My UK Fiance Visa: Mix ups, Hiccups, and Lessons Learned

I’ve received many requests to write about my experience and advice in getting a UK Fiance Visa in the Philippines, so here is the first of a series of blog posts about this topic. 

Disclaimer: This is my experience in applying for a UK Fiance visa or a UK Marriage visa. Our circumstances may vary, so please don’t take my tips and advice as gospel truth. I have done a fair amount of research to be able to go through the process but please do yours as well. 

In tears.

 There are many reasons why it has taken me this long to start writing about this. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs I just got married and had to plan a wedding in less than a month, so that took a lot of my attention and time.  There’s also the matter of adjusting to my new home. However, I think the main reason that I haven’t gotten around it is because in all honesty, applying for my fiance visa was an emotional whirlwind. I found  it hard to know where to begin with sharing my experience, and even more so, organizing my advice about it. 

So I will go about discussing my advice in 4 posts. This is the first one, which will be talking about my personal experience. The following will be specific FAQ’sand a checklist of requirements. Please feel free to ask questions if you feel we have similar circumstances, as I would probably be able to provide first hand advice. If I don’t, I’ll try to direct you to other sources on the internet.

Okay. Let’s begin. 

 

It all began with a YES! 

Duck and Waffle
With my then-boyfriend Andrew, on my visit to London in 2015

Andrew proposed to me on Easter last year, just a few days before I had to go home to Manila from my visit to London. I wrote about it in this post about getting a UK Visitor Visa. I was there for 5 months to meet his family and friends and also for us to explore the prospect of living under the same roof. We, fortunately, loved it and realised that we want to be in each other’s lives for the long haul. At this point, we have been in a relationship for over a year and a half. 

We decided that we wanted to get married in the UK to avoid issues. We have heard of couples (particularly of half Filipino couples married in the Philippines or anywhere outside the UK) having a more difficult time getting a visa. There are stories of couples having to come back to the Philippines anyway to get more requirements, or getting married only to find out that they have to part again for another period of time because getting a spouse visa was a longer and more difficult process. We honestly don’t know the full truth behind this. We don’t know whether it is because the UK government find marriages outside of the UK suspicious or that they tend to find more marriages of convenience in a third world country so they ask more requirements from them. In truth, we only chose this visa route because we didn’t want to risk it. We wanted to get the message across to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department that “Hey, we are REALLY in love! This isn’t fake, we really love each other and can’t wait to start our lives together!” without making them suspect that we were in a rush or too excited to do it. This is, pretty much, visa application poker: lose your cool and you lose it all.

Andrew and I decided that a small wedding in the UK when I get back will be best, and then maybe a celebration in Manila later on after all the visa palaver is out of the way. I came home to Manila, secretly engaged, and looking forward to getting the paperwork done and sorted so I can be with my husband-to-be again and we can get on with our happily ever after. Sounded easy. I was wrong.

 

Mix Ups : Definition of Terms – UK Fiance Visa / UK Marriage Visa 

I came back to Manila and immediately started doing my research. I started with the UK immigration website. First issue: there is no such thing as a UK FIANCE VISA. The term “fiance visa” just does not exist on the website. There’s a Marriage Visitor Visa, a Family of a Settled Person Visa, and a visa that will let you Remain in the UK with your Husband. So my first question: which visa do I need?

To shed light on this matter, let me share with you the differences among the three. A Marriage Visitor Visa is a visitor visa awarded to people who only intend to get married in the UK but not reside there after the wedding. This is for an applicant who is outside of the UK and wants to live outside the UK after getting married, for example, a couple who wants to live in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world but wants to get heir marriage registered in the UK. A Family of a Settled Person Visa, a kind of settlement visa, is a 6 month visa for an applicant who is outside the UK but wants to get married in the UK and then reside there later on by switching to another form of visa, the FLR M, which will allow you to Remain in the UK with your Husband. You can only apply for the FLR M when you are already married and living with your partner in the UK. 

