This blog is about how to switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa before the expiry of a fiance visa. Switching from a fiance visa to a spouse visa will allow you to apply for leave to remain as a spouse for 2.5 years.

After getting a spouse visa, you can work, live, and study in the UK. After 5 years in the UK on a spouse visa, you can apply for ILR (settlement). If you are in the UK on a fiancé visa it is possible to apply for a spouse visa to extend your time in the country. The FLR(M) visa application is a partner visa UK application that is being made from within the UK.

How to Switch from a Fiance Visa to a Spouse Visa

To switch from a fiancee visa to a spouse visa, you must be married and make an application online. Initially, the application process for a spouse visa must be completed from outside the UK, but as a fiance visa holder, you can switch to a spouse visa without leaving the UK.

Fiancé(e) Visa UK To Get Married To Your UK Partner

You can apply for a fiancé visa UK online to get married to your UK partner.  An application for entry clearance for a fiance visa UK can be made if you are engaged to be married to a person who is either a British Citizen, a person with ILR / settled status, an EU national with pre-settled status, a refugee / humanitarian protection status holder, Turkish Businessperson visa holder or Turkish Worker visa holder. An application for a fiancé visa can only be made from outside the UK. An entry clearance application for a fiancé visa is made in accordance with the requirement of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. You can apply for fiancé visa entry clearance through Priority Service to get a decision on your application within 30 working days. As a result of a successful fiancé visa entry clearance, you will be granted 6 months UK visa to come to the UK to get married to your UK partner. Once you have registered your marriage with your UK partner, you can switch from a fiancé visa to a spouse visa from inside the UK.

Requirements to switch fiance visa to a spouse visa

To switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa, you must meet all the requirements under Appendix FM:

  • Your current fiance visa is valid
  • You got married on your fiance visa within 6 months
  • You have not breached the immigration rules
  • Your partner meets the partner definition under Appendix FM
  • You meet the financial requirement to switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa
  • You must meet the English language requirement
  • You meet the accommodation requirement

Financial requirement to switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa

In your fiance visa application from outside the UK, you and your partner must have already provided evidence that you meet the financial requirement of at least £18,600 (plus £3,800 a year for your first child and £2,400 a year for each subsequent child).

According to the immigration rules, when you switch to a spouse visa from a fiance visa, you will need to provide evidence showing that you meet the financial requirement.

Various Sources Of Meeting Financial Requirement

Where the applicant has to meet the minimum income threshold, the financial requirement can generally be met in the following 5 ways:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category A or Category B, depending on the employment history.
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares. This is referred to as Category C.
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. This is referred to as Category D.
  • State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant. This is referred to as Category E.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon.

Exemption From Meeting The Financial Requirement

Where the applicant’s partner is in receipt of any of the following benefits or allowances in the UK, the applicant will be able to meet the financial requirement at that application stage by providing evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than meeting an income threshold of £18,600 or above:

  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Severe Disablement Allowance.
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.
  • Police Injury Pension.

If the applicant’s partner is in receipt of one of the above benefits or allowances on behalf of their child, the applicant will be able to qualify by meeting the financial requirement through “adequate maintenance”. The evidence required to demonstrate that the applicant’s partner is in receipt of a specified benefit or allowance is specified in Appendix FM-SE.

The formula for meeting adequate maintenance requirement

The Home Office UKVI will use the following formulate to determine whether you meet the adequate maintenance requirement for your fiancé visa visa entry clearance application:

A – B ≥ C (A minus B is greater than or equal to C)
Where:
A is the net income (after deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions);
B is housing costs (Rent and Council Tax); and
C is the amount of Income Support an equivalent British family of that size can receive.

Adequate Accommodation Requirement For Fiance Visa UK

The applicant must provide specified evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family owns or occupies exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if:

  • it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
  • it contravenes public health regulations.

Documents required for a fiance visa to spouse visa

To switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your current passport
  • Evidence of your relationship i.e., marriage certificate and pictures
  • Evidence of your UK partner’s ongoing employment or self-employment
  • Copy of your UK partner’s passport
  • Evidence that you have suitable accommodation

Please note the above list is not exhaustive. You may be required to provide more documents based on your individual circumstances.

Differences between fiancé visas and UK spouse visas

The fiancé visa is a short-term visa and doesn’t lead to a settlement. You cannot count time spent on a fiance visa towards your indefinite leave to remain application.

On the other hand, a UK spouse visa leads to indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship.

Home office fee to switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa

The Home Office fee to switch from a fiancee visa to a spouse visa is £1,048 and the immigration health surcharge is £624 per year.

Processing Times for Spouse Visa

Applications to switch into or extend as a spouse submitted from within the UK should be decided within 8 weeks.

Super Priority Service to switch from a fiance visa to a spouse visa

As specialist fiancé(e) visa lawyers, we can provide Super Priority Service for applications for switching from a fiance visa to a spouse visa within the UK.

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