Brand

Immigration Solicitors London

Est. 2002

+44 (0)20 7038 3980

info@rlegal.com

RLegal Solicitors, 162-168 Regent Street London W1B 5TG

RLegal is regulated by the SRA, Reg No: 00380691

If you are a non EEA national and are in a recognised legal civil partnership with a British citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) you can join your partner and live and work in the UK through a civil partner visa. 

Civil partnerships were legally recognised in the UK under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 which placed same sex couples on the same legal footing as married couples in civil law for example, in regard to property rights, inheritance laws, parental matters and financially related issues (this is not an exhaustive list) and provides individuals with a right to a legal procedure to terminate the partnership. Furthermore, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 allows same sex couples in England and Wales to now marry.

The legal requirements for a UK civil partner visa are quite complicated and we strongly advise obtaining assistance for an application from an immigration solicitor. RLegal is accredited with the Law Society of England & Wales to undertake immigration related work and have assisted clients to obtain UK civil partners visas. We have received many recommendations and referral work from clients who have undergone this process.

A civil partner visa entitles you to live in the UK with your partner and take employment or establish yourself in business for so long as your relationship is subsisting. It also enables the non EEA civil partner to regularise their stay in the event they are subject to domestic violence or their British sponsor passes away.

The UK civil partner visa is a two part process which requires the approval of an initial application followed by an extension application after you have been in the UK for an initial period of 30 months. After spending a total period of 5 years (60 months) in the UK with a UK civil partner visa, you will become eligible for indefinite leave to remain and then British citizenship through the three year residence route based on your civil patnership of which further details can be viewed on our website.

Your civil partner must be either British or settled in the UK (i.e. hold indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence) and you must:

  • both be over the age of 18;
  • intend to live together permanently as civil partners;
  • speak and understand English to a specified minimum level; and
  • be capable of financially supporting and housing yourselves.

RLegal immigration solicitors can guide you through the complex legal requirements and assist you to ensure that you obtain a UK civil partner visa giving you peace of mind.

We have over 30 years experience of lodging successful applications for UK civil partner visas. We are a specialist firm of immigration solicitors located in the heart of Regent Street, London since 2002. Our clients are based both within and outside of the UK. The partners at RLegal immigration solicitors have substantial experience of dealing with UK immigration related matter spanning 3 decades.

For more information, please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7038 3980 where you can talk to one of our team, email us at info@rlegal.com or complete our online enquiry form 

To gain permission to live in the UK under a civil partner visa you will need to satisfy the following requirements.

1. The applicant’s civil partner (the sponsor) must be

- a British Citizen in the UK;
- present and settled in the UK; or
- in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection.

2. Both parties to the relationship must be aged 18 or over at the date of application and not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.

3. The applicant and their civil partner must have met in person.

4. They must intend to live permanently with the other as his or her civil partner and the partnership must be subsisting.

5. The civil partnership must be valid, i.e. recognised by UK law. For example, religious and customary marriages are not usually recognised.

6. Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently.

7. The applicant must meet a specific financial requirement (read more below).

8. The couple must be able to accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without additional recourse to public funds. The applicant must demonstrate a minimum competence in the English language.

This can be done either by being a citizen of a specified country, holding a degree level qualification that was taught in English, or by passing an approved English language test to level A1.

This is one of the most complicated aspects of obtaining a UK civil partner visa. The law on the subject extends to over 30 pages. We set out below a summary of the main rules, but recommend that you seek specialist legal advice given the complexity of the legislation. As a firm of accredited specialist immigration solicitors located in central London we are able to assist and advise on all aspects of UK civil partner visas.

Applicants must show that they meet certain minimum income or savings thresholds to qualify for the visa. The annual income thresholds are:

Applicant with no children: £18,600

First child: an additional £3,800*

Subsequent children: an additional £2,400 per child*

* Applies only to children that are dependants on the application and are not British citizens or already settled in the UK.

- The sources of income which are acceptable are:

- employment or self employment of the sponsor;

- employment or self employment of the applicant if in the UK lawfully; 

- certain permitted sources other than employment, such as rent from property;

- state or private pensions of the applicant or sponsor; or maternity allowances or bereavement benefits received in the UK; and

- from 6 April 2014, ongoing insurance payments, e.g. such as one might receive from an income protection policy.