Understanding these differences and our plans, I will have to get a family of a settled person visa. However, when you go into the online application form there are entirely different terms being used. The online application form also did not have any specific guidelines and definitions of terms. In it, you will be asked what your reason for visiting is. The word “marriage” will not be in the options. You’d even expect to see the phrase “family of settled person” or “join family in UK” in there, but they won’t be. Let me just help you out so you don’t make the same mistake as I did.

If you are planning to get married in the UK and then plan to reside there with your husband/wife after, here is what you need to fill out. 

Reason for Visit: Settlement (Not visit)

Visa Type: Settlement (if there’s an option here that says “marriage” you are in the wrong visa type, pal.) 

Visa Sub Type: MARRIAGE (This part can get confusing as you think you might fit 2-3 more options here)

Instead of the word “Marriage” under Visa Sub Type I picked the term “Proposed Civil Partner” thinking that my husband and I are planning to have a civil wedding.It sounds silly now, but I swear to God it sounded perfectly logical then. In the Philippines, a “civil partnership” is a wedding officiated in front of a judge. I forgot that this is more commonly referred to as a ceremony for same-sex couples. My bad.

Because of this, when it came to submitting the application on September 2015, I was told that I filled up the visa sub-category incorrectly and that I had the option of submitting it with the error in the document or refunding my application and lodging another one. To be safe, I decided to go with the second option. This small mistake cost us a fair amount of delays and a few big decisions to make. 

Page 2: The process of refunding my application and filing a second one

92 thoughts on “My UK Fiance Visa: Mix ups, Hiccups, and Lessons Learned

  1. Hi Abbi, so happy for you that everything worked out, just a quick question, I’m applying for my fiancée that is India to come over so we can get married in the UK and live in the UK.
    I have all our Whatsapp calls since we met three years ago ,conversations on Whatsapp ,all Whatsapp calls,FaceTime screen shots , FaceTime calls,engagement photos , photos while I went to visit him in India , is Whatsapp calls and messages and FaceTime screen shots from 3 years sufficient for showing comunication between us ?

  2. Hi miss abbi,can u help me,what are the requirements for fiance visa?last march me and my son apply for visit visa and we are denied,can I apply fiance visa anytime?have a good day

  3. Hey Abby!

    My name is Kristina! We have spoken one already =)
    I have applied for my visa on 18.04 in Moscow (British visa center in Russia) and after got an email from them that my application has been received and so on. And also sent my support docs to Sheffield and got the sms that DHL has delivered it to the assigned address.
    The question is: did you get any email that they received your docs in Sheffield? I did not. We have paid for priority service too, but i am worried.

  4. I got my visa and your blog was a huge help!!! Can you tell me more details about the seminar? And is there any other pre-departure requirements or payments I need to know about?
    PS: I’ll need new friends when I move next month. Would love to have a drink with you!!!
    -Michelle xx

  5. HI Abbi,

    Many thanks for your post.
    Could you let me know what did you write in the additional information section?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  6. Hey Abby!

    My name is Kristina! We have spoken one already =)
    I have applied for my visa on 18.04 in Moscow (British visa center in Russia) and after got an email from them that my application has been received and so on. And also sent my support docs to Sheffield and got the sms that DHL has delivered it to the assigned address.
    The question is: did you get any email that they received your docs in Sheffield? I did not. We have paid for priority service too, but i am worried.

  7. Hi Ms Abbi,

    I am confuse about how the spouse visa works as I was married in the UK and I am now in the Philippines because my visa was just for visit just to get married and now I’m waiting for the result of my visa application which I lodged last March 30, Since my visa was just a visit visa to get married in the UK, I need to return home that’s why I lodged my application here in the Philippines. My questions are

    1. Did I apply for the right visa since my marriage was held in the UK as you stated in your blog that if an applicant is married outside you need to apply outside to join your husband/wife/partner but my case is opposite since I was married in the UK.
    2. Should I book for the CFO seminar or would they entertain walk in applicants?
    3. Do I need to pay for it (CFO), if so, how much?
    4. As I am already married in the UK, is it a need for a 2 year cohabitation prior to applying for settlement?

