- Overview of the Civil Partnership Visa
- Who Can Apply for a Civil Partnership Visa?
- What Are the Relationship Requirements for a Civil Partnership Visa?
- How Can I Prove That My Relationship is Genuine?
- What Are the Financial Requirements?
- How Can I Prove I Meet the Financial Requirements?
- What Are the Accommodation Requirements?
- What Are the English Language Requirements?
- How Do I Apply for a Civil Partnership Visa?
- What Documents Do I Need to Provide With My Application?
- What Are the Fees for the Civil Partnership Visa?
- What Are the Processing Times for the Civil Partnership Visa?
- How Long is the Civil Partnership Visa Valid For?
- What Can I Do With a Civil Partnership Visa?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of the Civil Partnership Visa
Like these visas, it allows foreign nationals the opportunity to settle in the UK with their British or Irish partners, with a view to eventually applying for permanent settlement through indefinite leave to remain.
These visas share a great deal of similarities, including what you need to do to become eligible, and what it allows you to do while in the UK.
However, the Civil Partnership visa is specifically aimed at couples who are in a legally binding civil partnership, rather than a marriage or any other form of relationship.
Civil Partnership visas allow you to stay in the UK for an initial 2 years and 9 months. This can then be extended for another 2 years and 6 months.
Who Can Apply for a Civil Partnership Visa?
You will only be able to apply for a Civil Partnership visa if your civil partner:
- Is a British citizen or Irish citizen
- Has settled status in the UK, such as indefinite leave to remain, settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or proof of permanent residence
- Has pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme (as long as they started living in the UK before 1 January 2021)
- Has a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
- Has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
In addition, you will need to fulfil the following criteria:
- You’re in a civil partnership that is legally recognised in the UK
- You and your civil partner are both over 18
- Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting
- Any previous relationships must have broken down permanently
- You must have adequate accommodation in the UK available to you and intend to live with your civil partner permanently
- You must meet the minimum financial requirements
- You must meet the minimum language requirements
What Are the Relationship Requirements for a Civil Partnership Visa?
The most important part of fulfilling the relationship requirement for this visa is proving that you are in a valid, legally binding civil partnership.
This can be done by providing proof of a civil partnership certificate that is legally recognised in the UK.
However, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will also need to see that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. This means that your relationship with your civil partner must be truthful, lasting and not exist solely for deceitful reasons.
This is in place to ensure that people do not simply enter into a civil partnership to bypass UK immigration rules.
There are a number of ways you can prove that your civil partnership is genuine and subsisting, most of which involve providing a range of proof and evidence taken from the history of your relationship with your civil partner.
How Can I Prove That My Relationship is Genuine?
In order to be approved for a Civil Partnership visa, you must demonstrate to the Home Office and UKVI that your civil partnership is genuine and subsisting.
You may do this by providing a range of documents with your visa application, which may include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Evidence that you live together, such as shared utility bills or a tenancy agreement
- Evidence that you share financial responsibilities together, such as joint bank accounts or utility bills
- Evidence that you both play a part in raising your children, if you have any
- Evidence that you have visited each other’s home countries
- Photographs, text messages, personal letters, details of travel taken together, and other informal pieces of evidence or correspondence
You must also provide proof that any previous relationships, such as previous marriages or civil partnerships, have broken down completely.
You can do this by providing evidence of a divorce or evidence of dissolution in the case of a civil partnership.
What Are the Financial Requirements?
You and your civil partner must demonstrate that you have a certain amount of shared income in order to be eligible for a Civil Partnership visa.
In most cases, this will be £18,600.
If you have a dependent child you wish to add to your visa application, you will have to earn another £3,800 a year in order to accommodate them.
Each additional child after that will add another £2,400 to the yearly requirement.
However, you will not have to add on these additional costs if your child or children are British or Irish citizens, have indefinite leave to remain, or have settled or pre-settled status.
You may use any of the following to make up the minimum income requirement for your Civil Partnership visa:
- UK-based income from employment before tax and National Insurance
- Income earned from self-employment or as a director of a limited company in the UK
- Cash savings above £16,000
- Money from a pension
- Non-work income, such as that from property rentals or dividends
Note that you may be exempt from having to fulfil the financial requirement if your civil partner is in receipt of certain state benefits.
