Civil Partnership

A civil partnership is an act where two people of same-sex or opposite-sex enter a civil partnership instead of getting married to each other. Civil Partnership in the UK was originally introduced for same-sex couples but later, it was expanded for opposite-sex couples as well. Civil partnership act 2004 granted same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, which gives a couple the same benefits enjoyed, by a married couple.

Who can form a civil partnership?

Terms of Civil Partnership Act 2004 allowed same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership. After that, there was a review by the UK government and since 2 December 2019 opposite-sex couples also have been allowed to enter into a civil partnership if they wish to instead of getting married to each other. You can get into a civil partnership provided you and your partner meet the following conditions:

  1. Both are 16 or above. However, if you are under 18 then you must get consent from your parents to form a civil partnership.
  2. You are not married to each other or in a civil partnership already.
  3. You and your partner are not closely related.

How is civil partnership different from marriage?

Before 2004 there were no arrangements for people of same-sex to form a legal relationship that allowed them a status equivalent to a married couple of opposite sex. But in 2004 as a part of the Civil Partnership Act, couples of the same sexes were allowed to enter into a civil partnership and in 2014 same-sex marriage also became legal. Civil Partnership provides a couple with the same rights as married couples without having a religious connotation attached to it. So, those looking to enter into a legal relationship with a partner without aligning themselves with a particular religion can form a civil partnership.

Apart from this, a civil ceremony for a civil partnership does not involve the exchange of vows or the singing of hymns as is done in a wedding. A civil partnership can be ended through dissolution, which is like ending a marriage with the difference that adultery cannot be a reason to end a civil partnership.

 

Visa category you need to apply for

Brexit has brought some changes, as now all non-British nationals will be treated equally from 1 January 2021. But those EU nationals who are already living in the UK do not need to worry. They could apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they were living in the UK by 31 December 2020. Those who applied for it can continue living in the UK and enjoy the same residence rights as they were enjoying earlier otherwise you will have to leave the UK after 30 June 2021. Any EU national who wishes to come to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 needs to apply for a visa.

If you are a non-British and non-EU national and you do not have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) then you need to apply for a visa to form a civil partnership in the UK. The visa category you need to apply depends on two factors:

  1. The place your partner is from; and
  2. whether you want to live in the UK after your ceremony.

So, if you are going to live in the UK for 6 months or less then you can apply for a marriage visitor visa. If your partner is a British Citizen, has settled status, or has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK and you want to live in the UK permanently, you need to apply for a family visa. If your partner is not a British citizen but is an EU, EEA, or Swiss national, you need to apply for a family permit.

The process to form and register a Civil Partnership

Two people can form a civil partnership by way of registration as civil partners of each other. First, both parties involved must give notice to the appropriate authority and after that, a civil partnership can be registered by signing the civil partnership document by both individuals in the presence of a registrar and two witnesses. Once a civil partnership is formed it ends only on the death of one or both individuals, dissolution, and annulment.

Should you wish to seek professional assistance for your application process please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on +44(0)2034111261

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A skilled worker visa- Who can switch?

UK immigration system allows individuals to switch from other visa categories to skilled worker visas. This means those who are in the UK on a different visa can switch to a skilled worker visa if they wish to, provided they meet the eligibility conditions. However, you cannot switch to a skilled worker from some visa routes that are –

(a) as a Visitor; or

(b) as a Short-term student; or

(c) as a Parent of a Child Student; or

(d) as a Seasonal Worker; or

(e) as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or

(f) outside the Immigration Rules.

Applicants on any other route present in the UK are allowed to switch to a skilled worker visa.

Eligibility for skilled worker visa

From 1 January 2021, the new points based system is in place in the UK. Now there is a single immigration policy applied to all non-British citizens who wish to come and work in the UK. Now an applicant has to score 70 points.

There are some conditions that are mandatory and that adds up to a total of 50 points while for the rest of 20 points you can score against tradable points to work in the UK. Let us see the mandatory points first and the scores you can get against them.

  • You must have a job offer by an approved sponsor – 20 points
  • You must be offered a job at the appropriate skill level of RQF3 or above – 20 points
  • You must be able to speak English at a sufficient level – 10 points

Now there are some tradable points, and you need to score a minimum of 20 points out of those to score a total of 70 points as per the new point-based system. The minimum salary that you must be offered is £20,480.

