Suppose you and your partner are not yet married but plan to get married soon. In that case, you might still be considering whether it would be better to apply for a fiancé visa first, get married in the UK, or get married abroad before entering the UK as a spouse.

Should you find yourself in this situation right now, the article that follows will be helpful for you as we try to explain the pros and cons of every option for you to consider?

Which is your priority?

The real question you should be asking yourself is, “Do you and your partner want to get married in the UK, or is it your preference to get married in another country?” instead of “Is it better to apply for a Fiancé Visa UK or a Spouse Visa UK?”

Applying for a Fiancé Visa UK/Proposed Civil Partner Visa would probably be your best option if your goal is to marry your partner in the UK. On the other hand, if saving time and money is your top goal, you might want to think about getting married outside of the UK and then getting a spouse visa to move here.

What is the cost of each Visa?

For a Fiancé and Spouse Visa UK, the current Home Office charge is £1,846. The exact amount you must pay might be different based on the day’s currency conversion rate. It’s important to note that the charge is the local currency of the nation the applicant is applying from.

  • The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

The IHS charge is not required as the fiancé/e (or supposed civil partner) visa is only suitable for a maximum of six months. The current IHS charge for a spouse wishing to enter the UK is £1,872. Whether or not the applicant has private medical insurance and does not plan to use the NHS for medical care while in the UK, the IHS Payment is a necessary condition.

What is the duration of the application process?

All family member visas, including those for spouses or partners, to join British or settled people living in the UK are now being processed and may take up to 8-12 weeks. Keep in mind that this changes case by case and depends on staff resources and volume of cases.

To speed up the application process and get a decision within 30 working days, there is also a Priority Service available, subject to availability for the nation from which you are applying. Right now, the Priority Service costs an extra £500.

Difference Between Fiancé Visa UK And Spouse Visa UK

The main difference between these two types of visas is that the Marriage Visitor Visa restricts the applicant from changing to a Spouse/Civil Partner visa or from requesting permission to remain in the UK after marriage.

A Marriage visa currently costs £115. As a visiting visa that is only valid for a maximum of six months, it is far less expensive than the fiancé and spouse visas. However, even after marriage, the bearer is still required to return to their place of origin or residency. After that, in order to return to the UK and settle with their British or settled partner, they would have to apply for a Spouse visa.

The criteria for visiting visas issued by the Home Office must differ considerably from those for fiancé and spouse visas, which are related to settlement in the United Kingdom. In order to get a visitor visa, applicants must simply show that they are coming to the UK as actual tourists—that is, that they want to remain for a short amount of time before returning to their home or place of origin, even if their only reason for travelling is to get married.

For how long is each visa valid?

As previously mentioned, the fiancé visa can only be used for a maximum of six months. Keep in mind that this cannot be extended except in exceptional situations. The applicant and their partner must get married in the UK during the permitted six months in order to fulfil the requirements of the visa.

A spouse visa can be renewed for an additional two years and six months after the initial two years and nine months (33 months) are over. You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (commonly known as Settlement) in the UK after completing five years on the Partner Route.

When can you apply for Leave to Remain as a Spouse on a Fiancé Visa?

Following your marriage to your spouse, you may request permission to continue living as your spouse or civil partner. You are not required to wait for your fiancé visa to expire or to return to your place of residence or origin before applying.

You may apply for further leave to remain in the UK as a spouse or civil partner as long as your fiancé visa or proposed civil partner visa hasn’t expired. Once granted, you have the option to extend your leave for an additional two and a half years, just like with the spouse visa previously mentioned.

Conclusion:

Choosing between a Spouse Visa and a Fiancé Visa in the UK requires thoughtful consideration. A Fiancé Visa is provided before marriage, but a Spouse Visa is granted only after marriage. The experienced solicitors at My Legal Services give personalised advice, simplifying the complex procedure, guaranteeing commitment, and providing necessary assistance for an effortless visa application process.

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By SARAH