Is a UK Fiancé Visa a Settlement Visa

Is a UK Fiancé Visa a Settlement Visa

When considering the options available to you as you plan to join your engaged partner in the UK, a Fiancé Visa will likely be at the top of your priority list. This visa is for individuals who are outside the UK and wish to marry their British or settled partner within a six-month period. 

While the Fiancé Visa UK is a crucial first step for couples planning to marry inside the UK, it’s important to understand that it does not automatically grant the right to settle in the country. Instead, after marrying, individuals must apply for a Spouse Visa, which can lead to a settlement.

Keep reading this article to learn more about the UK fiance visa, why it’s not a settlement visa, and how you can settle in the UK after coming to the country with the fiance visa. 

Understanding the Fiancé Visa UK

The Fiancé Visa UK is mainly for individuals planning to marry a British citizen or settled partner in the UK. It allows the visa holder entry into the UK to marry their partner within the granted period of their stay in the UK. 

Applying for a Fiancé Visa UK involves meeting a set of specific requirements to ensure that the applicant and their partner are ready and eligible to marry and live in the UK. These include:

  1. Relationship Requirement: Applicants must prove they are in a genuine relationship with their partner, who is either a British citizen or settled in the UK. They must intend to tie the knot within six months of coming to the UK.
  2. Financial Requirement: The British or settled partner must meet a minimum income threshold (savings and other financial means can also be considered) to sponsor the visa applicant.

    The income threshold for all UK family visas is £29,000 as of April 11th 2024. It will rise again to £34,500 later in the year, after which it will rise 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 and how you can meet them through income, savings, investments, pensions and more. Or contact us directly for a consultation.

  3. Accommodation Requirement: Applicants must confirm that they will have acceptable accommodation in the UK without overcrowding, which fulfils the living standards as per UK housing regulations.
  4. English Language Requirement: The applicant must establish they can articulate and grasp English to a particular level, typically by passing an authorised English language test. This requirement ensures they can more easily integrate into UK society.
  5. Tuberculosis Test Requirement: Applicants from certain countries must submit a tuberculosis (TB) test result to show they are free from the disease.
  6. Marriage Plans: Applicants must provide evidence of plans to wed in the UK within six months of arriving. This could include booking confirmations for a wedding venue or a notice of marriage.

Meeting these requirements is crucial for a successful application, as they collectively aim to ensure that couples are genuine, can support themselves, and are ready to build a life together in the UK.

During the Fiance Visa period, visa holders are not entitled to take part in employment or study in the UK. However, once married, individuals can apply to switch to a Spouse or Partner Visa, extending their stay and granting them the right to work in the UK, paving the way towards long-term settlement and integration into UK society.

What Does Settlement Visas Mean?

A UK Settlement Visa grants individuals permission to stay, work, and study in the UK without almost any limitations. The Indefinite Leave to Remain, shortly known as ILR, represents the most comprehensive status one can achieve for settlement in the UK. 

This visa is sought after by those who have previously resided in the UK under different visa categories, such as work, study, business or family visas and now wish to make the UK their permanent home.

The eligibility for a UK Settlement Visa varies depending on the route, including settling as a child or partner of someone who is already settled in the UK, after spending five or more years on a qualifying visa, or based on long continuous residence of 10 or more years.

Individuals who have received humanitarian protection or refugee status can also apply for indefinite leave or settlement. Each route requires a detailed application process to prove the applicant’s continuous and lawful residence in the UK, their relationship status with a settled person if applicable, and their ability to meet specific criteria like English language proficiency and income requirement.

The difference between settlement and non-settlement visas is significant, with the latter including visas such as the Fiancé Visa, which do not directly lead to permanent residency. Unlike non-settlement visas, settlement visas remove the time limit on the holder’s stay and open up the possibility of applying for British citizenship after a certain period, provided all other requirements are met.

Transitioning From a Fiancé Visa to a Spouse Visa

After marrying in the UK on a fiancé visa, the immediate step is to apply for a UK spouse visa application to legally remain and start your new life together. This process involves submitting an application to UK Visas and Immigration, including evidence of your marriage, such as a marriage certificate, and fulfilling various requirements like the financial threshold to ensure you can support yourselves without public assistance. 

You’ll also need to demonstrate adequate living arrangements and satisfy the English language condition. You may need to sit for a scheduled interview or supply extra documentation as requested. After getting the visa, you will be granted the right to work in the UK.

The spouse visa is initially given for 2.5 years. After this course, you can apply for an extension of the visa for another 2.5 years. You will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after five years under the spouse visa category, provided all conditions are met. In the long run, you can apply for UK citizenship if you satisfy the relevant prerequisites.

Let Spouse Visa Lawyers Help You With Your Visa Application

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we offer expert guidance to streamline your visa journey. 

Our team of experienced Spouse Visa Lawyers is here to support you every step of the way. We ensure a smooth and efficient application process with tailored advice and expert guidance, relieving stress and uncertainty. 

Get in touch with us today, and let us help pave the way for you to a successful future in the UK alongside your partner.

You Ask, We Answer


No, a Fiancé Visa UK is not considered a settlement visa. While it serves as a precursor to applying for a Spouse Visa, which can eventually lead to settlement, the Fiancé Visa itself does not grant indefinite leave to remain or settle permanently in the UK.

While a fiancé visa enables the holder to enter the UK to get married in the UK, it does not grant the right to settle in the UK directly. However, they can apply for a spouse visa after marriage, which may lead to permanent residency in the UK.

The visa processing period varies; however, it usually takes about 2-3 months from the time of visa filing. This timeframe can be affected by various factors, including the completeness of your application, the need for additional documentation, and the workload of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

The applications for the fiance visa are generally made from outside the UK. As per the last update, the fee for applying for a fiance visa is £1,846. Priority processing and other supplementary services may incur extra charges.

You will receive a written explanation of the decision regarding your visa application if it is declined. You may have the option of appealing the judgement or reapply. It’s advisable to consult with a legal expert to understand the best course of action based on the reasons for refusal.

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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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