    Please do shed some light on this as I am very nervous about the visa as £ 1, 464 is pretty big amount of money. If only I read your blog before I lodge my application then maybe my nervousness will be lessened.

    Thank you and please respond.

    • Hi,

      This is a very different case to mine but I will try to respond with what I know.

      1. If you’re already married but applying outside the UK, you need to apply for a “family of a settled person” visa which is the same application form as that of a fiance visa. https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk/overview
      2. No walk in, you need to book a CFO seminar
      3. Yes. It is 400 php according to their website. http://www.cfo.gov.ph/rnr-pdos.html
      4. From what I know, yes… but I can’t be sure.

      Hope that helps and good luck!

      Abbi

      PS. If you found this blog helpful, could you tweet or share it with your friends? Or you could you please have a look around my recent posts and leave a comment as well? I would very much appreciate that. Thank you!

    • Thank you Sonsare and sorry for the late response! I wish you and your fiance all the best of luck!

      xx
      Abbi

      PS. If you found this blog helpful, could you tweet or share it with your friends? Or you could you please have a look around my recent posts and leave a comment as well? I would very much appreciate that. Thank you!

  8. Hi Abbi and all the other ladies,
    I have a question about the visa4UK form, in the sponsor section they want the relationship of the sponsor to you…
    My Fiance is my sponsor but the options are all family related or work, I can only think that Partner or Friend will be correct but neither seems right.
    List to choose from not direct family or work related: Partner, Friend, Spouse (which I’m not yet), other relative????
    This is so confusing! Please help.
    Have a lovely day!
    Stefanie

  9. Hey Abbi,

    I was wondering what did you have to do to give notice of marraige in the UK.

    My Fiance is from the US and was wondering how the notice of marriage works ?.

    Can I book the appointment before she arrives to the UK ?.

    I know she has to stay in the UK 7 days before attending the appointment but are there anything else that I should be aware about ?

    Your help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    • Hi Kay, You got the timeline right. It is a very simple process, a bit like a standard interview about how much you know each other. In my experience it wasn’t very in depth, we were interviewed separately about basic things – age, birthday, full name, our history, etc. Things that you will know if you are in a genuine relationship.

      If you already have the notice, then that’s all you need to know, really. If you don’t have it yet check out my checklist here http://upraisedliving.com/travel/expat-life/document-checklist-when-applying-for/ I have a note about the required Registry Email & Booking at our chosen Registry Office in there.

      Hope this helps and good luck! xx

    • Hi Kay,

      I also paid Priority Service and submitted my application 12th of April. I received email from them 13th April confirming that they have my application assigned to an Entry Clearance Officer. However, until now, which I believe is more than 10 working days, I have yet to receive any update. I emailed UKVI Thursday last week and they said that the processing for my visa is delayed. What is more frustrating is that, they said they will contact us if there’s any delay with the processing, either the Entry Clearance Officer or the Visa Center where I submitted my documents, yet I have not recieve any update from them.

  10. Hi Abbi,

    Thanks for your helpful guide.

    Can I please check how long does the process take once you have applied for fiancé visa ? My fiancé is from the US.

    I been waiting for around a month now and still no response apart from the standard response they have received our application.

    Your response will be much appreciated

    Thanks

    Kay

  11. Hello, Abbi!

    Thanks for your blog and your help.
    I have a question:
    “I didn’t use the premium service. The premium service gives a decision on the spot”(you wrote above)
    How is that possible? they can’t check your supporting documents at the appointment as you are sending it to the UK?

  12. Hi Abbi,

    I am so glad to have stumbled upon your blog, very helpful tips from you and the ladies here, thank you so much!

    Can I ask about the lead time in booking an appointment with VFS? I read in some threads that it’s at least three weeks to get an appointment? And I saw that Grace’s appointment is on the 12th of April, now I am wondering how soon should I book my appointment? We still have quite a number of documents to provide so I also I don’t want to book so soon. But we are hoping to avoid the 3 weeks waiting period if we can.

