The Civil Partnership Visa is for an applicant whose partner is a British Citizen or settled person (for example, someone with Indefinite Leave to Remain). A civil partnership is a legal relationship established between two people of the same sex, and is equivalent to marriage between two people of opposite sexes. Civil partnerships are sometimes called civil unions or registered partnerships in some countries, but all such legal forms are recognised and treated as equivalent under UK law. As such, the Civil Partnership Visa is for any couple regardless of whether they have entered into their civil partnership in the UK or overseas.
At the same time, it is still the case in many countries that no form of legal same-sex relationship exists. In those cases, it might be an option to apply first for a Fiancé Visa to come the UK, before registering for a Civil Partnership in the UK and then switching to a Civil Partnership Visa.
Example: Sasha, a Russian national, and Alex, a British National, wish to enter into a civil partnership. However, neither same-sex marriage nor civil partnership exist under Russian law. Sasha can apply for a Fiancé Visa to come to the UK. Once he is in the UK, he and Alex can register for Civil Partnership. After the registration is complete, Sasha can switch to the Civil Partnership Visa without leaving the UK. He could become eligible to apply for Settlement after 5 years, and UK citizenship 1 year after that.
Immigration laws applying to the Civil Partnership Visa are generally equivalent to those applying to the Spouse Visa. However, if you are the Civil Partner of a UK visa migrant or a someone living in the UK with the EU Settlement Scheme, then you should look to Dependent Visa or the EU Family Visa instead, as the rules will be different in those cases.
Requirements for the Civil Partnership Visa
One of the partners should be British, or be settled in the UK (for example holding Indefinite Leave to Remain).
Both partners are over the age of 18.
You have met in person at least once.
The relationship must be genuine, and you intend to live together permanently once in the UK.
The civil partnership must have been legally formed.
The financial requirement and the accommodation requirement are met.
English language requirement is met.
A valid application has been filed on the correct form, and the correct application fee has been paid.
The applicant meets general UK family visa requirements, such as having an adequate criminal record.
The British Citizen or settled person must be able to demonstrate that they meet the minimum income requirement. Many types of income can contribute towards meeting the minimum threshold, including employment income, self-employment income, investment income, savings, and others.
The annual threshold to be met is £18,600. If savings is used, then it will be calculated according to the following formula:
(Total amount of savings-16,000)/2.5
Alex receives an annual salary of £16,000 from his employment. He can also demonstrate savings totalling £23,500, to which we will apply the formula: (23500-16000)/2.5=£3000. Thus, Alex can demonstrate in total £19,000 (£16,000 + £3000) for the purposes of the Civil Partnership Visa. This is above the minimum amount of £18,600. The financial requirement is satisfied.
There are special rules which apply in the case of starting a new employment. A limited range of UK state benefits, such as disability living allowance, can be relied on to meet the Income requirement. However, other state benefits, such as Universal Credit, cannot.
Specific evidence must be produced as part of the application in order to satisfy the financial requirement. The document requirements are very specific. For example, bank statements must cover a set period of months, they must be issued showing certain information, such as the bank’s mark, and so on.
Exception to the financial requirement can only be made if it can be shown that rejection of the application as a result of financial requirement will lead to “unjustifiably harsh” consequences for the family life of the couple.
After the application is submitted, the applicant will be required to attend a visa application centre to provide photograph and fingerprints. Once this is completed, a decision will be made within the following time-frames:
An application made outside the UK will usually be decided within 12 weeks. A priority service maybe be available, depending on the country the visa application centre is located in.
An application made inside the UK will usually be decided within 8 weeks. With the “priority service”, which costs £500 in addition to the application fee, a decision will be made within 5 working days of the visa centre appointment. With the “super priority service”, which costs £800 in addition to the application fee, a decision will be made by the end of the next working day after the visa centre appointment.
The fees for an application made outside the UK are: £1523 per applicant + Immigration Health Surcharge+ application centre fees. The fees for an application made inside the UK are: £1033 per applicant + Immigration Health Surcharge + application centre fees.
If applying outside the UK, The Civil Partnership Visa will be granted for 2 years and 9 months. While inside the UK, it is possible to apply for extension of the Civil Partnership Visa for a period of 2 years and 6 months. After a period of 5 years living in the UK, the applicant may become eligible to apply for Settlement.
While in the UK on the Civil Partnership Visa, you will be allowed to work. However, you cannot access UK state benefits such as Universal Credit.
How we can help
At PaperPlane Visas, we represent a wide range of UK Family Visa applications. We can help you whatever your individual circumstances. Our adviser always aims to answer all your questions, and to eliminate any worry or stress you might have. You will get advice that is:
explained in plain language
patient and empathetic
expert and professional