If you want to live in the UK with your British or settled spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, you can apply for permission to enter or stay in the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
The most important requirements you must satisfy are:
- meeting the definition of a “partner”: this includes spouses, civil partners, and unmarried partners who have lived together for at least 2 years.
- the financial requirement. With only a very few exceptions, you must have an annual income of at least £18,600 (or equivalent savings). The sources of income and the way that it is calculated are strictly defined.
- the English language requirement. New applicants must usually prove they meet a minimum of the A1 CEFR standard in speaking and listening. There is a very limited number of approved language tests and test providers. You may need to “upgrade” your language qualification each time you apply to extend your permission to stay in the UK.
If you do not qualify as an unmarried partner, and you intend to get married or enter a civil partnership in the UK then you can apply for permission to enter as a fiance or proposed civil partner.
You must provide “specified documents” to prove some parts of your application (for example, if you meet the financial requirement through your income from employment, then you must provide the bank statements, wage slips, and a letter from your employer). You might run into difficulty if documents are missing or in the wrong format.
You will usually need to pay an application fee, and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The initial application is made online, and in most cases documents are now provided by electronically uploading them. You might be eligible to pay extra for a “priority” application, to get a decision sooner.
If you are granted permission to enter the UK as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, you will normally be granted permission for 33 months. If you are entering as a fiance or proposed civil partner, then your permission will be for 6 months.
If you are granted permission to stay in the UK as a partner, then you will normally be granted permission for 30 months.
I can support you throughout the application process, including helping you to prepare your application form and supporting documents, providing a covering letter to summarise your case, and acting as a point of contact with the immigration authorities if any problems arise.
If you do not meet all the requirements, then you might still be granted permission to enter or stay in the UK if it would breach your rights or those of a family member to private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). If you believe that this might apply in your case, I can advise you on how to prepare and submit a suitable application.