled sponsor receiving any public funds to which he / she is entitled in his / her own right.

    If the sponsor is in receipt of public funds, it does not mean that they will be unable to support the applicant, although clearly a person who is heavily dependent on the state because they don't have sufficient means of their own will find it difficult to support another person for any length of time.

    The important factor to consider is whether there will be a need for the sponsor to claim additional public funds to support the applicant if leave to enter granted.

    For more information on the subject of Public Funds please see this thread - No Recourse To Public Funds

    - Do I need a health check or Tuberculosis X-Ray when I arrive in the UK
    The UKBA state that "Anyone aged over 11 resident in certain countries applying for a visa to come to the UK for longer than 6 months need to get a certificate confirming that they are free from infectious Tuberculosis (TB) before applying for a visa. A list of these countries along with information on TB testing can be found towards the bottom of this UKBA page
    The Philippines is not on this listing.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
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  4. mminey

    mminey New Member

    Dear Micawber,

    I've been searching on the net for someone to help enlighten regarding fiance Visa. my boyfriend's british and I am a Filipina. We're already 1 year and 9 nine months in relationship. He's in another country right now working (not in UK) and I am in Philippines. We are planning to get married very soon. Once I get approved, he will take a break from work and marry me in UK after a month he will go back to the country he is working. He will then come to visit me one month a year. and then perhaps in the future I could visit him in that country. We wish to be together soon as married couples but I heard the UK border now is very strict. For the visa, is their a certain relationship age needed like 2 years or more? Is an engagement ring needed to prove of our intent to married? if not, will it help strengthen our application? What is a letter of support from the sponsor mean? is it in a legal form where it should notarized or is it just a simple letter? what must it contain? is a letter from my boyfriend to the embassy or to me? I'm really confused and the same time dying because I miss him so much. Could you help me out on this, please. Thank you!
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  5. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Hi there mminey, glad you found us here and welcome.

    You've actually raised a number of issues. However the most important in your specific case is that of 'eligibility'.

    From the guide above on eligibility:-

    In order to apply you must show that:-
    - Your Fiance(e) (or proposed civil partner) is currently living and settled in the UK, or is returning to the UK with you to live there permanently.
    - You intend to live together as husband and wife after you are married.
    - Until you are married there is somewhere for you to live without help from public funds.
    - There will, when you are married, be adequate accommodation where you can live without help from public funds.

    Based on the information you provided, I do not believe that you meet the criteria for eligibility for a fiance(e) visa.
    Your fiance is neither living in UK nor planning to live in UK. You appear not to be planning on living together.

    Additionally, once married UKBA will be expected you to make application for Further Leave to Remain (FLR), which allows conditional permanent resident status and allows the spouse to remain in the UK for a further two years.
    Remember, that unless FLR is applied for you will be expected to leave UK before the fiance(e) visa expires.
    Any future entry to UK will require a new application as spouse.

    From the information you have given, you will not be making any subsequent application for FLR

    Again, only based on what you say, It seems to me if you only want to come to UK to get married (then you will then leave the UK)

    If it is important for you both to be married in UK then I believe you would be better advised to apply as a special visitor for marriage. You will find this a lot less expensive and requiring less supporting evidence.

    Is there any special reason to marry in UK rather than Philippines?

    Before answering your other questions, may I ask in which country your fiance is working?

    If it's any European country then there is a completely different immigration process.

    What is the reason you cannot live together as husband and wife after marriage?

    To be honest, I'm a little confused as to the importance of UK immigration issues in your case.

    No offence intended just trying to give best advice
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
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  6. Aromulus

    Aromulus The Don Staff Member

    Micawber to the rescue again.........:like:

    As I could not have put it as eloquently and clearly as that, I can now delete the word document I spent 25 minutes writing.
    I had intentions of proof-reading and post it after returning from a forced shopping trip to the ubiquitous Chester's TKMaX, and your latest contribution helped me in avoiding making an abolute fool of myself............:like:

    So for this I am very grateful.;)
  7. Aromulus

    Aromulus The Don Staff Member

    And a very warm welcome to the site to mminey :welcome:
  8. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    So sorry if I 'stole your thunder'. Sometimes I just can't help myself.
    Next time I'll wait awhile before responding.

    BTW, by this time you can call me Peter (my birth name)
  9. Aromulus

    Aromulus The Don Staff Member

    You haven't stolen any thunder, don't worry.

