If you’re looking to get a United Kingdom Civil partnership visa, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we’ll outline the process of how to get a civil partnership visa UK, as well as the requirements needed during the application.
We also provide some useful tips on how to make the application process as smooth as possible. So, if you’re thinking about getting a civil partnership in the UK, keep reading for more information.
What is a Civil Partnership Visa?
According to a policy paper published on December 10, 2019, about Marriage and Civil Partnerships in England and Wales, both same-sex and opposite-sex civil partnerships cannot be called “married for legal purposes.” This goes the same for both same-sex and opposite-sex married couples.
The couple who will be joined together in a civil partnership should be (1) ages 18 and over (2) not related closely, and (3) legally free to enter into the union. There are some very small differences between a marriage and a civil partnership, but the visa requirements are about the same.
A UK Civil Partnership Visa allows a British citizen or a person with a UK “settled status” or ILR and a non-EEA citizen to be joined in the UK for a set time.
What are the Requirements for UK Civil Partnership Visa Application?
When applying for a UK Civil Partnership Visa, the following eligibility criteria must be satisfied under Appendix FM:
- the couple must both be 18 years of age or older at the time of application
- the applicant’s partner should, at least, be one of the following criteria:
- a British or Irish citizen
- have a “settled” status [with proof of permanent residence or have an Indefinite Leave to Remain (IRL)]
- have come from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have started living in the UK before January 1, 2021, under a “pre-settled” status
- have a Turkish Businessperson Visa or Turkish Worker Visa as previously available
- be under humanitarian protection in the UK or have a refugee status
- the couple must be under a civil partnership as legally recognized in the UK
- the couple must have already met in person
- the relationship can be proven as genuine and subsisting
- the couple must live together under adequate accommodations, regardless if there are additional family members or dependants, or not
- the applicant will not make use of any public funding
- the couple’s previous marriages, civil partnerships, or any legal relationships are permanently dissolved or broken down
- the applicant can show adequate English language requirement
There are financial requirements that are needed to prove that the couple and any dependants are adequately provided for without any support from public funds. The sponsor should be able to show proof of the following:
- has a gross annual income of at least £18,600,
- with an additional £3,800 for the first dependant child,
- and another £2,400 for each additional dependant child
Some of the considerations that can help satisfy the financial requirements are the following:
- employment or self-employment income
- company salaries and/or dividends where the partner acts as Director of
- income from property rentals
- income and dividends from stocks, bonds, shares, or investments
- insurance or maintenance payments
- cash savings of more than £16,000 with a holding time of at least six months
- or if the cash savings can be proven to come from a property sale or investment within a 6-month period
Many applications get rejected because of insufficient finances. However, a combination of some income sources can help fulfil the minimum requirement. This may only be applicable to some specific circumstances and not all cases.
Get in touch on 02037 324 736 or use our online contact form to speak to our immigration lawyers team about your Civil Partnership Visa application. One of our expert immigration lawyers would be happy to assist with advice and visa application process and procedure, or appeal service for an successful outcome. We have a highly success rate in our clients become a spouse visa holders. The initial application process involves an online out of country application and attending a visa visa application centre overseas. You can choose to pay additional costs for a quick decision to be made via using the priority service or premium service. If your application is successful you will be issued with a biometric residence permit.
You may still be able to meet the requirement if you are not working or are on benefits or have sufficient savings to satisfy the financial requirements. If your UK Sponsor is in receipt of the following specified benefits, you will need to fulfil the financial requirement of £18,600
- Disability Living Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit
- Police Injury Pension
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under War Pensions Scheme
What is the ‘adequate maintenance’ test & requirement?
The adequate maintenance test/requirement will require you and your partner to prove that the level of income available to your family unit (after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted), is equal or exceeds the level of Income Support an equivalent British family of your size is eligible for.
This is subject to the following adequate maintenance calculation:
The adequate maintenance calculation
A – B ≥ C
(A minus B is greater than or equal to C)
A is the net income (after deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions);
B is housing costs (what needs to be spent on accommodation)
C is the amount of Income support an equivalent family unit can receive in the UK.
Related: Guide to Immigrating to the UK
The application process would require documentation, depending on the applicant’s specific circumstances. The common documentary requirements are as follows:
- Updated passport and/or travel documents of both sponsor and applicant
- Civil Partnership Certificate
- Accommodation details
- Bank statements
- Proof of income, as applicable
- Divorce, separation, or death documentation from previous legally-binding relationships, as applicable
- Documents on any criminal convictions, as applicable
- National Insurance Number, as applicable
- Dependants coming into the UK, as applicable
All the documents should be in English or must be translated into English. If a document is required to be translated to English, both the original and the translated documents must be presented.