How Can I Prove I Meet the Financial Requirements?
You may need to provide a range of documents in order to prove that you meet the minimum financial requirements.
These may include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Bank statements showing you or your civil partner’s income
- Six months of payslips
- A letter from an employer, which is dated and on headed paper, confirming:
- That you or your civil partner are employed there
- The job title or position you or your civil partner hold
- How long you or your civil partner have worked there
- The type of contract the job is, such as permanent, fixed term, etc
- What you or your civil partner earn before tax and National Insurance
- How long you or your civil partner have been paid your current salary
- That the payslips are genuine
Demonstrating that you meet the financial requirements is necessary in order to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after 5 years.
However, if you’re unable to meet the financial requirements when you first apply for your Civil Partnership visa, you may still be eligible if you’re put on a 10 year route to ILR instead of the usual 5 year route.
What Are the Accommodation Requirements?
When applying for a Civil Partnership visa, you must demonstrate to the Home Office that you will have somewhere adequate to stay while in the UK that fits within the set guidelines.
This is in order to ensure that you will not have to seek out access to public funds during your stay in the UK.
In order for your Civil Partnership visa to be approved, the accommodation you’ll be staying in in the UK must:
- Be owned or occupied exclusively by you and your family
- Have been obtained without recourse to public funds
- Not exceed the overcrowding guidelines
- Not breach public health regulations
You can satisfy this requirement by submitting:
- Proof that you and your civil partner have sole ownership of a property, such as through a title deed or mortgage agreement
- Proof that you and your civil partner have legal occupancy in a property, such as through a tenancy agreement
- A letter from a friend or family confirming that you will be staying with them and that they will be providing you with adequate accommodation for the whole of your stay in the UK
What Are the English Language Requirements?
In many cases, you will have to demonstrate your English language skills in order to be eligible for a Civil Partnership visa.
You won’t need to prove your English language skills or take an English language test if any of the following apply to you:
- You are over 65
- You are from a majority English-speaking country
- You have a degree or an academic qualification that was taught or researched in English
- If this applies to you, you will need to apply for a certificate from Ecctis to demonstrate that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher and that it was taught in English
- You have a degree or an academic qualification from a UK college or university
- You have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the language requirement
If none of the above apply to you, you will need to take an approved English language test and pass at A1 level or higher on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Note that this minimum language requirement will increase after you’ve been in the UK for 2.5 years. At this point, you will need to pass an approved English test at A2 or higher in order to extend your visa and continue living in the UK.
However, if you pass your test result at A2 or higher when first applying for your visa, you will be able to use this test result again when you extend it as long as the test provider hasn’t withdrawn the result.
How Do I Apply for a Civil Partnership Visa?
You must apply for your Civil Partnership visa online.
You must also apply for it before you travel to the UK, as you will only be granted entry clearance to the UK when your application for a visa is approved.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to fill in the application form and upload all of your supporting documents. You must ensure that you fill in the form as accurately and fully as possible, as not doing so may risk your visa application being refused.
You will also have to pay your fees at the same time when submitting your application.
After submitting your application, you may also have to attend an appointment at a local visa application centre in order to give your biometrics information in the form of your fingerprints and a photograph.
What Documents Do I Need to Provide With My Application?
You will need to provide the following supporting documents an information with your Civil Partnership application:
- Your current passport or other valid travel ID
- Copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports
- Details of any previous immigration applications you’ve made
- Details of any criminal convictions
- Your parents’ dates of birth and nationalities
- Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you’re required to take one
- Documentary proof that your relationship is genuine and subsisting
- Documentary proof that you meet the minimum financial requirements
- Documentary proof that you meet the minimum language requirements, or proof that you’re exempt from them
Note that you will also need to provide a certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh.
What Are the Fees for the Civil Partnership Visa?
It costs £1,538 to apply for a Civil Partnership visa.
It will cost another £1,538 for each dependent child you add to your application, if you have any.
You will also have to pay the immigration health surcharge when you apply for a Civil Partnership visa. This is £624 a year for adults, and £470 a year for under 18s.
Note that you may also have to pay additional fees for the following:
- Obtaining a biometric residence permit
- Getting certified translations for documents
- Getting an English language test
- Getting your academic qualification certified by Ecctis
- Using the super priority visa service
What Are the Processing Times for the Civil Partnership Visa?