  • If you are offered a salary between £20,480 and £23,039 – 0 points
  • If you are offered a salary between £23,040 and £25,599 – 10 point
  • If you are offered a salary of £25,600 or above – 20 points
  • If you have earned a Ph.D. in a subject relevant to the job offered – 10 point
  • If you have earned a Ph.D. in a STEM subject relevant to the job offered – 20 Points
  • If you are offered a job in the occupation of shortage as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee – 20 points

So, you can see that these 6 points are tradable and you need to meet any of these 6 that gives you a total of 20 points that will be added with the 50 mandatory points making your total score 70 after which you are eligible to work in the UK as per new point-based system.

Who can apply for a skilled worker visa?

All non-British and non-Irish nationals who have a confirmed job offer by an approved sponsor in the UK to work in specified occupations at an appropriate skill level of RQF3 or above can apply to switch from any other visa category except a few such as visitor visa to skilled worker visa provided, they meet other conditions and score a minimum of 70 points.

Application fee and other costs

If you apply from inside the UK to switch to a skilled worker visa you need to pay an application fee of £704 per person if applying for a stay of up to 3 years and £1,408 per person if you are applying for a stay of more than 3 years.

However, if you are offered employment on the shortage occupation then you will have to pay £464 per person if you stay for up to 3 years and £928 per person if you stay for more than 3 years.

Apart from the application fee you also need to pay a sum of £624 per year as a healthcare surcharge. You may have to pay £19.20 to have your biometric taken as well.

The Immigration health surcharge is not applicable to Health and Care workers as well as they will be paying a fee of £232 for 3 years and £464 for more than 3 years.

How to apply for a skilled worker visa?

You must apply online.

When to apply?

You must apply before your current visa expires.

How long does it take to get a decision?

You should usually get a decision on your application in 8 weeks after you apply. However, depending upon your situation, it may take longer as well, and you will be contacted in such a situation.

If you want to apply for a UK Skilled worker visa and need expert advice, contact Visa and Migration Ltd at +44 (0)20 3411 1261

 

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Hong Kong British National (Overseas) BN (O) visa

The UK raised its concerns after China imposed its national security law in Hong Kong. In its policy statement released in July 2020, UK saying that the country wants to open a window for the BN (O) citizens in Hong Kong to come to the UK to live and work if they wish to. On 22 October 2020 UK Government has released a statement that talks about the changes to the new immigration rules including BN (O)overseas visa route’s legal framework. Now all BN (O) holders can apply for BN (O) overseas visa route from 31 January 2021 with their family members. Once granted a BN (O) visa they can work, study and use the National Health Service (NHS) and their children under the age of 18 can attend school.

What is BN (O) overseas visa?

BN (O) or British National (Overseas) visa is a class of British Nationality granted to Hong Kong residents in 1997 before the UK handed over the sovereignty to China. BN (O) holders are British Nationals but not a British citizen. This means that when they enter the UK they are subject to immigration control and thus they don’t enjoy the right of abode automatically in the UK or Hong Kong. However, all BN (O)s became permanent residents in Hong Kong after getting BN(O) status.

Requirements for new Hong Kong BN (O) visa

In 2020 UK has cleared the path for Hong Kong BN (O) visa route. The followings are the requirements that one needs to meet in order to apply for the visa.

  1. You must be a BN (O) citizen.
  2. You need to submit your passport even though it has expired already. However, you don’t need to submit a valid BN (O) passport to prove that you are a BN (O) citizen. If you have lost your passport you don’t need to apply for a new one.
  3. You must meet the residency requirements meaning that if you apply from outside the UK you need to show that you and your family (if applying with them) members live in Hong Kong and if you apply from inside the UK you must be living in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong
  4. You must show that you can support yourself and your family members (if applicable) financially for at least 6 months in the UK. You can show this through documents like bank account statement, your income statement, etc.
  5. You must have accommodation in the UK for you and your family members (if applicable) to live.
  6. If you apply from Hong Kong or from a country where UK mandates it to submit a Tuberculosis (TB) result then you must provide a TB test certificate from an approved center if you have been living there for the past 6 months. If you apply from inside the UK then there can be 2 situations. One in which you were granted a leave of 6 months or less, you must provide a TB test certificate from an approved center in the UK. Two, you were granted a leave of more than 6 months, you don’t need to provide a TB test certificate if you already had submitted a TB test certificate.

