Can You Get a UK Civil Partner Visa? Requirements for 2024

Two men hug in celebration, highlighting the availability of UK civil partner visas in 2024.

The UK Civil Partnership Visa offers an immigration route to foreign nationals in a legal relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. A successful application for a UK Civil Partnership Visa will allow them to join their partner and continue living in the UK. Dive into our guide and prepare for a successful UK Civil Partnership Visa application with Axis Solicitors.

Overview of the UK Civil Partner Visa

The UK Civil Partner Visa is intended for people who are in a civil partnership with British or Irish nationals, individuals who are settled or pre-settled in the UK, holders of a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker visa, and those who have been given refugee status or humanitarian protection. The goal is to either unite with or stay with their civil partner in the UK. This visa also caters to applicants whose civil partners are currently outside the UK but plan to return alongside them.

Holding a UK Civil Partner Visa opens the pathway to obtaining indefinite leave to remain or achieving settlement in the UK after a five-year period. An opportunity provides a foundation for a stable and long-term future in the UK for civil partners.

However, there are a number of requirements that applicants need to meet for this immigration route.

Eligibility Criteria for the UK Civil Partner Visa

To successfully apply for a UK Civil Partner Visa, applicants must meet certain criteria as outlined by UK Visas and Immigration. 

These requirements include:

  • Your partner should be a citizen of Britain or Ireland, have established residency in the UK, have pre-settled status, hold a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker visa, or have received refugee status or humanitarian protection.
  • Both partners must be at least 18 years old.
  • The relationship must not fall within the prohibited degrees of kinship.
  • The couple must have met in person.
  • The civil partnership has to be legally recognised in the UK.
  • The relationship should be genuine and ongoing.
  • There is an intention for both partners to live together permanently in the UK.
  • Any previous relationships must have permanently ended.
  • The couple must meet the financial requirements to ensure they can support themselves.
  • Adequate accommodation must be available for the couple and any dependents.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a certain level of English language proficiency.

The specific documentation and proof needed can vary depending on individual circumstances. We recommend consulting with an experienced and highly reviewed immigration solicitor for situation-specific advice and to ensure compliance with all requirements. 

UK Civil Partner Visa Eligibility: Requirements for Sponsors

To be eligible for a UK Civil Partner Visa, your partner must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be a British or Irish citizen residing in the UK, including British citizens planning to move to the UK alongside you.
  • Be a holder of indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or permanent residency in the UK. This encompasses individuals who are concurrently being admitted for settlement with you.
  • Possesses pre-settled status as per Appendix EU of the immigration rules.
  • Have been granted limited leave to remain within the context of being a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker, in accordance with Appendix ECAA.
  • Be under refugee leave or possess humanitarian protection status within the UK.

UK Civil Partnership Visa: Minimum Age Requirements

Entering into a civil partnership in the UK or applying for entry clearance, the applicant is required to be at least the minimum age. Meaning that both the applicant and his or her proposed civil partner should be at least 18 years old. This is one of the internationally accepted prerequisites that, upon reaching the legal consensual age by both parties, discourages forced partnerships on unsuspecting persons. Certified copies of the passport or birth certificate would normally be sufficient for this particular visa category through evidence of age.

The Importance of Recognised UK Civil Partnerships

Your civil partnership must be recognised under UK law to be eligible for a UK Civil Partner Visa. This entails that your civil partnership must have been legally formalised in the country where it was conducted, aligning with the legal standards set by the UK.

Hence, civil partnerships formed in regions with laws substantially different from those of the UK might encounter challenges during the application process for a UK Civil Partnership Visa. If there remains any uncertainty about whether your civil partnership is recognised in the UK, do not hesitate to consult with our immigration law experts.

Proving Intent to Live Together Permanently

To qualify for a UK Civil Partnership Visa, the applicant and the applying partner would have to show that they have an intention to live in the UK permanently together.

The UK immigration authorities need assurance that the relationship is genuine and not a means to gain entry to the UK.

To prove a genuine relationship, you may provide evidence such as:

  • Shared Finances: Joint bank accounts, bills in both names, etc.
  • Cohabitation: Rental agreements or property ownership documents.
  • Shared Parenting: Birth certificates and school documents (if applicable).

