The UK Civil Partnership Visa is a type of visa that allows a foreign national to enter and live in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or permanent resident who is in a civil partnership with them. A civil partnership is a legal recognition of a same-sex relationship in the UK that provides many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

Am I eligible for a Civil Partnership Visa?

To be eligible for a UK Civil Partner Visa, your partner must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Be a British or Irish citizen residing in the UK.
  2. Have indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or permanent residence in the UK.
  3. Have pre-settled status under Appendix EU.
  4. Have limited leave to remain as a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker under Appendix ECAA.
  5. Have refugee leave or humanitarian protection status in the UK.

It’s worth noting that a British Citizen in the UK includes a British Citizen who is coming to the UK with you as your partner, and a person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK includes someone who is being admitted for settlement on the same occasion as you.

UK Civil Partner Visa Requirements

To be eligible for a UK Civil Partner Visa, you must meet the following criteria as determined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  1. Your partner must be a British or Irish citizen, settled in the UK, have been granted pre-settled status, hold a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker visa, or have refugee status or humanitarian protection.
  2. Both you and your partner must be over the age of 18 and not within a prohibited degree of relationship.
  3. You must have met your partner in person and be in a legally recognized civil partnership that is acknowledged in the UK.
  4. Your relationship must be genuine and ongoing, and you must intend to live together permanently in the UK.
  5. Any previous relationships must have permanently broken down.
  6. You must meet the financial requirement, and there must be adequate accommodation for you and any dependents.
  7. You must be able to speak and understand English to a required level.

The specific requirements may differ depending on your individual circumstances, so it’s recommended that you consult with an immigration lawyer for personalized advice.

Status of Sponsoring Partner

To be eligible for a UK Civil Partner Visa, your partner must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Be a British or Irish citizen residing in the UK.
  2. Have indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or permanent residence in the UK.
  3. Have pre-settled status under Appendix EU.
  4. Have limited leave to remain as a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker under Appendix ECAA.
  5. Have refugee leave or humanitarian protection status in the UK.

It’s worth noting that a British Citizen in the UK also includes a British Citizen who is coming to the UK with you as your partner, and a person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK includes someone who is being admitted for settlement on the same occasion as you.

Relationship Requirements for a Civil Partnership Visa?

To be eligible for a UK Civil Partnership Visa, you must meet certain relationship requirements. These requirements include:

  1. You must be in a legally recognized same-sex civil partnership that provides similar rights and responsibilities as marriage.
  2. Your civil partnership must be recognized under UK law.
  3. You and your partner must be over the age of 18 and not within a prohibited degree of relationship.
  4. You must have met your partner in person and have evidence to support this, such as photographs, travel documents, or other documentation.
  5. Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting, meaning that it is not entered into solely for immigration purposes.
  6. You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK and be able to provide evidence of this intention, such as a joint tenancy agreement or evidence of joint finances.

It’s important to note that the requirements for a UK Civil Partnership Visa may vary depending on your individual circumstances, and the above requirements may not be exhaustive. It is recommended that you consult with an immigration lawyer or the UK government’s official immigration website for the most up-to-date information on the requirements for this type of visa.

Prohibited Degree of Relationship Requirement

One of the requirements for a UK Civil Partnership Visa is that you and your partner must not be within a prohibited degree of relationship. This means that you cannot be closely related to each other, such as siblings, half-siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, or first cousins. If you and your partner are closely related, you will not be eligible for a UK Civil Partnership Visa.

Requirement for Civil Partnership to Be Recognised in the UK

To be eligible for a UK Civil Partnership Visa, you and your partner must be legally in a civil partnership that is recognized in the UK. This means that your civil partnership must have been formed in accordance with the laws of a country or territory that allows same-sex civil partnerships, and that the partnership must be recognized as such under UK law. If your civil partnership is not recognized as such under UK law, you will not be eligible for a UK Civil Partnership Visa.

Civil Partnership in the UK

In the UK, for a civil partnership to be considered valid, it must adhere to the requirements outlined in the Civil Partnership Act 2004. This includes being monogamous and complying with certain registration procedures.

