This article was updated on February 5th, 2024.
For those looking to bring their partners to the UK in 2024, the UK fiance visa is a popular choice. However, the costs associated with this visa are not always straightforward and have just increased significantly following an update from the Home Office in December 2023. This blog post seeks to clarify the fees associated with the UK fiance visa in 2024. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be better prepared for your visa application journey.
What Is a UK Fiance Visa?
A fiancé visa acts as a pathway for individuals aiming to come to the UK for marriage or to form a civil union with a British national or someone with settled status. It’s an essential step for partners planning to unite and reside together in the UK.
This visa usually gives the applicant a six-month stay in the UK. In this interval, the duo should formalise their union through marriage. After tying the knot, the applicant can transition to a UK spouse visa or partner visa from within the UK. This allows them privileges such as working, pursuing education, and potentially progressing towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
One of the main benefits of the fiance visa is that it provides a clear pathway for couples to be together. The visa ensures both parties can be present in the UK for the wedding preparations and ceremonies. Moreover, once the marriage or civil partnership is official, it paves the way for the applicant to fully integrate into UK society, work, and study without restrictions.
However, like all UK visa categories, the fiance visa comes with its requirements. From the English language requirement to the need to prove the genuineness of the relationship, every aspect plays a crucial role in the fiance visa application process.
Official Home Office Fee for Fiance Visa Application
The Home Office has set specific rates for the fiance visa application, which every applicant should be aware of.
The financial threshold requirement for ALL family visas will be raised from £18,600 to £29,000 on April 11th 2024, followed by increases to £38,700 by early 2025. This requirement is often changed by the UK government. For the most up-to-date info, visit our page on family visa financial requirements or contact us directly.Moreover, the threshold increases if the couple has children or other dependants:
-For the first child, an additional £3,800 is required.
-For each additional child, an extra £2,400 is added to the required
The fundamental cost that every applicant has to bear is the visa application fee. For 2024, the fiance visa application fee stands at £1,846 if you apply from outside the UK and £1,048 if you apply inside the UK. This fee is mandatory and is a basic administrative cost that the Home Office incurs while processing the application.
It’s important to remember that this fee is non-refundable, even if the application is refused. You can only secure a refund for your Fiance visa application if you cancel the application prior to a judgment being reached on it.
It’s also worth noting that visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) often see annual increments. The Home Office reviews these fees, and potential changes usually come into effect around April each year. Staying updated with the latest information directly from the Home Office or consulting with an immigration lawyer can ensure you’re always informed of the most recent fees and immigration rules.
Note: Applicants for a fiancé visa are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge during their initial application. However, this charge becomes applicable when you seek an extension for the visa.
Associated Costs of Fiance Visa UK
Beyond the official fees, applicants might incur other compulsory costs based on their circumstances.
Tuberculosis (TB) Test
Depending on the country of residence, many applicants must undergo a Tuberculosis test and obtain a certificate proving they are free from the disease. This health measure ensures the safety and well-being of both the applicant and the UK public. The cost for this test can vary, depending on the particular test centre chosen. It’s essential to use a test centre approved by the Home Office to ensure the test results are valid for the visa application.
English Language Test
Mastering the English language is a fundamental requirement for anyone wishing to settle in the UK. Unless the applicant is from a majority English-speaking nation or has a degree conducted in English, they will need to sit an English language test. The most common test taken is the IELTS Life Skills A1, which costs around £150. Ensuring you prepare adequately for this test is vital, as failing might mean retaking the test and incurring additional costs.
The UK immigration process requires all supporting documents to be submitted in English or Welsh. If any of your critical documents, like marriage certificates, divorce certificates, or financial documentation, are in another language, they will need to be professionally translated. The cost can vary based on the language of the original document and the translation service selected.
Optional Costs of Fiancé Visa UK
While the mandatory costs are essential to the application process, there are several optional costs that applicants might consider based on their unique circumstances and preferences.
Priority Visa Services
For those who want the home office to process their application faster, there are Priority and super priority services. These services prioritise your application, ensuring it’s given the highest priority while processing.
By opting for the Priority Service, applicants can expect to hear back from the Home Office within 30 working days, compared to the standard processing time of three months. As of 2024, this service costs an amount of £500.
The super priority service costs £1000 and offers an even faster turnaround, allowing applicants to receive their decision within the next working day. While this service comes at a higher expense, it can be invaluable for those in time-sensitive situations.
Note: The super priority visa service might not be available for fresh Fiance visa applications made outside the UK.
The UK fiance visa application process is complicated and demands careful attention to detail. Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer or a firm can streamline the process, offering professional guidance every step of the way.
While legal fees vary based on the sophistication of the case and the law firm’s quality, they can range from around £1000 to over £3,000. Investing in legal representation can significantly boost the chances of a successful application, especially if there are complexities in the applicant’s or sponsor’s circumstances.
An immigration lawyer can provide insights, manage paperwork, ensure the application meets all Home Office requirements, and offer peace of mind.
Also Read: How Long Does a Spouse Visa Take in the UK?
Other Potential UK Fiance Visa Costs to Consider
Beyond the official and optional costs, other potential expenditures can arise based on unique situations.
Transportation & Accommodation
For some applicants, especially those required to undertake a TB test, the nearest Home Office-approved test centre might be located in a different city or even a different country. This scenario can lead to additional transportation and accommodation costs. Considering both the financial and time implications, it’s crucial to plan this aspect in advance.
Whether it’s the TB test or the English language test, there’s always a possibility of not clearing them on the first attempt. If this happens, applicants will need to retake the tests, leading to additional costs. For the English language test, a second attempt would mean another fee of £150.
Tips and Recommendations Saving Costs
Acquiring a UK fiance visa can be a significant financial undertaking. However, you can navigate this journey efficiently with the proper approach and awareness.
- Stay Updated: Regularly check the Home Office website or consult a professional immigration lawyer for the latest fees and requirements. This ensures you’re always ready and budget accordingly.
- Prepare for Tests: Invest time preparing for the English language test to reduce the chances of retaking it.
- Document Verification: Before submitting, double-check all documents, especially those that have been translated, to ensure accuracy and completeness.
- Apply the Application Carefully: Before submitting the application, ensure everything is correct and in order. Also, make sure to submit the application way ahead of your planned travel date so that you don’t need to apply for a priority visa service.
Let Spouse Visa Lawyers Help You Apply for a UK Visa
Navigating the complexities of the fiance visa UK process can be daunting. Whether you’re looking into a UK fiancé visa, considering a spouse visa extension, or eager to get married within the stipulated timeframe to progress towards British citizenship, it’s essential to ensure every application is submitted accurately.
Don’t leave it to chance or let the cumbersome Home Office processing deter your dreams. Take the next step to join your partner in the UK with confidence. Our expert team at Spouse Visa Lawyers is here to guide, advise, and streamline your application journey.
Call us today and set your love story on the right path!
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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.
Dr Bernard Andonian has over four decades of experience as a London-based UK Immigration Solicitor and was also a former immigration Judge. He has been awarded a PhD in Law from the University of West London for his in-depth knowledge of UK immigration and nationality law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts whilst representing clients in the UK, and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.