How much is the Civil Partner visa application fee?
The Home Office application fee for Civil Partnership UK visa application submitted outside the UK is currently £1,523. The Home Office application fee to switch into this category from within the UK or extend stay is currently £1,033. There are also additional fees applicable to book an appointment at the visa application centre and delivery courier services fees for the return and/or collection of your passport. These varies upon the home country you are applying from.
Do I need to pay the UK NHS Charge?
All applicant (s) need to pay the UK NHS Surcharge, which is a separate fee from the mandatory Civil Partnership visa application fee. The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) covers the initial period of the length of the visa, which is 2.5 years. A separate fee is applicable for each dependant. The Immigration Health Surcharge fee is currently £1,560 for each person applying, which includes dependant children. The NHS charge will cover a period of 33 months. This fee must be paid otherwise your application will not be processed and will be rejected.
How to Apply for a Civil Partnership Visa UK?
If the applicant already has a different visa type such as a UK Fiancé Visa, Work Visa, or Student Visa—all of which are valid for more than 6 months—he or she is already eligible to switch to a UK Civil Partnership Visa.
The online form must be filled out properly. If the application examiner doubts the validity of the relationship, there may be a chance that the couple would need to go for an interview. During the interview, it is best to be prepared with the following:
- Proof of having lived together for at least 2 years
- Shared bank statements
- Proof that you’ve spent time together and with frequent contact
- Photos, receipts, hotel reservations, etc.
Related: Unmarried Partner Visa UK in 2022
Civil Partner visa validity period
You will initially be granted a 1 month’s visa, which will be stamped into your passport in order to allow you to enter the UK, within this 1 month’s grace period. After your arrival to the UK, you will be required to collect your Biometric Residence Card at your local UK Post Office. Your BPR Card will confirm your Civil partner visa status and will be issued for 2.5 years or 30 months
If you apply to switch into or extend your stay as a Civil Partner from within the UK, you will be able to choose from two processing timelines. If you apply via the Standard Service, your in-country application will normally be decided within 8 weeks. If you apply via the Super Priority Service, you should normally receive a decision on the next working day after providing your biometric information.
If your application for a UK Civil Partner visa is successful, your visa will be valid for 33 months initially. If you apply for leave to remain in the UK as a Civil Partner then you will be granted leave valid for 30 months.
Before your initial grant of leave expires, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay. If your application for further leave to remain as a Civil Partner is successful then you will be granted further leave to remain for a period of 30 months. After spending 5 years in the UK as the Civil Partner of a British citizen or settled person, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Can a Civil Partner visa holder work in the UK?
Civil Partner visa holders have a full right to work and study in the UK.
How to Avoid Getting Rejected
The documentary and financial requirements should be complete to avoid getting rejections. It’s also best to know what the “Mandatory Grounds for Refusal“ are:
- If the applicant has a Deportation Order or has criminal offenses.
- If the applicant refuses to divulge important information during the interview such as medical test reports.
- If the applicant, intentionally or unknowingly, provided false documents, they may be subject to “Discretionary Grounds of Refusal.”
How Long Does it Take?
The application process normally takes about 12 weeks for an entry clearance officer to reach a decision. For couples who would need a faster resolution, there is a “Priority Visa Service.”
Should the application be refused, the applicant within the UK may file an appeal within 14 days from the date of refusal. If the applicant is abroad, 28 days would be the deadline for appeal. To avoid these types of refusals, it would be best to consult with an immigration lawyer, such as My Legal Services.
If the application is successful, the Civil Partnership Visa is valid for 33 months if the applicant applied abroad, and 30 months if the applicant applied within the UK. If the applicant and his or her partner continuously fulfil the requirements for the visa, they can apply for an extension of an additional 30 months.
The processing timeline for the extended stay is typically about 8 weeks. If the “Super Priority Service” is availed, a decision would normally be received on the next business day, after the biometrics information is complied with.
The process of getting a civil partnership visa in the UK can be long and arduous, but with the right preparation and help from solicitors like My Legal Services, it can be a relatively smooth experience.
Make sure you have all your documents in order and start gathering evidence as soon as possible to support your application. If you have any questions or need help putting together your application, contact us for assistance. We’re always here to help make the process as easy as possible for you.