If you have permanent settlement status in the UK, such as British citizenship or Indefinite leave to remain, and you are engaged to or would like to marry someone from abroad in the UK rather than in their home country, and settle permanently here after the wedding, you may sponsor your partner’s application for a Family Visa.

This is possible also if you are a same-sex couple and you wish to acquire legal status in the UK by formally recognising your bond as a civil partnership in view to settle here permanently.

In order to qualify for admission as a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • the sponsor is present and settled in the United Kingdom, or is to be admitted for settlement at the same time as the applicant arrives in the UK;
  • you are both aged 18 or over;
  • you intend to live permanently with each other as a spouse/civil partner after the marriage/civil partnership;
  • you actually have met;
  • adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds will be available for the applicant until the date of the marriage/civil partnership;
  • after the marriage/civil partnership there will be adequate accommodation for you and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which you own or occupy exclusively;
  • after the marriage/civil partnership you will be able to maintain yourselves and your dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.
  • both parties are free to marry

If your partner is currently in the UK with temporary permission to stay in a different immigration category (for example, as a student), they cannot switch into this category.

A substantial amount of documentation must be submitted to support a visa application in these categories. Among these, divorce certificates or a death certificates in the case of a late spouse to prove you are free to marry.

The appropriate form is always Form VAF4A. Please note that form VAF1F, instead, is meant for marriage visitors, who want to marry in the UK, but not settle here after the wedding.

Terms of leave

If your application is approved, you will gain entry clearance as a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner.

You will initially be admitted to the United Kingdom for 6 months.

You cannot take up employment until after the marriage or civil partnership.  Once the marriage or civil partnership has taken place, you will need to make a further application to the Home Office to request a variation of your visa status from fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner to that of a spouse or a civil partner.

Once this application is approved the conditions concerning family visa for spouses or civil partners describe above apply.