This means that before entering into a civil partnership, you and your partner must give notice of your intention to enter into a civil partnership, and the civil partnership must be conducted at a registered venue by an authorized person. Additionally, both you and your partner must have been at least 18 years old (in England and Wales) or 16 years old (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) at the time of registration.

A civil partnership in the UK is considered official once it is recorded in a civil partnership certificate.

Civil Partnership Outside the UK

For an overseas civil partnership to be acknowledged as valid in the UK, it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The type of civil partnership is recognized in the country where it occurred.
  2. The civil partnership was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the law of the country in which it took place.
  3. There is nothing in the laws of either person’s country of domicile at the time of the civil partnership that prevents the civil partnership from being recognized.
  4. Any previous civil partnerships of the couple had permanently broken down.

Furthermore, a civil partnership outside the UK must be supported by a document that is equivalent to a civil partnership certificate and is legally recognized under the laws of the relevant country.

Relationships Recognised as Civil Partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 mandates that an overseas relationship can be recognized as a civil partnership in the UK if the following criteria are met:

  1. The relationship is registered with a recognized authority in a foreign country or territory
  2. Both individuals are not married or in a civil partnership with someone else
  3. The relationship is exclusive
  4. The relationship is indeterminate in duration
  5. The relationship results in the couple being seen as a couple or treated as married.

Additionally, Schedule 20 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (updated by The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Overseas Relationships) Order 2012) lists overseas relationships that will be accepted as civil partnerships in the UK.

Genuine and Subsisting Relationship Requirement

To be eligible for a civil partnership visa in the UK, you and your partner must demonstrate that you have a genuine and subsisting relationship. This means that your relationship must be based on love and commitment, rather than simply for the purpose of obtaining a visa. You must be able to provide evidence that you have been in a relationship for a significant period of time, and that you intend to continue living together in the UK. The evidence can include correspondence, photographs, joint bank accounts, tenancy agreements, and other documents that demonstrate your shared life together. The Home Office will assess your relationship as part of the visa application process, and may conduct interviews with both you and your partner to verify the authenticity of your relationship.

Documents Required to Prove a Genuine and Subsisting Relationship

The Home Office requires substantial evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship, including regular communication, expressions of affection, mutual emotional support, and an interest in each other’s well-being.

In addition to a civil partnership certificate, the Home Office also expects proof of cohabitation, preferably in both names or individually addressed to both partners at the same address, and from a variety of official sources, dated within the last few years.

If the partners have not lived together for long, unofficial evidence of the relationship may also be submitted. The Home Office may conduct further checks, interviews, or home visits if there are doubts about the authenticity or continuity of the relationship.

To ensure that their clients’ individual circumstances are taken into account, immigration barristers provide tailored advice on the specific documents needed to demonstrate a genuine and subsisting relationship. The Home Office’s refusal of a Civil Partner Visa application is possible if there are reasonable grounds to doubt the authenticity or continuity of the relationship.

UK Civil Partner Visa Financial Requirement

To satisfy the financial requirement for a UK Civil Partner Visa application, you must demonstrate that you can be supported in the UK without public funds. The financial requirement mandates that, unless exempt, your civil partner (or both of you jointly, if already in the UK with valid leave to remain) has a gross annual income of at least £18,600, plus £3,800 for a first child (who is not British, has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, has pre-settled or settled status, or is an EEA national with the right to reside in the UK), and £2,400 for each additional child meeting the same criteria. However, if your civil partner receives specific state benefits or entitlements, the financial requirement changes to ensure adequate maintenance and accommodation.

It is crucial to meet the financial requirement when initially applying for entry to the UK as a civil partner, when seeking to extend your stay, and when applying for indefinite leave to remain. The Civil Partner Visa financial requirement is governed by the Immigration Rules, which include stringent documentary evidence requirements, and applicants are responsible for providing such evidence. Failure to provide the requisite financial evidence is one of the most common reasons for the refusal of a Civil Partner Visa application.