    When to apply?

The BN(O) visa route application will open on 31 January 2021.

How to apply?

You can apply online. You and your family members should apply together. If your family members fail to apply with you it will not be possible for them to apply for BN (O) visa later to join you. If you want to apply with your family members you need to apply first after which you will get a unique reference number. After that, your family members can apply using this unique reference number in their applications.
If there are children applying as well then they must apply with both of their parents. However, there are some exceptions to this as well.

Cost of application

You need to pay £180 per applicant as an application fee and £1,560 for each adult and £1,1175 for each child under the age of 18 as an immigration health surcharge for a 30 months stay in the UK. The application fee for 5 years stay in the UK is £250 per applicant while the immigration health surcharge for each adult and each child under the age of 18 is £3,120 and £2,350 respectively.

Settlement and citizenship

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK once you have completed 5 years of residency in the UK. After 12 months of ILR, you can apply for citizenship.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hong-kong-british-national-overseas-visa-applications#who-can-apply

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Representative of an Overseas Business

The Representative of an Overseas business route is available to companies who wish to establish a UK branch or subsidiary office to establish their operations in the UK. The route for this purpose is to send a representative to the UK.

This visa category allows a senior employee of an overseas business that has no presence in the UK to come to the UK as a sole representative or a media representative.

Who is the sole and media representative of an overseas business?

A sole representative of an overseas business is a senior employee of that company. The employee operates the UK office on behalf of the parent company. A media representative is an employee of an overseas media company such as a newspaper or broadcasting company assigned to come to the UK on a long-term assignment.

Eligibility for a UK Sole Representative Visa

In order to send a sole or media representative to the UK through the representative of an overseas business visa route, the applicants need to meet the following conditions:

  • You must be financially able to support yourself without any requirements of seeking public funds.
  • You must meet the English language requirement.
  • You must be recruited outside the UK and employed in a business that has no presence in the UK and it will remain outside the UK.
  • You must have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience to perform the job.
  • You must be a senior employee complete with authority to make decisions on the behalf of the company but with no ownership and a majority stake in the company.
  • Your intention to come to the UK must be established either a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of your parent company.
  • Media representatives need to be posted on a long-term assignment in the UK to apply for a representative visa.

Documents for sole representatives of an Overseas Business

The list of documents that each sole representative being sent to the UK to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK need to submit is the following:

  • Complete details of the business and its activities, assets, and accounts.
  • A letter that says that the company is looking to set a new branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK in the same business category that it runs overseas
  • Description and details of your job role, employment contract, and salary.
    You need to show that you know the job and you are in full authority to take the operational decisions.
  • There are other supporting documents to be provided as well such as proof that you are not the owner of a majority stake of the company or you don’t own the company.

 

Documents for media representatives

If you are coming to the UK as a media representative on behalf of a newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization you must submit the followings:

  1. Complete detail of the activities of your company along with details of assets and accounts.
  2. You need to show that you are being sent to the UK as a representative of your parent company in the long term and full-time role.

Should you wish to apply for the Representative of Overseas application you can contact our team of experts on 02034111261

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Challenging 320 7 (A) – 10-year ban

UK immigration laws have provisions for refusing visas to the applicants. You should know them or consult experts to avoid making any mistake that may cause you serious troubles such as 10 years ban to enter the UK.

Paragraph 320 7(A) sets out mandatory grounds for the refusal of visas. Paragraph 320 7(A) sets the grounds of refusal based on false representation, false documents, and/or non-disclosure of relevant facts. Applicants will be refused their application for entry clearance, leave to enter, or leave to remain in the UK. So, if the entry clearance officer finds that there has been a false representation were made or false information was submitted by you or a third party in relation to your application or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party that is needed to support the application or any relevant information has been hidden, he/she will mandatorily refuse the application. As a result of this applicants may have to face a 10-year re-entry ban to the UK.

Reasons for UK visa 10 years re-entry ban under 320 7(A)

You may face a UK visa 10 years re-entry ban if you are found guilty of using deception in the application. You should not deliberately use false representation and/or non-disclosure of material facts to save yourself from a serious ban of this kind. However, if you find that you have not made any such mistake, but you have been refused on this basis then you can appeal or re-apply. Possible reasons for a 10-year ban under 320 7(A) are the
following:
1. False representation of material facts
2. Submission of wrong fraud and non-genuine documents
3. Hiding of material facts
4. Failure in cooperation

Positive evidence required under 320 7(A)


It is upon the entry clearance officer to produce positive evidence before rejecting an entry clearance or leave to enter or remain application. This means that the decision-maker must prove that the applicant has either lied or provided a false document. If he/she fails to do so, there is no ground for him/her to refuse the applicant.

