Civil Partner Visa

UK-civil-partner-visa

Registering a civil partnership is one of the ways in which a partner can join or stay with the EU or British partner in the UK, or a person with limited leave to remain in the UK.

The Civil Partnership Act allows people of the same sex to register as civil partners. Although a different legal concept to a marriage, it allows for people of the same sex to register a similar legal union. Registering a civil partnership is a serious commitment. Should the partners wish to end a civil partnership, they are required to go through a court based dissolution which addresses the same issues as a divorce settlement. A civil partnership can also end through annulment or upon the death of one of the parties.

How to qualify

Both the partners must be 18 years or older and give notice to register a civil partnership at a registry office.

For applications as the civil partner of a person present and settled, submitted on or after 9 July 2012:

A minimum income threshold of £18,600 is required in order to sponsor the settlement of the partner, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.

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Length of stay and right to work

Under the Civil Partnership Act you will have similar immigration rights to married couples.

For applications submitted before 9 July 2012:

The civil partner of the British citizen or person settled in the UK will be able to apply for two year’s leave to remain in the UK. A spouse visa may be granted for 27 months and after 24 months an applicant can apply for settled status.

If you are the civil partner of a person who is subject to immigration control in one of the permanent immigration categories such as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 category, you can apply to join him or her in the UK as a dependant for the same time as their leave to remain is granted. After you have obtained this dependant visa, you will be able to work in the UK without any restrictions, subject to your partner maintaining their status.

For applications submitted on or after 9 July 2012:

You will be able to apply for 30 months leave to remain in the UK. After the 30 months, an application can be lodged for another 30 months, which should take the applicant to the five-year qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain.




If you are the civil partner of a person who is subject to immigration control in one of the permanent immigration categories such as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 category, you can apply to join him or her in the UK as a dependant for the same time as their leave to remain is granted. After you have obtained this dependant visa, you will be able to work in the UK without any restrictions, subject to your partner maintaining their status.

It is also possible to apply for leave to enter the UK as the civil partner of a person with a student visa, if the student visa is granted for longer than six months. The leave to remain will be granted for the same period as the student’s. As this is a temporary immigration category it will not allow you to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain and both partners should leave the UK upon the expiry of the visa or look to switch to another immigration status.

Permanent residence

For applications submitted before 9 July 2012:

If you are the civil partner of a person who is either a British citizen or who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and the civil partnership is still maintained at the end of the two years, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

For applications submitted on or after 9 July 2012:

If you are the civil partner of a person who is either a British citizen or who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and the civil partnership is still maintained at the end of the five years, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

If you are the civil partner of a person who is subject to immigration control in one of the permanent immigration categories, you will be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain at the end of the five year period, provided you are still civil partners and your partner has maintained his legal status or acquired ILR or British citizenship in the intervening period.

If you are the civil partner of a person with a student visa, it will not be possible to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain and both partners should leave the UK upon the expiry of the visa or look to switch to another immigration status.

Bereavement

Under section BPILR of Appendix FM there is a provision for granting ILR during the probationary leave period on the death of a spouse, civil partner, same-sex partner and unmarried partner. As with a domestic violence applicant, Appendix FM does not set down financial requirements.

In the event of the ending of the partnership through bereavement, it does not matter how much of the probationary leave has been completed; the requirement is simply that the couple were living together at the time of death, and at that time intended to continue to do so.

 

Access to a UK child

There is an alternative route that may help some spouses or civil partners who separate within the probationary period. If they have a child, and both parents continue to play an active part in the child’s upbringing, with the non-British or non-settled person having access rights, it may be possible to stay after the probationary leave has ended, or to apply to return to the UK for this purpose.

 

Appendix FM sections EC-PT to D-ILRPT apply to this situation.  The child must be a British citizen or settled in the UK, and the applicant must either have sole parental responsibility, or the parent with whom the child normally lives must be a British citizen or settled.  The applicant should not be the current partner of the parent looking after the child in the UK.  There must be evidence that the applicant has access rights and plays an active role in the child’s upbringing as well as an intention to carrying on doing so.  The applicant must also speak English to level A1 of the CEFR.

This is one of the exceptions in Appendix FM where the applicant must show only adequate maintenance and accommodation for himself/herself and any dependants, on the previously accepted adequacy test. Initial leave of 33 months will be granted with no recourse to public funds, and a further 30 months can be granted as limited leave to remain,  Settlement is possible after 60 or 120 months depending on suitability criteria.