    Thanks in advance for your reply 🙂

    • Oh dear, that’s a very specific question and I’m not sure if I still remember to be honest. All I can recall is that there is a certain time period that you’d be allowed to apply, (ie. up to 3 mos before intended time of travel) I don’t recall if there was a waiting period for submitting the application.

  13. Hello! I posted a couple of previous questions before but I think they may have slipped through the cracks. I want to start off by saying thank you very much for sharing your experiences as they are invaluable for so many people all around the world. Not only are you a source of reliable information, you also provide much-needed moral support and reassurance especially in the face of the frustrations.

    I hope you don’t mind my asking: you mentioned submitting birth certificates in your requirements for the different applications. Were these recently-issued by the NSO specifically for marriage purposes or would any old birth certificate issued by the NSO suffice?

    Thank you very much and best of wishes to you there! Do continue to serve as inspiration to many like me.

    • HI Gsl!

      Aw thanks! I appreciate that! I’m glad to help… (although usually a tad late!) I supplied recently-issued ones as it was relatively easy to get anyway. If you can’t get a hold of it though, I can’t see why the old ones wouldn’t be accepted. They’re still official docs after all.

  14. Hi Abbi,
    So happy to have found your blog. I am currently in the process and already having headaches. Please advice, what did you write when they asked, how long do you intend to stay? Obviously forever but I’m not sure if the question is that straight forward knowing I’ll have to leave within 6 months and apply for the next step.
    Have a great eve.

    • Stefi, Laura helped me answer that question and we put “Permanently” since in our case, we will be switching to spouse visa after. Hope this helps.

  15. Hello Abbi, where did you change your last name and passport after the wedding? Were you allowed to leave the UK and go to Phillipines to change them or you you stayed in the UK and changed everything in the consolate? Thank you very much for your reply x

  16. Hi Abbi. I posted a question from your other blog and actually found the answer here 🙂 However, in filling out the online application form, it’s asking me how long do I intend to stay in the UK. Given that I’m getting a fiance visa which allows me to stay only for 6 months, should I say 6 months? Or should I say indefinitely since I will be switching to Spouse Visa after our wedding. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Grace, I have got my fiance visa now. On online application, I have answered “PERMANENTLY” and on the financial form question 1.18 I have ticked “yes” on the question “Do you intend to live with your sponsor permanently?”. Then, I explained on the question 1.19 that we are planning to get married and live together. I hope it helps =)
      xx

      • Thanks Laura. I already booked my appointment for 12th of April and supposed to get a Priority Visa service but that option wasn’t available. I researched and found out that some of the applicants booked and paid the priority visa service at the visa center. Do you have any thoughts about this?

        • Hi Grace, I think you can change into the priority visa service at the visa centre during your appointment on the 12th of April. I did not use premium service and it took me around 26 working days until I got my visa. I tried to contact the visa centre and wanted to change it to premium service. This was their response “Once your application is under process, you can not add fast track(premium) service while your application is under process. “. If you have any further questions, you can send them an email ,here is the link https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com .

          • Appreciate your reply Laura. I will let you know the outcome on the 12th if they will let me get the priority visa. I chose Manila to submit my supporting documents. By the way, when you print the online application, did you have to put your passport photo? I see there’s a space where you can put one, but I will then have a biometrics during the appointment right? Cheers!

          • My pleasure, Grace. I just submitted my applicant’s online form at the visa centre. I applied my application from Indonesia. So, I am not sure if Manila has the same process. Please double check. They have changed the rules for Indonesia applicants since the 1st of December 2016 that all supporting documents for Settlement (Family Migration) Applications need to be send to- International Operations and Visas, 6 Millsands, Vulcan House, Sheffield, United Kingdom, S3 8NU

            IMPORTANT – Please ensure that you submit a full printed copy of your online application which must be signed and dated and contain a bar code on the first page – if no bar code is present you will need to change the security settings on your computer.