 

DER and DVR

The decision-maker cannot just refuse a visa application on discretion basis. He/she needs to check a document before he/she declares it a false document. The officer has to fill the DER (document examination report) before he/she refuses a visa application under 320 7(A) and if the officer has filled up the DER then he/she also needs to make DVR (documents verification report) stating that the document is false based on current and reliable evidence.

Challenging the ban under 320 7(A)

You can re-apply after 10 years you can appeal/ judicial review against the ban. If a ban of 10 years has been imposed on you under 320 7(A) any new visa application including the UK visit visa will be refused. You may be able to re-apply only after 10 years.

In a judicial review, there will be court proceedings in which the lawfulness of a decision will be examined by a judge. An appeal is about whether the decision made was right or wrong while a judicial review will check the correctness of the procedure to decide on refusal. The appeal is now limited to very few cases of visa refusal while judicial review is still applicable to most of the visa and immigration refusal decisions.

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Criminality and UK Immigration

Criminality is a vital factor when one thinks to apply for a UK visa or British Citizenship. The Home Office of the UK checks if there is any criminal record in your name and if so whether you should be given the visa or not.
Applicants need to submit a criminal record certificate when applying for a UK visa and if one fails to do so he/she may face the visa refusal. There are various requirements one needs to fulfil while making a visa application and a previous criminal record is one of them. Having a past criminal record could lead to visa refusal by the home office.

Criminality and criminal record certificate

Many applicants who wish to enter the UK for travel; on various visa categories valid for a longer period or looking to apply for British citizenship need to obtain a criminal record certificate. Visa categories in which you need to produce criminal record certificates include Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, Tier 1 (investor) visa, Tier 2 General visa, and the skilled worker in education, health, or social care sectors. You also need to produce a criminal record certificate if a dependent partner above the age of 18 of the main applicant of any of the visa categories mentioned here applies with the main applicant or separately. They need to provide an overseas criminal record certificate from a country where the applicants have been present for 12 months or more on a continuous or cumulative basis in the 10 years before the date of application. The Home Office will consider any criminality in the past, so you need to declare if there has been an offence in the past on your application form.

When does criminality become a ground of visa refusal? 

You need to declare in your UK visa application form if you got one of the following:
1. A conviction of an offence and sentenced imprisonment of at least 4 years
2. A conviction of an offence and sentenced imprisonment between 12 months and 4 years. This is exempted if 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
3. A conviction and sentenced imprisonment of fewer than 12 months. This will be exempted if a 5-year period has passed since the end of the sentence.
If an immigration officer deems that your coming to the UK can be against the public good then also your visa application may be refused. However, if a crime is considered in your country but not in the UK such as proselytism then the Home Office will disregard it when considering your visa application.

Who needs to submit a criminal record certificate?

Those applying for leave to enter the UK or entry clearance need to submit a criminal record certificate. Others who are already in the UK and wish to apply for the extension of their visa don’t require producing a criminal record certificate. But if you are found to have failed to obtain a criminal record certificate despite this being possible in your country your visa application will likely be refused.

 

Who will issue the criminal record certificate?

In general, police or an appropriate law enforcement agency issues a criminal record certificate for an individual applying for a foreign visa. If this is not possible to obtain a criminal record certificate, you must explain in detail about the steps you took to get it in your application form. In certain situations, you can be exempted from this also if the Home Office deemed it not reasonably practical to get a certificate from your country.

Criminality when applying for British citizenship?

When you apply for British Citizenship, “Good Character” is a mandatory condition you need to prove. So, you must disclose the full criminal records in your name when you apply for British citizenship else your citizenship application will be refused.

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Fiancé Visa – How to prepare your application

The UK Fiancé visa is a route for a non-British individual to join his/her fiancé who is settled in the UK. UK Fiancé visa is also termed as a prospective marriage or civil partnership visa and it is different from a spouse/partner visa. UK fiancé visa allows the applicant to join his partner in the UK for 6 months and during the 6 months; both must get married or enter into a civil partnership with each other.

