What are the different visas available for partners under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules?

Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules (“Appendix FM”) has a range of different provisions for non-EEA nationals in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British or settled partner in the United Kingdom. The type of visa best suited for Applicants will largely depend on their future aims and objectives. The Fiancé visa is for Applicants who wish to enter the UK with the intention of getting married and subsequently aim to settle in the UK. The Spouse visa is for married couples who wish to live together in the UK permanently. The unmarried partner visa is for those who have been cohabiting in a genuine and subsisting relationship for a period of 2 years and wish to reside together in the UK.

Applying for a Spouse visa under Appendix FM

If you’re a non-EEA national spouse and your partner is a British national or settled person, you can apply for a Spouse visa under Appendix FM. The application is usually made from overseas and entry clearance must be secured before travelling to the UK. There are some circumstances where you can switch into a Spouse visa from within the UK, i.e. if you are switching from a Points Based System visa to a Spouse visa under Appendix FM. You cannot apply for a Spouse visa from within the UK if you’re on a Visitor visa unless you applying on the basis of humanitarian protection. To apply as a spouse you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a person with good character and you must not fall under the General Grounds of Refusal;
  • You must be married to your partner and provide evidence that your relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  • You must intend to reside with your spouse permanently;
  • You must have suitable accommodation for yourself, your spouse and any dependents;
  • You must meet the financial requirement of £18,600 (i.e. have enough money to support yourself, your spouse and any dependants without recourse to public funds). There are a number of different methods of meeting the financial requirement; and
  • You must satisfy the English language requirement.

If you are granted a spouse visa, you will be given leave to enter in the UK for 30 months after which you can apply for further leave to remain if you wish to continue to remain in the UK and ultimately apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Applying for a Fiancé visa under Appendix FM

If you’re a non-EEA national and you wish to marry your partner in the United Kingdom you can apply for a Fiancé visa under Appendix FM.  The requirements for this visa are very similar to the requirements of the Spouse visa. The key difference in the requirements for a Fiancé visa is the relationship requirement. Applicants are required to provide evidence that they have taken the necessary steps to get married in the UK i.e. giving notice of intention to get married at the local authority. The local authority will inform the Home Office and on some occasions, the Home Office might ask questions about your relationship. Applicants can also provide evidence that arrangements for the marriage ceremony have taken. If your application is successful you will be given permission to enter for the purpose of getting married (you must marry within 6 months). The key difference between a marriage visitor visa and a fiancé visa is that if you enter on the marriage visitor visa you will need to leave the United Kingdom after your marriage and apply for entry clearance as a spouse. You can switch from a fiancé visa into a Spouse visa from within the UK. It should be noted that Applicants cannot work in the UK on the Fiancé visa.

Applying for an Unmarried Partner visa under Appendix FM

The unmarried partner visa under Appendix FM is for couples who are not married but they are in a serious relationship. The unmarried partner visa allows the Applicants to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their relationship. Similar to the Spouse visa, Applicants will be granted a 30-month visa which can be extended and it also leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain. The requirements are similar to the Spouse/Fiancé visa but the relationship requirements differ. Applicants must show that they have met their partner in person and they have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years. It is important to show that your relationship is genuine and you intend to live together permanently. The unmarried partner can be used by both heterosexual and same-sex couples.

Using Legal Representation to prepare a partner visa under Appendix FM

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a partner visa under Appendix FM.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your partner visa under Appendix FM succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your partner visa under Appendix FM meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful partner visa under Appendix FM

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your partner visa under Appendix FM and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful partner visa under Appendix FM. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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