            What we did was ;
            1.I scanned all of my documents and emailed to my fiance.
            2. He printed out ( we have 3 different folders; Folder A-sponsor •Folder B-applicant•Folder C-proof of relationship). We printed our photo ID, wrote our name and just submitted inside the folder.
            3.He posted all documents (mine-scanned/copied; Sponsor/my fiance -original and copied) we made 3 folders into 1 big envelope including the pre-paid envelope (buy from the post office, so they can return all original documents back to your fiance) to the Sheffield office.

            It was just my experience, hope it helps. 🙂

  17. Hi, Im from the US and starting to look into this with my fiance. My question is when you received your visa, how long do you have before you need to move there? Do you have to tell them a specific date you plan on moving there when you give them your application? I’m just planning ahead so I can figure out when I’ll have to put notice in for my job. Thank you!

    • Hi Ashley! As soon as you are married, you can no longer leave the country. You’ll then have to convert your “fiance” visa into an FLR(M), which will allow you to live in the UK with your new husband. Please check my recent posts on spouse visa, I think there was someone who asked a question about this there. 🙂

  18. hi abbi
    congrats first of all.my question is if u were in relation before but never married how can you prove if its broken? letter from ex?

  19. Hi Abbi,

    Thank you for your guide it is very helpful. I just had few questions and was wondering if you could help ?

    1. My fiancé is from the US, we getting married in august but we have to give notice at the council to marry. Therefore i am applying for the fiancé visa. I am assuming it has multiple entry. So what we decided she will come to the UK and give notice then return back. Once done, she will come back in august to get married. My question is can she do that on the fiancé visa ?.

    2. On the application on sponser details it asks what is your relationship to the sponser ? It does not have fiancé option so selecting partner would that be ok ?.

    3. What happens after we get married cause her US passport will have the old surname and she planning to change surname to same as me. Should we change the surname first and then apply for the extension visa after to remain in the UK after marriage ?

    4. Also, we planning on going honeymoon abroad should we wait for her extension visa before we go honeymoon or she can travel straight after marriage but reading up online it says fiancé visa would no longer work as she married but generally US citzen don’t need visa to come to UK.

    Can you please clarify your help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Karen

    • Hello Karen! I’ll try my best to answer your questions. You’re in a very different position to my experience, so I can’t say my advice would be great, but I’ll try anyway –

      1. I read in some sources that the fiance visa is multiple entry until the point of marriage. I’m not sure if this is still valid, but you can try to confirm this information.
      2. It’s been a while since I filled this application up – maybe you can google the question number and application form?
      3. I applied to change my passport first before applying for a spouse visa. I explained why in my latest post. Please check it out! 🙂
      4. I think you’ll have to wait to get the spouse visa before you travel, unfortunately. Once you get married, your partner can’t leave the country until she gets the FLR(M) visa.

      Let me know if you have better answers to you questions, it would be so useful to share with others!

      x Abbi

      PS: When you have time, please visit and leave a comment on my newest post: Switching to a UK Spouse Visa

  20. Hi Abbi,

    Well I am here in London, on a fiancé visa and will get married next week. I would like to know please, what is the next step after we are married? Do we just turn up at the Home office/Immigration department and wait to see what they tell us? Do I need to set an appointment online to go there? and after the wedding and paying the visa and NHS ,what visa will I get, will it be a Marriage visa or ILR Visa? How long will it take for me to get my marriage or ILR Visa… I don’t have any idea. I would love to have your help in this as your advice really helped me in the past.

    Thank you
    David

  21. Hi Abbi, did you use premium service? I have noticed you got the decision 26 working days.
    I have applied my visa on the 15th December 2016 (biometric taken) with standard service. My fiance submitted in person the supporting document on the 19th December 2016 to Sheffield office (now sponsor needs to post all the supporting document to Sheffield office).