Eligibility for UK fiance visa

  1. You and your UK based partner must be 18 or above;
  2. Your partner must be a British citizen or with a settled status such as indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK;
  3. You must prove that if you had married to or were in a civil partnership with someone else in the past then that marriage or civil partnership has ended;
  4. You must show that you plan to get married to or enter a civil partnership with your partner within the 6 months of your entry to the UK;
  5. You must show that your relationship is genuine, and you intend to live together with your partner in the UK after you get married to or enter a civil partnership with him/her;
  6. You must meet the financial requirement, which means you must be able to support yourself financially for all your expenses during your stay in the UK. The financial requirement can be met with the combined income or savings of you and your partner in the UK. The minimum annual income requirement is £18,600;
  7. There must be an appropriate accommodation for you, your partner, and dependents (if any) in the UK;
  8. You must meet the minimum level of speaking and understanding the English language; and
  9. Your application must not fall for refusal under the suitability requirement.

 

Prepare your information and documents

To prove various points mentioned in the eligibility section here, you must provide the required information and documents in an appropriate format along with the application form. Some of the information and documents that you may submit include:

  • Your current passport;
  • Copies of the photo page of any old passports and visas;
  • Documents such as bank statements of joint accounts or documents of a common accommodation you shared with your partner to prove the genuineness of your relationship;
  • Details of your spouse (if you were married to someone in the past) and/or children (if any with your previous spouse)
  • Divorce certificate if you got a divorce;
  • Details of any criminal convictions (if any in your name);
  • Your Tuberculosis test results if you come from a country where it is mandatory to take the test;
  • The income or savings statement such as a bank statement or salary slip for meeting financial requirement; and
  • SELT test’s passing certificate in order to prove your knowledge of the English language.

If any of your document/s is not in either English or Welsh language, then you need to get a certified translation copy of the original documents.

How to apply for a UK Fiance visa?

You must apply online. This is irrespective of the fact that whether you are applying from outside the UK or from inside the UK.

Application fee

You can only apply from outside the UK and the fee is £1,523.

How long do you have to wait to get a decision?

You should get a decision on your visa application ideally in 2-3 months’ time, but it may take longer also depending upon your circumstances

If you want to apply for a UK Fiance visa and need expert advice, contact Visa and Migration Ltd at +44 (0)20 3411 1261

 

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UK Skilled worker rules and guidance

Looking to come to the UK for work? The UK welcomes skilled workers from across the world. However, there are going to be new skilled worker rules in place. So far there has been free movement for all EU and EEA citizens coming to the UK. Come January 1, 2021, the free movement of people between the UK and EU is going to end as a result of Brexit. The UK is launching a new immigration system in which everyone outside the UK will be treated equally. This applies to employers in the UK and all non-UK skilled workers whether they are from the EU, EEA, or elsewhere. Now all non-British citizens looking to come to the UK to work will have to apply for and receive permission for it. It is important to note that those EEA and Swiss citizens who are already living in the UK by 31 December 2020 need not apply for a visa. However, such individuals do need to apply for an EU settlement scheme to continue living and working in the UK.

Who can apply through a UK skilled worker route?

Any non-British and non-Irish citizen can apply for the Skilled worker route under the Tier 2 visa category provided they have a confirmed job offer to work in specified occupations with a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer.

Eligibility for UK Skilled Worker Visa

There has been a point-based system in the UK for obtaining a visa. Currently, skilled workers outside the UK, EEA, and EU apply for Tier 2 visa category to come to work in the UK. This will continue. Now the new immigration rule says that you need to obtain a minimum of 70 points to be able to apply to work in the UK. If you are a non-UK citizen looking to work in the UK, you need to meet the following conditions to be employed by an organization in the UK. There have been new changes in place. Points are given against each criterion and some of them are mandatory while others are tradable in nature. First, let us see the mandatory criteria.

