UK family visas are many in nature. They allow existing UK nationals, EEA nations
or even UK permanent residents who are currently living the United Kingdom to sponsor
their respective partners, their parents and their children to move to and remain
in the United Kingdom.
Spouse or Civil Partner
The spouse or civil partner visa is almost always first granted only on probation
and later it is possible that is it upgraded to an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
or even a British Nationality. Usually the probation period is for two years. The
only exception is if the couple applying has already been in a civil relationship
or partnership for a minimum of four years before their making the application.
In that case, the couple can apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain directly.
While applying, the couple needs to prove:
- That they are legally married to each other; and
- They intend to live with each other while in the United Kingdom.
Unmarried Partner Visa
This particular type of visa allows the same benefits to practicing de-facto couples
or even same sex couples as a spouse visa would to married couples or couples who
have been through the civil partnership registration. Just like the spouse or civil
partner visa, it would require the applicants to go through a two year probationary
period, after which they are like to qualify for an Indefinite Leave to Remain or
For a couple to be eligible for this visa, they will need to have lived with each
other for a minimum of two years. If they’ve lived together for over four years,
they can then apply for the ILR immediately. This visa is particularly made for:
- Couples who cannot marry or do not intend to marry each other; or
- Same sex couples who aren’t allowed to marry each other.
Fiancee or Prospective Civil Partner Visa
A Fiancee or prospective civil partner visa is issued for a period of six months
to allow for the formalization of the relationship - the couple would have to marry
to register their civil relationship within this time. Requirements include:
- Both parties have to be above the age of 21
- They should have met each other
- They should be willing to marry or undergo the registration of their civil relationship
- Once the couple is married, they will need to apply for a spouse visa.
EEA Family Visa
This visa is specifically designed for EEA nationals to come and join their family
members in the United Kingdom. Any non-UK EEA national who currently resides in
the UK can apply for a visa for members of their family or an unmarried partner
provided that they:
- Intend to live in the UK
- Are economically active
- Are willing to sponsor the family member.
Certificate of Approval
This allows an individual to enter the UK to get married or to enter a civil partnership.
Couples looking to marry at the Church of England don’t need to apply.