The assessment of whether a relationship is genuine and ongoing is conducted case-by-case for each application by meticulously considering the entirety of the evidence and the specific circumstances of the individuals involved.

Fulfilling the Financial Criteria for a UK Civil Partner Visa

Fulfilling the financial requirements for a UK Civil Partner Visa is achievable through various means. 

These include:

  • Employment Income: This encompasses the salary from both salaried and non-salaried roles of either your civil partner or yourself (provided you have permission to work in the UK).
  • Non-employment Income: Sources such as rental income from property or dividends from shares also contribute towards meeting the financial criteria.
  • Cash Savings: Savings exceeding £16,000, belonging to either you, your civil partner, or both, and held for a minimum of six months under your control, can be considered.
  • Pension Funds: Pensions, whether state (UK or foreign), occupational, or private, belonging to either you or your civil partner, are valid.
  • Self-Employment and Business Income: Income from self-employment or from being a director or employee of certain limited companies in the UK, for either you or your civil partner, if you have the work permit.

The income requirement for all UK family visas is scheduled for significant adjustments. On April 11th, 2024, it will increase from £18,600 to £29,000. Later in the year, it will escalate further to £34,500 before reaching £38,700 by early 2025.

Under rare conditions where denying a Civil Partner Visa application might violate Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), alternative credible and dependable financial resources, support, or available funds may be considered.

Furthermore, be aware that it is frequently feasible to combine sources of income to meet the visa’s financial requirements. Nevertheless, applicants whose civil partners receive specific state benefits or entitlements may be subject to different criteria.

Likewise, those relying on cash savings should consider that the amount required differs depending on the application stage, whether for initial entry clearance, an extension, or indefinite leave to remain.

English Language Proficiency for Civil Partner Visa Applicants

For your Civil Partner Visa application, it’s necessary to meet the English language criteria set by the Home Office unless you qualify for an exemption. This involves demonstrating English language proficiency as follows:

For initial entry clearance or when switching to the Civil Partner Visa pathway, you must prove you have English language skills at the CEFR level A1 or higher.

For applications for further leave to remain under the civil partner category, a minimum English language proficiency at the CEFR level A2 is required.

You can fulfil the English language requirement for the Civil Partner Visa through one of the following methods:

  • Being a national of a predominantly English-speaking country;
  • Passing an approved English language test at the requisite CEFR level or higher, conducted by an accredited provider, as detailed on the list of Approved Secure English Language Tests and Test Centres;
  • Possessing an academic qualification at the level of a Bachelor’s, Master’s degree, or PhD. 

If the degree was awarded in the UK, it automatically qualifies. Degrees awarded outside the UK must be recognised by Ecctis as equivalent to, or higher than, a UK Bachelor’s, Master’s degree, or PhD. Furthermore, Ecctis needs to verify that the degree was instructed or studied in English at or exceeding the required CEFR level.

Exemptions From the English Language Proficiency

Exemptions from the English language requirement typically apply if you:

  • Are aged 65 or above on the application date;
  • Possess a physical or mental impairment that hinders you from satisfying the English language prerequisites;
  • Encounter extraordinary situations that obstruct you from meeting the English language stipulation before arriving in the UK.

Accommodation Requirements for Civil Partner Visa Applicants

When applying for a UK civil partner visa, either for entry clearance or to extend your stay in the UK as a civil partner, you must prove your housing meets the ‘adequate accommodation’ standard. Several key factors define this ‘adequate accommodation’ requirement to ensure a suitable living environment for the applicant and their family members. 

Specifically, the accommodation must:

  • Be solely owned or exclusively occupied by the applicant and their family, ensuring privacy and security.
  • Be secured without public financial assistance, affirming the applicant’s financial independence.
  • Maintain a standard that prevents overcrowding, offering sufficient space for each family member.
  • Comply with public health regulations, safeguarding the well-being of the occupants and surrounding community.

Meeting these conditions affirms the applicant’s capability to provide a stable and healthy living situation for their family, aligning with the immigration pathway’s objectives to promote self-sufficiency and adherence to safety standards.