1. You need to have a job offer from an employer in the UK that has a sponsor license from the Home Office – 20 points
2. Your job offer should be at least at the RFQ (Regulations Qualifications Framework) level 3 or above equivalent to A level – 20 points
3. You must speak the English language at the appropriate level at B1 – 10 points

The rest of the conditions are tradable in nature. The list is the following:

1.Your annual salary of minimum £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for your profession (whichever is higher) – 0 points
2. Your annual salary of minimum £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for your profession (whichever is higher) – 10 points
3. Your annual salary must be at least £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for the job offer, whichever is higher – 20 points
4. The job you are offered is in a shortage occupation – 20 points
5. If you have a PhD in a subject that is relevant to the job you have been offered – 10 points
6. If you have a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job you have been offered – 20 points

So, the first 3 conditions must be met by each one looking to come to the UK for which they get a total of 50 points. For the remaining 20 points, you have the option to trade-off from the tradable conditions.

Other requirements

Applicants must meet the maintenance requirement. They must show that they will be able to support themselves and their families financially when during their stay in the UK. However, an A-rated sponsors can also provide the maintenance cost for the applicants. Applicants also need to pay an immigration healthcare surcharge to be covered under the NHS care.

How to apply?

All applicants can apply online including a smartphone app. But some applicants may have to visit a visa application center.

UK Sponsor license

Employers in the UK must apply for UK Sponsor license to be a sponsor if they wish to hire people from outside the UK from 1 January 2021 and once they get it they need to offer the certificate of sponsorship to the skilled workers who they want to employ in their organization. Employers or sponsors also need to pay immigration skill charges for each skilled worker they hire for their company through the skilled worker route or intracompany transfer route.

If you want to apply for a UK visa under UK Skilled worker route and need expert advice, coontact Visa and Migration Ltd a +44 (0)20 3411 1261

 

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British Citizen by Naturalisation

What is a British Citizen by Naturalisation? The British Nationality Act 1981 (BNA 1981) offers each individual above the age of 18 with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Permanent Residence in the UK an opportunity to become a British citizen by Naturalisation. There are many benefits of being or becoming a British Citizen. One can live and work in the UK without any immigration control whatsoever after becoming a British Citizen. The applicants have to meet other eligibility requirements too to apply for British citizenship.

Who can apply for British citizen by Naturalisation?

Non-UK citizens who are married to or neither in a civil partnership with a British Citizen [Section 6 (2) of BNA 1981] and Non-UK citizens who are neither married to nor in a civil partnership with a British citizen can both apply for British citizenship by Naturalisation [Section 6 (1) of BNA 1981].

Those who are married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen

If you are a spouse or a civil partner of a British Citizen on the date of your application you need to meet the following eligibility conditions:

  1. You must be 18 or above on the date of application;
  2. You must be able to demonstrate that you are of a sound mind;
  3. You must have already lived in the UK as a spouse or civil partner for at least 3 years before you apply;
  4. During these 3 periods of time, you must not be away from the UK for more than 270 days and you must not have breached any immigration law in the UK as well;
  5. You must have been physically present in the UK, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands on the day exactly 3 years before the date at which your application is received by the Home
    Office;
  6. You must not have been away from the UK for more than 90 days during the last 12 months from the date of your application;
  7. You must have either Indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
  8. You must satisfy must have appropriate knowledge of Language and Life in the UK;
  9. You have a “good character”.

There is some discretion that the Home Office may exercise in case of residence and absence from the UK and other requirements, these dependent on case to case basis.

Those who are neither married to nor in a civil partnership with a British Citizen

If you are neither a spouse nor a civil partner of a British citizen the requirements applicable to you are different and you will need to satisfy that:

  1. You must have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before you apply;
  2. You must also intend to continue living in the UK;
  3. You may be exempted from the 5 years residence requirement if you are currently a member of the UK Armed Forces or you were a member in the past and you were serving in a country other than the UK on the date 5 years before you apply;
  4. During these 5 years qualifying period you must not have been away from the UK for more than 450 days;
  5. You must not have been away from the UK for more than 90 days in the last 12 months before the date of application;
  6. You must satisfy must have appropriate knowledge of Language and Life in the UK;
  7. You must have been physically present in the UK, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands exactly on the day 5 years before the date on which your application is received by the Home

Again the Home Office can decide on its discretion whether you should be given some relaxations in residence and absence requirements etc. or not.

When to apply for British citizen by Naturalisation?

If you are a spouse or a civil partner of a British citizen you can apply to be a British citizen by naturalization as soon as you are granted ILR and if you are not a spouse or a civil partner of a British citizen you can apply immediately
after 12 months from the date, you were granted ILR.

Cost of application of British citizen by Naturalisation

Presently (in 2020) you need to pay £1,330 for the application.

