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Important Update 4th December 2023

A statement made this evening by James Cleverley, the UK Home Secretary, will have a massive impact on Fiance Visas in 2024 and beyond. In the statement, a series of amendments to the UK immigration system were announced. Amongst these changes was a proposal to increase the minimum income threshold for family visas (including Proposed Civil Partner Visas) from £18,600 to £38,700, an increase of over 100%. This change will align it with the new minimum income band proposed for Skilled Worker Visas.

The proposed changes have been met with a huge public outcry and could be subject to change or legal challenges. There are very few specific details at the moment, including whether this will impact visa extensions or when the changes will go live. Our own expectations (and previous precedents) are that the changes will go live in April 2024 and will not impact visa renewals for anyone on a Family Visa prior to this date. However, it is unclear if anyone on a Proposed Civil Partner Visa under the old £18,6000 rules will be subject to the new £38,700 rules when they come to apply for a Civil Partner Visa. The most likely outcome is that transitional rules will be put in place, however, we stress this cannot be confirmed at this point. Check back regularly for updates when further information becomes available.

We appreciate these changes are concerning developments and may have far-reaching implications for many families. If you plan on applying for a Civil Partner Visa in the next 12 months, we recommend contacting us at your earliest convenience to discuss your circumstances and how you should proceed.

21st December Update

Further information has now been released on the proposed changes to Family Visas and how this will impact new and existing visa holders. The key updates are:

  • The minimum income requirement will now be increased to £29,000 in April 2024 before being increased on as yet unspecified dates to £34,500 and then £38.700.
  • Those already on a Proposed Civil Partner Visa (or who have already applied for a Proposed Civil Partner Visa) before the changes go live will be assessed on the old £18,600 criteria for any subsequent Civil Partnership Visa application.
  • The additional child element for the minimum income requirement will be scrapped under the new minimum income criteria.
  • The changes will become effective in April 2024

We will continue to update these pages as and when further information becomes available.

What is a UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa?

A UK proposed civil partner visa allows a non-European Economic Area (EEA) national to enter the United Kingdom to enter a civil partnership with their partner (the sponsor), who must be a British citizen or settled in the UK. It’s a visa that’s issued for a period of six months, which can then be extended by applying for a civil partnership visa. The conditions and benefits of the visa shouldn’t be confused with those of a spouse visa or a civil partnership visa, which allow you to work, study, and live within the UK.

To be eligible for a UK proposed civil partner visa, the applicant must provide evidence of their intention to enter into a civil partnership with their British partner within six months of entering the UK. They must also demonstrate that they are in a genuine relationship with their partner and have previously met each other in person. In addition to these relationship requirements, the applicants must meet financial and accommodation requirements set by the UK government. This includes providing evidence of their sponsor’s ability to support themselves and their partner without recourse to public funds.

If the visa is granted, the applicant is allowed to enter the UK for a period of six months to enter into a civil partnership with their partner. Once in a civil partnership, you can apply for a civil partnership visa, which will allow you to stay in the UK for a prolonged period and eventually apply for settlement by indefinite leave to remain.

The UK proposed civil partner visa is a useful option for many couples. However, your own personal circumstances will dictate if this is the correct visa for you. Over the course of this guide, we’ve sought to provide as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision. It is important to note that the application and the process can be complex, and additional requirements could be applicable depending on your circumstances.

If you intend to marry rather than enter into a civil partnership, refer to our fiance visa guide for tailored advice.

UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Eligibility

There are 8 major requirements that applicants will need to meet to be eligible for a UK proposed civil partner visa. These requirements are as follows:

  • Age: The applicant must be over the age of 18.
  • Relationship: The applicant must be engaged to or have agreed to enter into a civil partnership with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK.
  • Intention to register a civil partnership: The applicant must provide evidence that they intend to register a civil partnership within six months of arriving in the UK and have made the necessary arrangements for their civil ceremony.
  • Financial requirements: The applicant’s sponsor must meet the financial requirements, which include showing that the UK sponsor earns a minimum income of £18,600 per year or has sufficient savings to support the applicant. Additional income and savings are required for any additional dependents. The amount increases to £22,400 if there is one dependent child and by £2,400 for each subsequent dependent child.
  • Accommodation: The applicant and sponsor must have suitable accommodation in the UK for themselves and any dependents without recourse to public funds.
  • English language: The applicant must pass an English language test with an approved provider or demonstrate their ability to speak and understand English.
  • Health: Some applicants may need medical documentation such as a TB Clearance Certificate.
  • Character: All applicants must meet the character requirements set by the UK government.

Each of these requirements could vary based on your individual circumstances, such as your nationality, country of residence, and whether there are any dependents. Depending on the information you provide, there may also be additional requirements and complexities.

In the following paragraphs, we look at some more complex requirements in further detail.

