How Can I Bring My Indian Wife or Girlfriend to the UK

How Can I Bring My Indian Wife or Girlfriend to the UK?

Bringing Your Indian Wife or Girlfriend to the UK – Expert Guidance

In today’s interconnected world, love knows no boundaries. If you’ve found the one in an Indian woman and wish to bring her to the UK, there are several visa options to explore. Your choice will depend on factors such as eligibility, the duration of her initial stay, and where you plan to settle down with your partner.

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we often get questions about visa options for bringing the love of one’s life to the UK. The are three visa routes to do so which are the fiancé(e) visa, spouse visa, and civil partner visa. To find out more about your options, keep reading this article.

Also Read: Bringing Your Husband or Boyfriend to the UK

The Fiancé Visa Route

The Fiancé(e) Visa is a popular option for British citizens or settled persons intending to marry their Indian partners in the UK. This visa grants the fiancé(e) a six-month stay, during which the couple must get married or enter into a civil partnership. After the marriage, your Indian girlfriend can apply for a Spouse Visa or Civil Partnership Visa to continue living in Britain.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a Fiancé(e) Visa, both the applicant and the sponsor must meet specific requirements:

a. Relationship status:

The couple must be genuinely engaged, with the intention to marry within six months of the visa being granted. To be eligible, both parties must be unmarried and not currently in a civil partnership with any other individual.

b. Age requirement:

To be eligible to apply, both partners must have reached the minimum age of 18 at the time of filing.

c. Financial requirement:

The required financial threshold for all UK family visas is set to elevate from £18,600 to £29,000 on April 11th 2024 and will increase again to £38,700 by early 2025. These financial thresholds are routinely adjusted by the UK government. Read our dedicated page on family visa financial requirements for up-to-date information and guidance or get in touch with us directly.

d. Wedding or civil partnership plans:

Applicants must provide details of the marriage or civil partnership they intend to enter, including evidence of any expenses already incurred. This may include proof of a booked venue or other arrangements made for the ceremony.

e. English language requirement:

The applicant must demonstrate a basic knowledge of English, generally by passing an approved English language test at the A1 level.

f. Accommodation requirement:

The sponsor must provide suitable accommodation for their partner in the UK, ensuring it meets the necessary standards and is not overcrowded.

g. Duration of stay and return plan:

Applicants must not plan to stay in the UK for more than six months on the Fiancé(e) Visa and should not attempt to make the UK their permanent residence. The applicant must have the means to pay for their return travel out of the UK.

g. Pass a Tuberculosis test

Applicants who are applying to come to the UK under the UK Fiancé(e) visa must pass a tuberculosis test in India before travelling to the UK.

Processing Time and Decision

The processing time for a Fiancé(e) Visa can vary, but most applications are processed within 2-3 months. Once a decision is made, the applicant will be notified, and if the visa is granted, they can make arrangements to join their partner in the UK.

Upon arrival in the UK, the couple must wed or get into a civil partnership within six months. After the 6 month period, the applicant should apply for a Spouse Visa (if they got married) or a Civil Partnership Visa to continue residing in the UK. Note that the Fiancée Visa does not grant permission to work or claim public funds. With the Spouse Visa and Civicl Partnersh Visa routes, your Indian partner will become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after residing in the UK for five years.

To get help bringing your Indian girlfriend to the UK under the UK Fiancé(e) visa route, do not hesitate to call us for expert guidance on the application.

The Spouse Visa Route

The Spouse Visa is a suitable option for British citizens or settled persons who have gotten married to their Indian partner. This visa will allow your Indian wife to live, work, and study in the UK for an initial period of 2 years and 9 months, with the option to extend further. After five years, they may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and, after this, British Citizenship.

