A non-citizen who wishes to marry a UK citizen and settle in the UK after the wedding must enter the country on a fiancé/fiancée visa. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) issues these visas to the future spouses of UK citizens. When applying for a fiancé/fiancée visa, the couple must meet a number of criteria including age and financial stability. They must also have appropriate living accommodations. UKBA employees review fiancé/fiancée visa applications and either approve or reject them.
Gather your supporting documentation. This should be done before you apply, because you will have only 14 days between your biometrics appointment and the final day your visa may be submitted. Documentation for a fiancé/fiancée visa includes your original passport, proof of your plans to marry or enter a civil partnership in the next six months, proof of meeting in person, proof of financial support, proof of living accommodations and proof that you and your partner are both over the age of 21.
Fill out the online application (see resources) for a fiancé/fiancée visa. Applications must be made online and from outside of the UK in order to qualify for a fiancé/fiancée visa. The application contains questions about yourself, your partner and your circumstances, including your financial and living arrangements. Once your application is finished, print it out and schedule your biometrics appointment (appointment to have your fingerprints and photograph taken) by choosing a date and a support centre.
Attend your biometrics appointment, bringing your visa application and biometrics appointment form along. You will be fingerprinted and photographed and your biometrics appointment form will be stamped and verified.
Submit your original supporting documentation, including your stamped and signed biometric receipt and the printed application to the UK Embassy handling applications from your state. These can be mailed in or submitted by an expediter, who can take the application to the embassy in person -- this may speed up your processing time. After you receive your decision from the embassy, the visa will be stamped into your passport.
Once you have entered the UK on a fiancé/fiancée visa and married, you must apply for a marriage visa, which will give you two years to live and work without restrictions in the UK. After two years, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status.
Tips and warnings
- Once you have entered the UK on a fiancé/fiancée visa and married, you must apply for a marriage visa, which will give you two years to live and work without restrictions in the UK. After two years, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status.
Things you need
- Original passport with at least six months of remaining time
- One UK-sized passport photograph with your name written on the back in pencil
- Visa application
- Stamped and signed biometrics receipt
- Proof of your partner's UK citizenship and age
- Proof of plans to marry in the next six months
- Proof of having met in person
- Proof of living accommodations, such as a tenancy agreement, mortgage statement or land registry document
- Proof of financial support in the UK such as savings or your partner's payslips