  22. Abbi thank you so much for clarifying visas types and the process! I am doing fiancé visa from Russia and literally no one can help me out in here. And your blog saved so much of my time and money xxxx

  23. Hi Abbi,

    nice blog and very helpful. just want to ask you something please.
    My fiance applied his uk fiance visa in Pretoria South Africa using priority service submitted all docs in person on 09.01.2017 and they gave us timeline 3-5 working days but we only had an email saying UKVI got his docs on 10.01.2017 and now we haven’t heard anything about the decision on his visa. Should we be worried now?
    Im a bit excited and worried as we planned to get married in June and want him to arrive in March to help me prepare the wedding and its really hard for me to stay apart from him

    thanks

  24. I’m.due to apply for fiancé visa for my partner.my only worry is the English test requirement…what if he does not pass it.it will prolong the application process etc. What happened to your application?? Is there a way if we don’t submit English language a1 cert for speaking and listening.

    • Hi Maria! Sorry this response is terribly late, I’ve had a very busy start to the year. The English requirement is a very important part of the application, as in order for him to live in a foreign country he will need to be able to confidently communicate with the people around him. In my experience, it isn’t very hard – they will test him in speaking and understanding English, not technical words or grammar. Wishing you both the very best of luck!

  25. Hi Abbi

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story. My fiancé and I are currently thinking about when to do this process as we plan to wed in August 2018 here in London. I was wondering if he’s here on a normal vacation for say 6 months could he apply for the fiancé visa while here? Also looking at the month I plan to wed when would you advise we should apply. We meet all requirements…we just want everything to go as smooth as it possibly can.
    It’s a while a way but these kind of things need time and preparation and I’m trying to be strong, supportive and stress free and it’s tough.

    • Hi Neisha! SO sorry for this very very late response! I have been very busy and preoccupied but I hope this advice still helps. My husband and I made sure to get the visa 2 months before our intended wedding. You’ll need to time it very well as the visa only give you a total of 6 mos to get married, change your name and passport (if you choose to, which I recommend) and lastly file to switch your fiance visa over into a spouse visa. It takes 1 month on average for the UK Immigration office to process a fiance visa application, according to https://visa-processingtimes.homeoffice.gov.uk/. That being said, my recommendation is to lodge your application sometime in April.

      I think he can travel with the application ongoing as they wouldn’t be taking his passport, they will only be taking yours for the application.

      Hope this was helpful!

      x Abbi

      PS. Do let me know what you think my most recent post! Please check out: http://upraisedliving.com/blog/top-moments-2016/ Hope your 2017 is off to a great start! x

  26. Hi,

    I got engaged to my US fiancée back in July 2016 with the intention of her moving to the UK this year. We’re likely to get married in California this year and have her move to the UK under the Family of Settled Person Visa. There’s a few other complexities and I was considering using an immigration lawyer even if just for one session of advice. What are your views on using immigration lawyer? There’s so many and I don’t want to get sucked into paying a lot of money for what is hopefully obvious from the UK Visa website.

    • Hi Martin, thanks for reading my blog and very sorry for the late response. I have very little opinion regarding immigration lawyers as I’ve never used one. I agree with you though- they cost a lot and I’m not sure how much more they could have helped me, really. While the application process may seem daunting and at times confusing (the immigration website is admittedly a pain to navigate!) there are so many sources of information online that if you put in the effort you will find all the answers to your questions. The application process is pretty straightforward as long as you submit all the required documents.

      However, if you feel that you are a special case (for example, if there are children or other family involved in the application) and it would put you at ease to seek advice, then go to a lawyer. Just be aware that they will not guarantee your visa’s approval.

      x Abbi

      PS. Do let me know what you think my most recent post! Please check out: http://upraisedliving.com/blog/top-moments-2016/ Hope your 2017 is off to a great start! x

  27. Reading this made me so emotional! Currently have my visa application submitted and waiting for a response… UKBA website says last month all applications were decided in 10 days, we’re at 15… As far as learning about ourselves goes, turns out I’m super impatient and don’t handle having to wait very well!!!

