Under the immigration rules a foreign migrant can apply for leave to come to the UK or to remain in the UK on the basis of having a qualifying partner in the UK.
The list which tells us which kind of partners qualify is nowadays quite complicated. British citizens, those who hold settlement and those who hold Refugee status qualify, as they always did, but now those who hold Pre-Settled Status qualify, as do a couple of other categories.
The word “partner” in this context has a broad meaning. It can be a spouse, a civil (ie same sex) partner, an unmarried partner (either different sex or same sex) or a fiancé(e) or prospective civil partner. (The term “prospective civil partner” is now widely used for fiancé(e) where the relationship is a same-sex one.)
The fiancé(e)/prospective civil partner visa is significantly different from the other types of partner visa. Unlike those it can only be applied for from outside the UK, is granted for only six months, does not lead to settlement, and neither does it confer the right to work.
A migrant holding this visa is expected to marry/enter into civil partnership with their sponsor within the six-month visa period, and it is only once they have “switched” into their new partner status that the five-year clock for settlement starts ticking.
Fiancé/Prospective Civil Partner visa applications are, unfortunately, every bit as complex as other partner visa applications, but they face an additional hurdle: it is more difficult to prove this type of relationship. It does not have the same sort of legal status as marriage/civil partnership, and there is no marriage/civil partnership certificate to provide as evidence. So the applicant has to work very hard to show that the relationship is genuine and that the parties are genuinely committed to a long-term relationship and future together.
If you are thinking of applying for a Fiancé/Prospective Civil Partner visa we are GSN Immigration will be able to advise and assist you.
OISC Level 3 Immigration Adviser