Eligibility Criteria

To gain eligibility for a Spouse Visa, both the applicant and their sponsor must satisfy specific criteria.

a. Sponsor’s status:

One partner must be a British citizen, have permanent leave to remain in the UK, have settled status, be a permanent resident of the UK, or have refugee or protected status in the UK.

b. Relationship status:

The couple must be legally married or in a civil partnership recognised by the UK and have already lived together for 2 years or more. They must provide evidence of their marriage or civil partnership, such as a marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document. They must also plan to reside permanently with their partner in the UK.

c. Age requirement:

Both partners should be at least 18 years old at the time of the application.

d. Financial requirement:

The income threshold for all UK family visas is set to change, escalating from £18,600 to £29,000 on April 11th 2024 and then to £38,700 by early 2025. Changes to these financial requirements are a common practice by the UK government. Read our page on family visa financial requirements for current and detailed advice on complying with these financial criteria, or contact us directly.

e. English language requirement:

The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of English, generally by passing an approved English language test at the A1 level or having a degree taught in English.

f. Accommodation requirement:

Your UK sponsor must be able to prove that they have suitable accommodation for their Indian wife in the UK to ensure it meets a certain standard for a couple to reside within.

g. Pass a Tuberculosis test

Spouse Visa applicants making an application from India must pass a tuberculosis test in India before travelling to the UK to prove that they are in good health.

Processing Time and Decision

The processing time for a Spouse Visa can vary, but most applications are processed within 3 months. Once a decision is made, the applicant will be notified, and if the visa is granted, they can make arrangements to join their partner in the UK.

Upon arrival in the UK, the applicant can live, study, and work without constraints. After residing in the UK for five years under the Spouse Visa, they may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which grants permanent residency rights.

For expert assistance in bringing your Indian wife to the UK under the Spouse Visa Route, do not hesitate to call us for expert guidance.

The Civil Partnership Route

The Civil Partnership Visa is an appropriate choice for individuals in a civil partnership with their Indian partners, and either they or their partner hold a qualifying status in the UK. This visa allows the civil partner to live, work, and study in the UK for an initial period of 30 to 33 months, with the option to extend for up to 5 years.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a Civil Partner Visa, both the applicant and the sponsor must meet specific requirements:

a. Sponsor’s status:

Your partner qualifies as a sponsor if they hold any of the following statuses: British or Irish citizenship, settled status in the UK, pre-settled status, a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker visa, or refugee status/humanitarian protection.

b. Relationship status:

You and your partner are legally in a civil partnership that is recognised in the UK and not within a prohibited degree of relationship. Both of you had a physical meeting prior. Your relationship must be authentic and ongoing, and you plan to live jointly in the UK permanently. Any previous relationship has broken down permanently.

c. Age requirement:

To be eligible, both partners need to have reached a minimum age of 18 years.

d. Financial requirement:

There will be an increase in the financial threshold for family visas in the UK, rising from £18,600 to £29,000 on April 11th 2024 and further to £38,700 by early 2025. This threshold is subject to regular modifications by the UK government. For the most recent information on how to fulfil these financial requirements, we encourage you to read our page on family visa financial requirements or get in touch with us.

e. Adequate accommodation:

The sponsor should possess adequate accommodation in the UK that meets Home Office requirements for the partner and dependents.

The specific criteria for eligibility for a Civil Partner Visa may differ based on individual situations. It is advised to pursue guidance from an immigration lawyer for professional assistance.

F. English Language Requirement

The sponsor should possess adequate accommodation in the UK that meets Home Office requirements for the partner and dependents.

The specific criteria for eligibility for a Civil Partner Visa may differ based on individual situations. It is advised to pursue guidance from an immigration lawyer for professional assistance.

F. Tuberculosis requirement

All applicants who are applying for a Civil Partnership Visa must first pass a tuberculosis test if they are making an application from India.

Processing Time and Decision

The Home Office established a 12-week (3-month) service standard for processing Civil Partner Visa applications submitted from abroad. Civil Partner Visas are granted for an initial duration of 33 months when applied for from overseas or 30 months if applied for within the UK. An extension for an additional 30 months is required to reach the 5-year mark.

Upon the completion of five years on a civil partner visa, individuals can apply for ILR in the United Kingdom. This is contingent upon remaining married and residing with your civil partner in the UK and continuing to meet the maintenance requirements mentioned previously.