How to Satisfy the UK Civil Partner Visa Financial Requirement

There are various ways to meet the UK Civil Partner Visa financial requirement, which includes the following options:

  1. Income from your civil partner’s salaried or non-salaried employment (or your income if you have permission to work in the UK).
  2. Non-employment income such as property rental income or dividends from shares.
  3. Cash savings of you and/or your civil partner, which must be held for at least six months and under your/their control, above £16,000.
  4. UK or foreign state, occupational, or private pension of you and/or your civil partner.
  5. Income from self-employment or as a director/employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of your civil partner (or you if you have permission to work in the UK).

Applicants may use a combination of these sources of income to meet the financial requirement, subject to certain conditions. However, different considerations may apply if your civil partner receives certain state benefits or entitlements.

It is important to note that the level of cash savings required for entry clearance and extension applications differs from that for indefinite leave to remain applications. In exceptional circumstances where the refusal of the Civil Partner Visa application could breach ECHR Article 8, other sources of income, financial support, or available funds may be considered.

Our immigration barristers specialize in the Civil Partner Visa financial requirement rules and can assist UK Civil Partner Visa applicants in navigating the complex evidential requirements.

What Are the Processing Times for the Civil Partnership Visa?

The processing times for a UK Civil Partnership Visa can vary depending on various factors, such as the country from which the application is being made and the volume of applications being processed by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) at the time.

In general, the standard processing time for a UK Civil Partnership Visa application made outside of the UK is around 12 weeks. However, it is important to note that this is only an estimate and processing times can vary. Some applications may be processed more quickly, while others may take longer.

If you require a faster processing time, you may be able to pay for a priority or super priority service, which will expedite the processing of your application. The priority service usually reduces the processing time to around 5 working days, while the super priority service can give a decision within 24 hours. However, these services come at an additional cost.

It is also important to note that the processing times can be affected by factors beyond your control, such as delays in obtaining required documents or additional checks by the UKVI. It is therefore advisable to submit a well-prepared and complete application with all necessary supporting documents to avoid delays.

Switching into the civil partner route from within the UK

If you are already in the UK on a valid visa and wish to switch into the Civil Partner Visa route, you may be eligible to do so.

In order to switch into the Civil Partner Visa category, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be in the UK on a valid visa that allows you to switch into the Civil Partner Visa category. Some visa categories, such as visitors or short-term students, do not allow switching into the Civil Partner Visa route.
  2. You must have entered the UK lawfully. This means that you must have been granted entry clearance (a visa) or leave to enter at the UK border.
  3. You must meet the eligibility requirements for the Civil Partner Visa, including the genuine and subsisting relationship requirement and the financial requirement.
  4. You must apply before your current visa expires.
  5. You must not fall under the general grounds for refusal, such as having a criminal record or being considered a threat to national security.

If you meet these requirements, you can submit a Civil Partner Visa application from within the UK. You will need to pay the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge, provide the required documents, attend a biometric appointment, and attend an interview if requested by the Home Office.

The processing time for switching into the Civil Partner Visa category from within the UK is usually around 8 weeks, but this can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the current caseload of the Home Office. It is advisable to apply as early as possible to avoid any issues with your visa expiring before your application is decided.

Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Civil Partner

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the immigration status granted to individuals who have been living in the UK for a certain period of time and meet the eligibility requirements. Civil partners who have been living in the UK with valid leave to remain for a continuous period of five years may be eligible to apply for ILR as a civil partner.

To be eligible for ILR as a civil partner, you must meet certain requirements, including:

  1. You and your civil partner must still be in a genuine and subsisting relationship at the time of the application
  2. You must not have breached any immigration laws or conditions during your time in the UK
  3. You must have met the financial requirement throughout your time in the UK
  4. You must have sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, unless you are exempt from this requirement

In addition to meeting the above requirements, you must also provide the required supporting documents with your ILR application, including evidence of your relationship, proof of identity and residence, and evidence of meeting the financial requirement.

If your application for ILR as a civil partner is successful, you will be granted the right to live and work in the UK without any time restrictions. You may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship after holding ILR for a certain period of time.

It is important to note that ILR applications can be complex, and it is recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure that your application is properly prepared and submitted.

Frequently asked questions

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