Your application for a Civil Partnership visa will usually take up to 24 weeks to process from the date when you attend your appointment at the visa application centre.
However, note that this may take slightly longer if any of the following apply:
- UKVI are experiencing a particularly high case load
- You are asked to provide additional information or supporting documents while your application is being processed
- Your immigration case is a complex one, or there are additional concerns in regards to establishing your eligibility for a visa
If you need your visa processed quicker than usual, you may be able to use the Home Office’s super priority processing service.
This costs £800 and ensures that your application is processed within one or two working days, depending on when your biometrics appointment is.
How Long is the Civil Partnership Visa Valid For?
When you are initially granted leave to remain for your Civil Partnership visa, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for 33 months, which is 2 years and 9 months.
When this initial period is close to expiring, you will then be able to extend your visa for another 30 months, which is 2 years and 6 months.
What Can I Do With a Civil Partnership Visa?
With a Civil Partnership visa, you will be able to live, work and study in the UK with almost no restrictions.
You will also be able to travel freely to and from the UK without being subject to immigration control.
You will not, however, have recourse to public funds.
This means that you will not be able to access many state benefits available in the UK for those who have citizenship or permanent settlement.
You will only be able to access public funds once you successfully apply for indefinite leave to remain.
How Can IAS Help?
Applying for a Civil Partnership visa can be a fairly long and drawn-out process, given the amount of eligibility criteria you need to fulfil and supporting documentation you need to provide.
If you require any assistance with your Civil Partnership visa, such as if you’re confused or unsure about the application process and what you need to do to be eligible for this visa, IAS can help.
We are a team of professional and knowledgeable immigration lawyers who have years’ worth of experience working in UK immigration law. We have helped countless people overcome hurdles to come and settle in the UK, and we can help you to do the same, too.
Whether you need expert advice on how to prove that you meet the Civil Partnership visa requirements, help with assembling your supporting documents, or support if your visa application has been rejected, we can be there for you to help guide you through the process.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 7:22 am
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You will normally be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending 5 years in the UK.
Note that the time you’ve spent in the UK will have to meet the eligibility criteria as being continuous, lawful residence in the UK.
For example, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12 month period.
You must also pass the Life in the UK Test in order to be eligible for ILR, and also meet the general requirements of having a clean criminal background.
For more information about indefinite leave to remain, see our dedicated page.
The Civil Partnership visa is a long-term visa that allows eligible civil partners of British residents to come and settle in the UK. It is intended to serve as a route to permanent residency in the UK.
Meanwhile, the Proposed Civil Partner (also known as the Fiance visa) visa is a short-term visa that allows foreign nationals engaged to British residents to come and register a civil partnership in the UK.
It is only valid for 6 months, and applicants under the Proposed Civil Partner visa must register a civil partnership within the 6 months of their visa’s validity.
You will not be able to work while in the UK on a Proposed Civil Partner visa.
However, you may apply to switch to a Civil Partnership visa once you have registered your civil partnership in the UK.
Yes, you will be able to switch to a Civil Partnership visa if you’re already in the UK on another eligible visa.
The most common instance of this will be if you’re in the UK on a Proposed Civil Partner visa. In that case, you will likely look to switch to a Civil Partnership visa once you have registered your civil partnership in the UK.
You may also be able to switch from another visa other than a Proposed Civil Partner visa, if it’s eligible.
You will not be able to switch to a Civil Partnership visa if you:
- Have a visitor visa
- Have a visa that only allows you to be in the UK for 6 months or less (except the Proposed Civil Partner visa)
If you separate from your partner, or your relationship breaks down, or your relationship ends while you’re in the UK on your Civil Partnership visa, you will need to notify the Home Office.
You must send the Home Office an email with you and your ex-partner’s:
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Home Office reference number
You must also send them details of your children, if you have any.
After you notify the Home Office, you may then be able to stay in the UK if you apply for another visa. For example, you may be eligible for a work visa, or as a parent of a child who’s British, settled in the UK or has lived in the UK for at least 7 years.
You may also be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you’re eligible under certain special circumstances, such as if:
- Your relationship has broken down because of domestic violence or abuse
- You’ve lived in the UK for 10 years
- Your partner died