For expert assistance in bringing your Indian partner to the UK under the Civil Partnership Route, do not hesitate to call us for expert advice.

Demonstrating the Authenticity of Your Relationship

To prove the genuineness of your relationship, you will need to provide evidence that supports the claim that you and your partner are in a committed and enduring partnership. Note that these documents should not have a date of issuance that exceeds 4 years. Evidence may include, but is not limited to:

Marriage or civil partnership certificate: 

Submit an official record of your marriage or civil partnership as evidence of your legal union.

Joint finances 

Show proof of shared financial responsibilities, such as joint bank accounts, shared property, or other financial investments made together.

Shared responsibilities

Provide evidence of joint responsibilities, such as bills, lease agreements, or other documentation showing both your names and a shared address.

Travel records

Provide evidence of any trips you have taken together or visited one another, including passport stamps, boarding passes, and travel itineraries.

Medical or dental correspondence

Submit letters from your dentist, general practitioner, or hospital that verify your joint address, further supporting your cohabitation.

Obtaining the Spouse Visa is generally considered the most intricate of the three options. However, once your partner’s application is approved, they will be free to work and study in the UK.

Additionally, they can include any dependent children from their home country in their application, which could be a deciding factor in their decision to move to the UK. Ultimately, the Spouse Visa is the preferred route if your partner’s visit to the UK is part of a larger plan to make the relocation permanent.

You Ask, We Answer

FAQs About UK Spouse Visas

To bring an Indian spouse to the UK, the sponsoring spouse must be a British national, or have settled status or refugee status in the UK. The couple must also be in an authentic and subsisting relationship and satisfy the financial prerequisites to sustain themselves without depending on public funds. Besides, the Indian spouse must pass the English language test and fulfil the health and character requirements.

The processing period for bringing an Indian spouse to the UK can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Typically, the processing time can take between 2 to 12 weeks for a settlement visa and up to 3 weeks for a standard visitor visa. However, processing times may be prolonged due to factors such as the sophistication of the case or any additional requirements that need to be met.

The cost of bringing an Indian spouse to the UK will depend on the type of visa being applied for and the case’s specific circumstances. For example, the current fee for a spouse visa is £1048 if done within the UK or £1846 if done outside the UK, while the fee for a standard visitor visa is £115. Apart from the visa fee, supplementary expenses could be linked with the application process, such as the charge for the English language test, healthcare surcharge, and potential legal or translation services costs.

The processing time for a UK spouse visa application can vary depending on various factors, including the applicant’s country of origin, the completeness of their application, and the workload of the UK visa processing centre. We can provide an estimated processing time based on the individual circumstances of each case.

Yes, Indian spouses can work in the UK after they arrive if they are granted a visa that allows them to work. For example, if they are granted a settlement visa, they will be allowed to work and study in the UK without any restrictions. However, if they are granted a visitor visa, they will not be authorised to work in the UK.

The specific documents required to bring an Indian spouse to the UK will depend on the type of visa being applied for and the specific circumstances of the case. However, some common documents that may be required include a valid passport, evidence of the relationship, evidence of meeting the financial requirements, proof of passing the English language test, and medical and character certificates. It is recommended to consult with a qualified immigration advisor to ensure all necessary documents are submitted with the application.

How Can Spouse Visa Lawyers Help?

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we understand that the process of bringing your Indian wife or girlfriend to the UK can be intimidating. That’s why we offer extensive legal support that covers all aspects of the visa application process, providing you with peace of mind that your partner’s application will be managed with the highest level of care and attention.

We can help you understand the specific eligibility criteria for each visa option and guide you through the documentation requirements. Our experienced legal team will provide personalised support to ensure your application is as strong as possible, increasing your chances of success.

We’re committed to delivering excellent assistance throughout the complete process. From the initial consultation to the visa application and beyond, we’ll work tirelessly to ensure that you and your loved one have a smooth and successful visa application experience.

Let us help you bring your Indian partner to the UK and start your dream future together. Contact us at Spouse Visa Lawyers today to learn more about your options.

The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.

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