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How to Apply for a partner visa

This information was last updated: 5 January 2016

When you are in love with someone you may naturally want to live together.

When the person you love is from abroad they will need a partner visa to join you in the UK.

Partner visas are most commonly available for those who are married to or in a Civil Partnership with British citizens or those with permanent residence in the UK.

They are also available for unmarried and same-sex partners if you have lived together for 2 years, and for those planning to marry within 6 months of arrival in the UK.

Applying for a partner visa can be a daunting prospect. There are many requirements to be met and evidence to be gathered to meet them.

If you want to read the requirements they are set out at Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules; the home office has the related guidance.

Some of the mandatory evidence is set out at Appendix FM-SE;

If you read the requirements you may find your eyes glazing over. So here are a few key things to note.

  • You will need to complete an online form. You register an account and then you can start filling in the form. You can save it and come back to it until ready to submit and apply for the visa. You can start that process here.
  • You will be applying for a settlement visa;
  • You will also need to complete a paper form called Appendix 2 which asks you questions about your relationship and how you will meet the financial requirement. That form is here;
  • You will need to show how you meet the financial requirement. That in most cases will require you to show an income of £18,600. You may be able to rely on savings instead of income. There are a large number of mandatory documents you must provide depending on your source of income. This is all set out in a lengthy Home Office document which can be viewed here.
  • You will need to provide evidence of adequate accommodation in the UK owned or occupied exclusively by you and not overcrowded.
  • You will need to provide sufficient evidence to show you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. The Home Office do not proscribe any evidence in particular but leave that to you. They do have guidance for their decision makers.
  • We advise clients to create a portfolio of evidence showing a genuine relationship which may include; testimony of you and your partner, letters from friends or family, post linking you to a shared address, contact evidence such as emails, phone bills, social media, any joint financial affairs, and photos of you together.
  • Any documents that you submit must be originals. If your financial documentation is in electronic format you must get it certified by the issuing body in a prescribed manner.
  • Unless you are from a country considered to speak English as the main national language you will need to meet an English language requirement. If you have a degree taught in English that may be sufficient. Otherwise you will need to take one of these tests;
  • If you are from some countries you will need to take a tuberculosis test;
  • You will also need to be considered suitable for a visa – if you have any criminal convictions you may be in difficulty.
  • And you have to pay a hefty visa fee plus in most cases a National Health Surcharge.

So there is plenty to do when preparing an application for a partner visa. We do it all the time for clients and we can either help you through all the stages or check over the application you have prepared before you submit it.

Can we help?

  • If you run into difficulties we are here to help.
  • If you would like to arrange a consultation please telephone 0208 885 7979.


The information provided in this How To: is general advice and information and Wilsons Solicitors LLP accepts no liability for its applicability to the facts of your individual circumstances.

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