Essential Document Checklists for UK Civil Partner Visa Applications

A frequent cause for denying Civil Partner Visa applications is the omission of adequate documentary proof. The Immigration Rules specify precise documentation requirements for UK Civil Partner Visa submissions. Given that each application is unique, the necessary documents for a Civil Partner Visa can differ significantly.

Applicants must exercise caution when relying on generic document checklists for their civil partner visa applications. Failure to provide a required document, submission of documents in incorrect formats, or documents lacking essential information can lead to the rejection of a Civil Partner Visa application. Appeals against such decisions can be lengthy and their outcomes uncertain, while reapplying incurs additional costs and further delays.

Consulting with our immigration team can ensure that the documentation aligns with an individual’s precise circumstances. Our Immigration Solicitors are experienced in ensuring that these applications satisfy all requirements set by UK Immigration Law.

Application Process for a UK Civil Partnership Visa

A Step-By-Step Guide From Axis Solicitors

Securing a UK Civil Partnership Visa involves an exhaustive application process filled with important steps and requirements. At Axis Solicitors, we are experienced in providing expert guidance and ensuring your pathway to success is as smooth and straightforward as possible. 

Below, we provide a guide that explains the fundamental application process, aiming to boost your understanding and chances of a successful outcome.

Step 1: Preparation Is Key

Begin your application journey by assembling all critical documents. This preparatory stage typically requires at least your passport, civil partnership certificate, solid proof of your relationship, and documents proving you meet both the financial and English language requirements. A TB test result will also be necessary for those applying from countries with a high TB risk. Adequate preparation is the foundation of a successful application.

Step 2: Completing the Online Application

The application for a UK civil partnership visa is primarily completed online via the official UK government Visas and Immigration website. Nevertheless, you will need to provide detailed information about yourself, your civil partner, and the nature of your relationship. 

Step 3: Payment of Fees

Upon submitting your application, you will be required to pay the applicable visa fee, which, as of our last update, stands at £1,846 for applications made outside the UK and £1,048 for those within. Additionally, the immigration health surcharge (IHS), variable based on your intended length of stay, must also be settled at this stage.

Step 4: Biometric Information Submission

Following payment, you must book an appointment at a visa application centre to provide your biometric information, including fingerprints and a photograph. This is a critical step in the security and verification process.

Step 5: Document Submission

The next step involves submitting both the original and copies of your required documents. The UK Visas and Immigration online service allows for digital uploads, or alternatively, you may submit them during your biometric appointment. Because of the importance of this step, it is recommended to have an adept legal consultation before submitting your application to ensure accuracy and consistency throughout.

Step 6: The Interview Process

Applicants may be invited to an interview as part of the application process to verify information and assess the genuineness of the application. If an interview is necessary, you will receive instructions from the UK Visas and Immigration office.

Step 7: Awaiting Your Decision

Finally, after all steps are completed, the decision-making process begins. You will be informed of the outcome; if successful, your visa will grant you entry into the UK. In case of a refusal, detailed reasons and appeal instructions will be provided.

Updated Processing Times for UK Civil Partner Visa Applications

The UK Home Office has set a service standard to finalise decisions on Civil Partner Visa applications from outside the UK within 24 weeks. 

Support for UK Civil Partner Visa Applications From Axis Solicitors

Axis Solicitors frequently supports foreign nationals in their UK Civil Partner Visa applications on their journey to relocate and establish their lives in the UK. Our dedicated team of solicitors has a proven track record of preparing and achieving approval for numerous UK Civil Partner Visa applications.

Whether you seek expert advice on navigating the Immigration Rules for Civil Partner Visas, need an accurate assessment of your eligibility, or guidance in preparing your application, our solicitors are here to assist. We are equipped to address all aspects of your Civil Partner Visa application. We can offer support during your initial application preparations, submissions or appeal proceedings if required.

Understanding and meeting the financial requirements for a Civil Partner Visa can be a challenging aspect of your application. These requirements demand explicit evidence to demonstrate the fulfilment of financial requirements. Our team of solicitors is trained at managing the complex financial aspects of immigration cases, guiding our clients to successfully satisfy these requirements and secure their visas.

Choosing Axis Solicitors means opting for a top-rated yet friendly legal team, and experienced solicitors will increase the chances of a favourable outcome in even the most challenging of UK Civil Partner Visa applications. 

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