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UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Proof of Relationship and Intention to Enter into a Civil Partnership

To be granted a UK proposed civil partner visa, the applicant must demonstrate their genuine intention to enter a civil partnership with their UK partner within six months of arriving in the UK. The requirements for demonstrating this intention include a past and present relationship overview. Therefore, you will need to provide:

  • Proof of a genuine relationship: The applicant must provide evidence that they are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with their UK partner. This can include photographs, travel itineraries, communication records, and other relevant documents.
  • Confirmation of an impending civil partnership: The applicant must provide evidence that they and their partner have made appropriate plans to enter a civil partnership in the UK within six months of the applicant’s arrival. This can include a letter from the registrar confirming the date and location of the civil partnership ceremony and other relevant documents and materials.

UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Financial Requirements

To obtain a UK proposed civil partner visa, the applicant and their UK partner must meet certain financial requirements. Specifically, they must demonstrate that they can support themselves financially without relying on public funds. This is assessed by seeing whether the UK sponsor earns sufficient income or whether the couple has adequate savings to support themselves. Additional details can be found in our Appendix FM Financial Requirement guide.

Applicants must meet one of the three current financial requirements to qualify:

    1. Income threshold: The UK partner must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600 or more. If the partner has dependents, such as children, the income threshold will increase to £22,400 for the first child and by £2,400 for each subsequent child.
    2. Savings: If the UK partner does not meet the income threshold, they may be able to rely on cash savings to meet the financial requirement. The savings must amount to at least £62,500 or more and have been held in the UK for at least six months.
    3. Combination of income and savings: If the UK partner does not meet the income threshold but has some savings, they may be able to combine their income and savings to meet the financial requirement.
    4. Sponsorship from a third party: If the applicant or their partner does not meet the financial requirements, they may obtain sponsorship from a third party, such as a family member or friend.

UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Accommodation Requirement

To obtain a UK proposed civil partner visa, the applicant and their UK partner must demonstrate that they have adequate accommodation in the UK and that they intend to live together. The requirements for suitable accommodation typically include:

  1. A place to live: The applicant and their partner must have a place to live in the UK that is suitable for them as a couple. This can be a rented or owned property, or it can be with family or friends.
  2. Adequate space: The accommodation must be large enough to accommodate the applicant and their partner without overcrowding.
  3. Safe and habitable: The accommodation must be safe, habitable, and not pose a risk to the health and safety of the occupants.
  4. Documentation: The applicant and their partner must provide documentation to demonstrate that they have suitable accommodation. This can include a tenancy agreement or proof of ownership, as well as evidence of bills and other utilities.

UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Document List

The following is a list of the necessary documents that you will typically need to provide when applying for a UK proposed civil partner visa:

  1. Valid passport: You must provide your current and valid passport or travel document.
  2. Proof of relationship: You must provide evidence to show that you and your partner are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. This may include photographs, emails or messages, travel documents, and other evidence demonstrating that you have been in a committed relationship for a reasonable time.
  3. Proof of intent to register a civil partnership: You must provide evidence to show that you intend to enter a civil partnership within six months of arriving in the UK. This may include a letter from a registrar or venue confirming your booking or evidence of arrangements you have made for your wedding or civil partnership.
  4. Evidence of financial support: You will need to provide evidence that you and your partner can meet the financial requirements for the visa. This may include payslips, bank statements, and tax documents.
  5. Accommodation details: You must provide evidence of suitable accommodation for you and your partner in the UK, such as a tenancy agreement or a letter from your host.
  6. English language ability: You must provide evidence that you meet the English language requirement for the visa. This may include a test certificate or evidence of an exemption.
  7. Tuberculosis (TB) test results: You may need to provide evidence that you have been tested for TB if you are from a country where TB is prevalent.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and documents needed for a UK proposed civil partner visa may vary depending on the individual circumstances of the applicant and their partner. While the documents listed above meet the standard requirements, further evidence may be necessary depending on your individual circumstances.

UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Application Fees

The application fees for a UK proposed civil partner visa are as follows:

  • Standard Application: £1,846 (outside of UK)
  • Subsequent spouse / civil partnership visa: £1,048 (inside of the UK)

You should note that there may be other fees associated with the application, such as the cost of a tuberculosis test, an English language test, or a biometric appointment fee, which are not included in the application fee.

UK Proposed Civil Partner Visa Processing Times 

The processing times for a UK proposed civil partner visa can vary depending on various factors, including the volume of applications being processed, the completeness of the application, and whether additional information or documentation is required. Generally, the UK government aims to process 90% of these applications within 12 weeks of submission. However, some applications are currently taking up to 24 weeks to process.

Several factors can affect processing times. For example, the processing time may be longer if the application is incomplete or the applicant needs to attend an interview or provide additional information. Processing times can also fluctuate throughout the year, with peak periods, such as the summer months, experiencing longer processing times due to the higher volume of applications.

Therefore, it is always recommended to submit the application as early as possible and to ensure that all the required documentation is provided with the initial submission to avoid unnecessary delays.

Frequently Asked Questions

No two proposed civil partner visa applications are the same, so while it’s possible to address many generic questions, we’d always recommend speaking with a specialist immigration consultant on the specifics of your application. The following questions are most commonly asked by our clients when applying for their visa.

You cannot apply for a UK proposed civil partner visa from inside the UK. The visa is a type of entry clearance, meaning it can only be issued outside the UK. Therefore, you must apply from your home country or a country where you are a resident and hold a valid visa.

