Non-European nationals who are family members (i.e. husbands, wives, fiancés, fiancées, unmarried partners and civil partners) of either a person who is “settled” in the UK or a British citizen, can apply for a visa based on their relationship. Since 9 July 2012 the law relating to such visas has become extremely complex and burdensome. Due to the complexity of these visas, it is prudent to seek expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity for strategic planning and guidance.

The following is a basic and non-exhaustive list of the requirements for relationship visas:

  • The applicant must be 18 or over.
  • The applicant must not be a close relative of his/her partner.
  • The applicant and his/her partner must have met in person.
  • The applicant must be in a relationship that is genuine and recognised in the UK (e.g. if applying as a spouse, your marriage must be legally recognised by the authorities of the country in which it took place).

  • The applicant must intend to continue living with his/her partner in the UK after obtaining the visa.

  • There must be adequate accommodation for both the applicant and his/her partner.
  • The applicant must have a basic knowledge of English language.
  • The applicant must either be married or engaged to his/her partner, be in a civil partnership, or have been living with his/her partner for the last 2 years in a relationship akin to marriage.

  • The applicant must prove that any previous relationships have permanently broken down.
  • The applicant must meet the Home Office’s strict, and burdensome, financial requirements either by means of employed income, income from self-employment, savings or other specific permissible sources.