Overview of Working on a Fiance Visa in the UK
The Fiance visa is a type of UK Family visa that allows you to travel to the UK to marry or enter into a civil partnership with a British citizen or someone who has British settled status.
Fiance visas are only valid for an initial 6 months, after which you will have the option to apply for a Spouse visa to allow you to stay in the UK for longer.
Obtaining a Spouse visa will also allow you to eventually apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years’ worth of qualifying residence in the UK.
While the Fiance visa is a useful way for people to come to the UK and eventually settle, there are a few restrictions on what you can and cannot do during the 6 or so months you’ll be in the UK with your Fiance visa.
Note that due to their similarity, the information on this page may also be applied to the Proposed Civil Partner visa as well.
- Overview of Working on a Fiance Visa in the UK
- Can I Work in the UK on a Fiance Visa?
- What Can I Do With a Fiance Visa?
- How Can I Work in the UK With a Spouse Visa?
- Are There Any Work Restrictions With a Spouse Visa?
- Can I Claim Benefits or Public Funds with a Spouse Visa?
- How Long Can I Work in the UK with a Spouse Visa?
- How Can IAS Help?
Can I Work in the UK on a Fiance Visa?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to work in the UK with a Fiance visa.
This covers every form of paid and unpaid work, including the following:
- Full-time employment
- Part-time employment
It’s important that you ensure that you don’t engage in any kind of activity that might be interpreted as paid or unpaid work while you’re in the UK on a Fiance visa. Doing so may be considered as a breach of UK immigration rules, which may impact your ability to apply for, and get approved for, visas in the future.
This is especially important if you plan to apply for a Spouse visa after you get married or enter into a civil partnership, as the Home Office may find grounds to refuse your Spouse visa application if you have been found to be in breach of UK immigration rules.
Because of this, it’s important to ensure that you stick to the range of activities that you can do in the UK while on a Fiance visa.
What Can I Do With a Fiance Visa?
Much like the Visitor visa, the things you can do with a Fiance visa are fairly limited.
The primary objective of the Fiance visa is to grant you leave so that you can come to the UK and marry or enter into a civil partnership.
This must take place within 6 months of you receiving your visa. Your fiance visa will expire after 6 months unless you can provide a compelling reason for it to be extended.
As a result of this, there’s not much that you’ll be able to do in the UK until after your marriage or civil partnership ceremony takes place, and you apply for your Spouse visa.
As already mentioned, you will not be able to engage in any sort of employment, work or volunteering positions with a Fiance visa.
In addition, it’s inadvisable to study in the UK on a fiance visa. Although there are no explicit guidelines saying that you cannot study in the UK on a Fiance visa, it would be recommended not to do so in case the Home Office consider it to be a breach of UK immigration rules when you apply for your Spouse visa.
The Spouse visa will allow you to work and study in the UK, subject to restrictions. Therefore, it’s best to wait until after you receive your Spouse visa to do either of these things rather than risk breaching the rules under your Fiance visa.
How Can I Work in the UK With a Spouse Visa?
After you get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK, you will be eligible to apply for your Spouse visa.
It’s this visa that will allow you to legally work and study in the UK, with only a few restrictions on what you can and can’t do.
However, you must satisfy a number of eligibility criteria in order to obtain this Spouse visa and be granted permission to live and work in the UK. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- You Fiancé visa must still be valid, and you must not have breached any immigration rules or conditions
- You must be in a legally binding marriage or civil partnership with a British citizen or person with British settled status
- You must satisfy the good character requirement
- You must satisfy the genuine relationship requirements
- You must meet the minimum language requirements
- You must meet the minimum financial requirements
After satisfying these criteria and providing all of the relevant supporting documents, you may apply for your Spouse visa.
You will be able to take up work as soon as your application for a Spouse visa is approved and you receive your biometric residence card.
Are There Any Work Restrictions With a Spouse Visa?
When you obtain your Spouse visa, you will also obtain the freedom to work in any business or profession you choose without restrictions.
This means that you can work full-time, part-time, in an apprenticeship, internship, be self-employed or set up your own company.
You will also be free to take up as much volunteering and non-paid work as you like without breaching any restrictions.
Can I Claim Benefits or Public Funds with a Spouse Visa?
You will not be able to claim any benefits or have recourse to public funds with a Fiance visa or a Spouse visa.
As part of the Fiance visa and Spouse visa requirements, you and your spouse or partner must demonstrate that you have a combined income of at least £18,600 per annum. This is in place in order to prevent the need for you to access public funds or claim benefits.
As a foreign national, you will only be able to claim benefits or access public funds once you successfully apply for permanent settlement through indefinite leave to remain.
In addition to this, you must pay the immigration health surcharge before you can access the NHS services in the UK. This will be a yearly payment of £624, paid for every year you’ll be in the UK.
How Long Can I Work in the UK with a Spouse Visa?
When you switch from a Fiance visa to a Spouse visa, you will initially be allowed to stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months.
However, this can be extended for another 2 years and 6 months when your initial period of validity is close to expiring.
You will be able to work for the entirety of this duration as long as you manage to extend your Spouse visa each time before it expires.
After spending 5 years in the UK, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain from your Spouse visa.
With indefinite leave to remain, you will be able to settle permanently in the UK and take up any work you like without having to worry about applying for, or extending, visas. Also, you will be able to apply for British citizenship after a year of holding ILR.
Note that if you’re still in the UK when your Spouse visa expires, or if you’re still working in the UK when it expires, you will be considered in breach of UK immigration rules. This will also seriously impact your ability to apply for UK visas in the future.
How Can IAS Help?
The Fiance visa is an important stepping stone to successfully obtaining a Spouse visa and being able to seek employment to support yourself and your partner or spouse in the UK.
However, it is still a fairly limited visa, with heavy restrictions on what you can’t do in the 6 months’ period of validity it offers. It’ll therefore be expected that many Fiance visa holders will then go on to try and obtain Spouse visas so they can properly settle into life in the UK and fully exercise their rights and freedoms.
If you’re looking for help with your UK Fiancé visa application, or if you’re already in the UK and are starting your application for a Spouse visa, IAS can help.
We are expert immigration professionals who are experienced in the field of UK visas and immigration. We’ve helped countless people successfully obtain visas to stay in the UK, as well as assisting people in getting indefinite leave to remain and permanent residency status.
We can assist you with every stage of the UK Fiance visa application and Spouse visa application process, including help with your application, supporting documents, and advice on how to maximise your chances of getting a Spouse visa or a Spouse visa extension.
We can also help to advise you on UK immigration rules and guidelines, so you aren’t at risk of jeopardising your chances of staying in the UK and settling here.
Last modified on September 12th, 2022 at 3:37 pm
Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.
We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.
Fast Track Package
Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.
The Advice Package
With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.
The Application Package
Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.
The Appeal Package
Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.