Shortfalls in income can be made up from savings in excess of £16,000. For example, if your income is £17,000, you will have a shortfall of £1,600. The amount of savings you would need to hold is £20,000 (i.e. £1,600 x 2.5 + £16,000).

If you have no income, the amount of savings you need to hold rises to £62,500.

Savings must be held in an account in your or your partner’s name for 6 months prior to the date of application. 

Applicants will be exempt from these financial requirements if their UK civil partner receives a specified disability related benefit or carer’s allowance. In these circumstances, it is necessary to show that the couple can still maintain and accommodate themselves without additional recourse to public funds.

Procedure and Timescales

Applicants for a UK civil partner visa must pay a 'National Health Service (NHS) surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa which is a mandatory requirement and will allow them to access the NHS whilst in the UK.

Outside the UK

Applicants not presently in the UK must apply for a UK civil partner visa to enter in the correct capacity. The application should be lodged at a British overseas post designated to deal with visa applications.

The process involves submission of an online application and supplying original specified evidence, attendance at a biometric appointment and depending on the case potentially an immigration interview. Applicants from certain specified countries may be required to undertake a tuberculosis test.

Processing times vary enormously between countries and can be from 1 week to 6 months or more.

Inside the UK 

For those already in the UK, with the exception of visitors and others who hold a visa for less than 6 months duration, it is possible to apply direct to the Home Office via either the postal system or the premium same day service. The process involves submission of an application with specified evidence, attendance at a biometric appointment and depending on the circumstances potentially an immigration interview.

Premium applications are processed in 1 day.

Postal applications vary but are typically between 3-6 months.

Outside the UK

£1195

Some (but not all) British visa application centres around the world offer a ‘Priority Settlement Service’. This is an additional cost service that will place your UK civil partner visa application at the front of the processing queue for an additional fee, which payment for is usually required prior to submission of the application. Use of this service may speed up the processing time for your application considerably, however, the Home Office do not guarantee expedited treatment.

Inside the UK

Postal application £811

Premium application £1311

To qualify for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) through a UK civil partner visa, an applicant must:

- have completed 5 years continuous lawful residence with a UK civil partner visa;

- the relationship with their civil partner must be subsisting and both parties must intend to live together permanently;

- continue to meet the financial and accommodation requirements;

- not have any unspent criminal convictions (including motoring offences);

- civil judgements;

- have passed the Life in the UK Test; and

- demonstrate a higher level of competence in the English language.

This can be done either by being a citizen of a specified country, holding a degree level qualification that was taught in English, or by passing an approved English language test to level B1.

Individuals in the UK who applied for a UK civil partner visa in a relationship category under the rules in place prior to 9 July 2012 will continue to be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 2 years provided:

-they have completed 2 years continuous lawful residence in the UK with a UK civil partner visa;

-their relationship is subsisting and both parties intend to live together permanently;

-they can demonstrate that they can support and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds;

-they do not have any unspent criminal convictions (including motoring offences) or civil judgements;

-have passed the Life in the UK Test; and

-demonstrate a higher level of competence in the English language.

This can be done either by being a citizen of a specified country, holding a degree level qualification that was taught in English, or by passing an approved English language test to level B1.

 

- Comprehensive legal advice relating to UK civil partner immigration visa law and procedure

- Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements for this category

- Assistance with compiling the complex evidence required through a firm of specialist immigration solicitors accredited with experience of dealing with UK civil partner visas

- Completion and submission of all forms.

- Booking a biometric appointment.

- Ongoing liaison with the authorities where possible.

RLegal immigration solicitors is located in central London and we are accredited in immigration law by the Law Society of England Wales. Although we are based in the UK we are able to assist clients from all over the world with a UK civil partner visa for the UK. We have an impressive list of testimonials from clients who have used our legal services.

If you would like to discuss your application for a UK civil partner visa with one of our experienced immigration lawyers in more detail, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980, email us at info@rlegal.com or use our online enquiry form.

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