Once your UK proposed civil partner visa is granted, you will be allowed to enter the UK and stay for up to six months, during which time you must enter into a civil partnership with your partner. After registering the civil partnership, you can apply to switch to a UK civil partnership visa from within the UK, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements.

For a UK Fiance visa, you must demonstrate your knowledge of the English language by passing an approved English language test. The following English language tests are currently accepted for UK Fiance visa applications:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic or General Training
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) – Secure English Language Test (SELT)
  • LanguageCert International ESOL SELT – Secure English Language Test

The test must have been taken at an approved test centre, and you must achieve at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening. You can find further information on the English language requirement in our dedicated guide.

Whether to apply for a proposed civil partner visa or a civil partnership visa depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. Here are some things to consider:

Proposed civil partner visa:

  • This visa is intended for couples not yet in a civil partnership but intends to enter into one in the UK within six months of arriving.
  • It allows the applicant to enter the UK for a period of six months to enter into a civil partnership with their partner and then apply for further leave to remain as a civil partner.
  • It may be a good option if you and your partner want to have a civil partnership ceremony in the UK but don’t have the time to do so before you apply for a visa.

Civil partnership visa:

  • This visa is intended for couples who are already in a civil partnership.
  • It allows the applicant to enter the UK for a period of 30 months, after which they can apply for an extension for a further 30 months.
  • It may be a good option if you are already in a civil partnership or want to avoid the extra expense and stress of getting married within a short timeframe.

It’s important to note that both proposed civil partnership visas and civil partner visas have similar requirements, including demonstrating a genuine and subsisting relationship, meeting financial requirements, and providing evidence of suitable accommodation. It’s always advisable to consult with an expert UK immigration consultant to ascertain the best visa for your circumstances.

Working in the UK on a proposed civil partner visa is impossible. The sole purpose of the visa is to enable you to enter into a civil partnership with your UK partner. However, once you obtain the subsequent civil partnership visa, you can commence work within the UK.

No, a proposed civil partner visa does not count towards the UK’s Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

A proposed civil partner visa is a temporary visa that allows the holder to enter the UK for a period of six months to enter into a civil partnership with their partner and apply for further leave to remain as a civil partner. After six months, the holder must either leave the UK or apply for further leave to remain a civil partner.

To qualify for ILR in the UK, an individual typically needs to have been living in the UK for a certain period of time, usually five years, on a qualifying visa, such as a family visa or a work visa. The specific requirements for ILR can vary depending on the type of visa and individual circumstances.

You’ll need to apply from outside the UK for a proposed civil partner visa, and you can apply online on the UK government’s website.

Before you apply, you should ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and have all the necessary supporting documents. The application process typically involves providing personal details, information about your relationship with your partner, and evidence to demonstrate that you meet the visa’s financial, accommodation, and other requirements.

After you submit your application and pay the visa fee, you must attend an appointment at a visa application centre to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) and submit your supporting documents.

A UK proposed civil partner visa application can be declined for various reasons, including:

  1. Insufficient evidence: If the applicant does not provide enough evidence to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements for the visa, such as evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship, intent to enter into a civil partnership, or evidence of financial support.
  2. Financial requirements not met: If the applicant or their partner cannot demonstrate that they meet the financial requirement for the visa, such as the minimum income threshold or savings amount.
  3. Unsuitable accommodation: If the applicant or their partner cannot provide evidence of suitable accommodation for the couple in the UK.
  4. Immigration history: If the applicant has a previous immigration history that raises concerns about their intentions, such as a previous overstay, visa refusal, or criminal convictions.
  5. English language ability: If the applicant cannot demonstrate that they meet the English language requirement for the visa or have not provided adequate evidence of their ability to do so.
  6. Tuberculosis (TB): If the applicant does not provide evidence of a valid TB test certificate, where required.
  7. Incorrect or incomplete application: If the application is incomplete or contains errors or inconsistencies that raise doubts about the applicant’s credibility.

 

If you are in the UK on a proposed civil partner visa and wish to remain in the UK with your partner after you’ve entered into the civil partnership, you can switch to a civil partnership visa.

To make this switch, you will need to:

  1. Apply for a civil partnership[ visa: You will need to submit a new visa application for a civil partnership visa online
  2. Meet the eligibility requirements: You must meet all the eligibility requirements for a civil partnership visa, including the financial, accommodation, and English language requirements.
  3. Provide additional evidence: You must provide evidence to show that you are now in a civil partnership.
  4. Submit your biometric information: You must attend a biometric appointment to submit your fingerprints and a photograph.
  5. Wait for a decision: The processing time for a civil partnership visa application can vary, but it typically takes around 8 weeks in the UK.

It’s important to note that you can only switch to a civil partnership visa if you have entered into a civil partnership with your partner during your proposed civil partner visa, and you must do so before your current visa expires. If you do not enter into your civil partnership within the validity period of your proposed civil partnership visa, you will have to leave the UK and make a new application outside the country.

You do not need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) on a UK proposed civil partner visa, as the visa is only for 6 months. It is exempt from IHS fees, although these will be payable on any subsequent civil partnership visa.