    Your response to the query was 100% more accurate than mine would have ever been, and usually I give credit to where credit is due.
    I do really appreciate your contributions, as everyone else on the site.:like:
  10. mminey

    mminey New Member

    Thank you, Micawber. You are very kind to answer my questions. I guess you are right. We must find another way to be together. Perhaps I will apply for job in the country where he works right now so that we can be together. Is it possible we can marry through the UK embassy there? After marriage and after 2 or 3 years can he move back now to UK with me? Shall we apply for a settlement visa in UK again? What will be our next step after the embassy marriage so that there will be no more problem with us moving to UK together as husband and wife.

    Thank you and hoping for your reply soon.

  11. mminey

    mminey New Member

    oh by the way he is in Bahrain...
  12. mminey

    mminey New Member

    Hi Micawber! My boyfriend is in Bahrain and cannot leave the country yet because he has just started with this company. We both want to get married
  13. mminey

    mminey New Member

    Last question? which has more chance of getting the visa granted faster with less complication, marrying me in the Philippines or the UK Embassy in Bahrain (in case I will find a job in Bahrain).

    Thank you.
  14. mminey

    mminey New Member

    Thank you Aromulus! This site is very helpful.:)

  15. Aromulus

    Aromulus The Don Staff Member

    I would personally advocate for a marriage in the Philippines, as it would be more advantageous in obtaining a visa.

    More importantly, your family and friends would be part of it, and it would be a memory to cherishfor everyone.
  16. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    Hi mminey,

    As I've indicated before, based on the information you already shared with us you do not appear to be eligible for a UK settlement visa.
    It makes no difference where you get married or from where the application for settlement visa is made, the eligibility rules remain the same.
    A UK settlement visa is just that, a visa to allow you both to live together as husband and wife and to settle in UK with an intention for a permanent residence basis.

    Personally I believe you should really consider a rethink on your UK plans.

    If you are both determined to get married then on balance it seems the best solution is just what Aromulus has said, to marry in the Philippines.

    If however you are still of a mind to marry in Bahrain, then I strongly advise you to contact the Embassy of Bahrain in Philippines to confirm details for marriage.
    In this case you would have to establish residency for 21 days in Bahrain immediately followed by a posting of the marriage banns for a further 21 days.
    Means minimum 42 days living in Bahrain before any marriage ceremony.
    Probably you may already appreciate the difficulties associated with attempting to live together with your boyfriend without marriage in countries in that region. Please do be very careful. Especially as your fiance is working under visa conditions.

    I'm not wanting to appear negative, I just want the best outcome for you.

    I lived in Japan for many years and also thought that the British Embassy could perform marriage. This proved proved to be completely incorrect.
    Sorry to say this, but the idea that you can marry in the British Embassy or a Consulate office should be disregarded.

    If you and your fiance decide to continue with a Bahrain marriage may i ver kindly suggest you contact a solicitor in Bahrain in connection with this subject.
    Suggest you contact to:-

    Mr. Hugh Stokes
    Al Mahmood & Zu'bi
    P.O. Box 502
    1st Floor, Citibank Building
    Government Road, Manama, Bahrain
    Tel: +973 1722 5151 / Fax: +973 1722 4744

    I hope this post really clarifies some things for you and I sincerely hope it helps a little.
    Good luck
  17. ajisgod2012

    ajisgod2012 Member

    Me and my girlfriend are begining to apply for the Fiancee visa. We have been told that as part of the evidence in support of her application she will need a bank account in her name with at least 180,000.00 Peso in it. Is that correct? I thought that because I was the sponser she would not need that and I would provide the evidence that we have enough to live on without the need for public funds.

    If she does need a bank account then how easy is it to set one up in the Philipines?

  18. Micawber

    Micawber Renowned Lifetime Member

    That is completely incorrect.
    As the sponsor you will need to satisfy financial and acccommodation requirements.
  19. Stewart

    Stewart New Member

    Evening All,

    Re accommodation requirements, I share a house with the homeowner, his girlfriend and another friend, my mate who owns the house is happy for my mahal to come and be part of the household, rent is paid albeit on an informal basis, He is happy to give me a letter for the UKBA confirming this arrangement and his willingness for my partner to join me. Would this satisfy the accommodation requirements?

    Many thanks in anticipation -again-!
  20. Kuyapablo

    Kuyapablo Member

    I would suggest you contact your local authority about an accommodation certificate. They will come and inspect the property and give an independent report stating whether they think there in adequate accommodation for your mahal. I would obtain this along with the letter from the homeowner. You can never provide too much evidence.

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