Fiancé visas are granted for the purpose of Entry Clearance for an applicant who is seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom for marriage or civil partnership ceremonies with a person who is present and settled in the United Kingdom or who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement in the United Kingdom.
What is a Fiancé? For the purposes of the immigration rules, covered by Para 289 AA- 295 of the Immigration rules HC395, a fiancé is describes as:
A person who wishes to enter the United Kingdom (UK) with a view to marriage to a sponsor who is either: already present and settled in the UK; or will be admitted for settlement in the UK when arriving there, and intends permanent settlement in the UK.
What is a Sponsor? For the purposes of the Immigration rules, a ‘sponsor’ refers to the person whom the applicant is intending to marry.
When making an application for a fiancé visa, it is important to note that the age requirement set out under Para 289AA must be adhered to. This rule provides that an application by a fiancé (e) should be refused if:
•The applicant will be aged under 21 on the date of arrival in the UK;
•Or the applicant’s fiancé (e) is aged under 21.
In cases where the applicant is within a couple of months of their 21st birthday, and the other party is 21 or over, the ECO has discretion to issue entry clearance but valid only from when the person under 21 has reached their 21st birthday.
The rules require that there must be adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds available for the applicant until the date of the marriage or civil partnership and after the marriage, there must be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependents without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively.
Although there is no objection to the British Citizen or settled sponsor receiving any public funds to which they are entitled to make in their own right; if the sponsor is in receipt of public funds, this may negatively affect the outcome of the application. The sponsor being reliant on public funds does not mean that they will be unable to support the applicant, although it may be assumed by the Entry Clearance officer on making a decision that a person who is heavily dependent on the state because they don’t have sufficient means of their own will find it difficult to support another person for any length of time. The important factor to consider is whether there will be a need for the sponsor to claim additional public funds to support the applicant if leave to enter is granted.
Unfortunately, there is no specified minimum figure stated in the immigration rules to represent what is classed as “sufficient maintenance”; however, in 2006, the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (UKAIT) in UKAIT 00065 KA and Others (Pakistan), strongly suggested that it would not be appropriate to have immigrant families existing on resources that were less than the Income Support level for a British family of that size. Therefore, if it is more than likely that the total amount that the applicant and sponsor will have to live on will be below what the income support level would be for a British family of that size, then it may be appropriate to refuse the application on maintenance and accommodation grounds.
If the dependents of the main applicant are going to accompany him / her to the United Kingdom, resources must be available for the whole family unit to be maintained.
Maintenance may be provided by either:
•The applicant with their own funds or with funds available to them; or
•The sponsor; or
•A combination of the applicant and sponsor funds.
The evidence required for the applicant’s and or sponsor’s funds are listed below along with the likely criteria’s for the ECO to consider when making a decision on the fulfillment of the maintenance requirement. These are:
•Statements covering at least 3 months.
•Are there regular transactions?
•Are the funds immediately available?
(Large deposits with no evidence of normal transactions will be carefully examined to make sure this is not a deposit made solely to fulfill this requirement and is not actually available to the applicant).
The extent of the evidence required will depend on the circumstances of the case, with some applicants required to produce more detailed evidence of funds available. Where there is doubt that the funds will be at the disposal of the applicant, the ECO may ask the sponsor for a written undertaking by filling out a Sponsorship undertaking Form, which is Form SUO7/01. In assessing what is considered adequate accommodation, the ECO will be looking for the accommodation to comply with the following requirements
•it is (or will be) owned or legally occupied for the exclusive use of the couple (see definition in section below); and
•it is capable of accommodating the couple, and any children, without overcrowding as defined in the Housing Act 1985
The Housing Act 1985 and rules on overcrowding in residential housing will be relied upon in this instance.
Under the Housing Act, the number of people sleeping in accommodation 22must not exceed the following:
Number of Rooms Maximum Number of People Allowed
Each additional room in excess of 5 An additional 2 people
If, for some reason, the wedding does not take place during the period of the fiancé (e) leave, it is possible to apply for an extension in this category (under Paragraph 293), with the extra requirements that:
•good cause is shown why the marriage did not take place within the initial period of fiancé(e) leave
•there is satisfactory evidence that the marriage will take place at the earliest date. (An extension is only likely to be granted once)
Upon a successful application for a Fiancé visa, the applicant will initially be admitted to the United Kingdom for 6 months. There is a prohibition from taking employment until after a marriage and the proper entry clearance has been granted which has no restrictions on employment.
For those who plan on settling in the UK after the marriage, the VAF4a form is to be used to apply for the Fiancé Visa.
If the application is refused, there is a full right of appeal.
Disclaimer: This article only provides general information on immigration law. It is not intended to replace the advice or services of a Solicitor. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of use of this information.Tags: Fiance Visa, Marriage Visa, Marriage Visitor