How long does it take to get a decision?

You should usually get the decision within 3 to 6 months from the date of your application.

What after a successful application?

If your application is successful there will be a citizenship ceremony that you have to attend in which you will be presented with your certificate of Naturalisation as a British citizen. You can apply for a British passport after this.

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Guide to apply for the UK civil partnership visa

UK civil partnership visa is for those individuals who are non-UK citizens but are in a civil partnership with a person who is a British Citizen or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK or has the right of abode. Such non-UK individuals can apply for the UK civil partnership visa to join and live with their partners in the UK. UK civil partnership visa or UK marriage visa provides civil partners or spouses of British citizens an entry to the UK for a specified period of time. Applicants or their British partner on the behalf of the applicant can apply for the visa.

If your partner in the UK is neither a British citizen nor has a settled status there and he/she is living in the UK on a visa with limited leave to remain then you cannot apply for a UK civil partnership or UK marriage visa to join your partner in the UK. However, you can apply as a dependent to join him/her in the UK.

Eligibility for UK civil partnership visa

You and your British partner need to meet the following conditions in order to be eligible to apply for a UK civil partnership visa.
1. Both of you must be above 18 years of age.
2. Your partner must be a British Citizen or have indefinite leave to remain or the right of abode in the UK.
3. Your partner who is either a British citizen or has a settled status there is known as ‘sponsor’ because he must sponsor you for you to join him/her in the UK.
4. You must have met each other.
5. You must be in a legal civil partnership.
6. You need to prove that your relationship is genuine.
7. You must intend to live together permanently.
8. You have to prove that you will be able to support yourself or your partner is capable of meeting financial requirements of the two when you live in the UK.
9. You must pass a valid English language test.
10. You must get a medical certification of a test of Tuberculosis (TB) done in your country of origin to prove that you don’t have the disease.

How to apply for the UK civil partnership visa?

You can apply from outside the UK or from inside the UK. Your partner in the UK can also apply for you on your behalf.

Whether you apply from inside the UK or from outside the UK, you or your partner can apply online in both situations.

If you are already in the UK on a different visa that allows you to live in the UK for more than 6 months, you can apply to switch to a UK civil partnership visa.

If you are already in the UK on a UK visitor visa, which is valid for 6 months or less, you cannot apply to switch to a UK civil partnership visa. You have to first leave the UK on or before your visa expires and then from your country of origin, you can apply to join your partner in the UK.

You cannot apply as a fiance if you apply from inside the UK.

When you or your partner is filling an online application, an appointment for you at a visa application centre must be taken. All the necessary documents and evidence also must be submitted when making an online application.

Financial requirements details

Your partner in the UK must meet the minimum amount per annum requirement in the form of either earning from a job or self-employment or savings to support the financial requirements of the two when both of you live together in the UK.  In case of savings, your saving amount in your country can be added with the savings of your partner in the UK to meet the minimum amount requirement. However, if you are earning in your country then that cannot be counted towards the minimum earning requirements.
The minimum earning per annum is £18,600 before tax if only you are going to join your partner in the UK.
If you are bringing a child with you also, the minimum earning per annum amount goes up by £3,800 for a single child.
If more than 1 child is coming with you, the minimum earning per annum goes up by £2,400 for the second child and onwards.
You are exempted from meeting the minimum income requirements in certain situations such as your partner in the UK has the benefits of disability living allowance, severe disablement allowance, industrial injuries disablement benefit, attendance allowance etc. In such situations, you only need to meet what is called “adequate maintenance” and the minimum amount for adequate maintenance is decided upon a case-to-case basis.

How long can you stay in the UK?

You will be granted a UK civil partnership visa for 30 months if you apply from inside the UK and for 33 months if you apply from outside the UK. If you want to continue living in the UK, you can apply for an extension for another 2 years and 6 months after which you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) provided you meet other conditions.

Impact of Brexit

Before Brexit all non-EU nationals needed to apply for a UK Family visa to join their British or settled in the UK partners while EU citizens could apply for an EEA family permit for the same purpose. Now, the situation has changed and all non-UK nationals will be treated equally.

How we can help?

Visa and migration have expertise and experience to help you in applying for a UK civil partnership visa from the beginning till the end. We ensure that you make the right visa application and in the right format with appropriate documents and information required. You can write to us or call us for any UK visa related services.

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