    • Hi sonja! By now it would be a few days since you wrote this comment. I’m crossing my fingers for you!!!! I didn’t think I was an impatient person too, and then I had to wait for my visa! LOL. Wishing you all the best and sending you TONS of good vibes. xx

  28. Hi Abbi,

    I am so thankful about your blog it really helps me and answer to my questions, but 1 thing i wanna know about is the sponsorship form SO7, because my fiance went home in UK last week and through your blog i found out about this form, so… can we pass a scanned signature of him of this form? and did u pay anything in the application center? i hope u can help me. Thank you very much.

    • Yes, I think a scanned copy is fine. That’s what I did. I had to pay for some minor things like delivery and sms service in the application service. I can’t be sure anymore how much that was but it wasn’t too much!

      • hi Abbi,

        Thanks for the reply, 1 more thing to ask, when u got the fiance visa. Did you bought a roundtrip ticket or one-way is fine with the immigration? as fiance is only valid for 6 months. Hoping for your reply. ty. Godbless.

  29. Thank you so much Abbi for your reply. Now we have some idea on what to do. Yes your insights and experiences in your blog has helped us a lot and I wish you success in everything you do. God bless!

  30. Hi Abbi,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. It is truly inspiring and informative especially for couples who were planning to live together as married couple in UK or outside UK. I have a question Ms Abbi, in your opinion which type of visa would you prefer more, Fiance visa or Spouse visa? I asked because my fiance is planning to visit me this December God’s willing and at the same time we are planning to get married here while he’s on vacation and then we apply for spouse visa after he goes back to UK so that we could live together in UK. Cheers.

    • Going for a spouse visa is cheaper as you only apply for a visa once, but it also is harder to get than a fiance visa according to some forums. The reason being – many people think they can get married outside of the UK so that marriages of convenience can “seal the deal”. Applying for a fiance visa may be more expensive, but it shows the immigration office that you are willing to go through the proper process to have the wedding be held and registered in the UK. Also, if your fiance visa application is denied, then you can simply wait and reapply again as boyfriend-girlfriend. On the other hand, if your spouse visa is denied, then you have to wait and be separated after you’re already married! That’s so much more stressful and heartbreaking.

      These were our reasons for going with the fiance visa route, which we felt was better. This is my opinion. I hope it helps.

  31. Hello Abbi,
    First of all, congratulations both of you Thanks for your blog really help us a lot . I would like to ask you for the requirements from my side for marriage visitor visa, actually we are both working in Middle East together and we plan to apply fiancé visa as marriage visitor only back to phillipines Next month . But I don’t have really idea where I start off.. Pls if you could help us.
    By the way we plan to get married only in uk not to work or live there.
    Appreciate your response
    Thank you so much

    • Hi Angel! SOrry this is so late… I have been super busy. A marriage visitor visa is an entirely different thing, so I’m not very sure how to help with this one. If I should guess though, it would probably be much like the requirements for a fiance visa but instead of showing proof of accommodations in the UK you’ll need to show proof of employment and accommodations in the Middle East. You need to prove that you don’t intend to stay in the UK but that you are in a genuine relationship and want to have a marriage.

  32. And oh one more thing also, how many weeks or months i need to wait for the decision? and can you suggest me what to bring when it comes to proof or relationship ? a print out of our photos ? or the photos whose in glossy paper ? im baffled.. xxx

  33. HELLO 🙂 I am in the process of applying a spouse visa also, i just wanna ask if theres a certain score in english test that the uk wants to see on my documents ? my english test will be on next thursday and i am very anxious about the score expectancy (if there is) and how about the requirements financially, my husband is currently in benefits which exempt him from showing the financial requirements, Do you think i may face an interview ? but he can provide a bank statement of his own also to prove that i can live with him without depending in the government. Thank you!!!

  34. Hello Abbi. I felt really moved reading your story in the website. 🙂 I’m so glad everything worked out for you and your husband. My fiance and I are in the process of submiting the fiance application now, and I wonder if you could tell me anything about the interview at the VAC, what should I bring to it, does it have a dress code or something, what to expect.

    • Hello Natalia!

      Thanks for dropping this appreciative comment. My main goal in sharing our story is really to help and encourage other couples out there. There was no interview at the application center, they simply took my documents. In fact, there wasn’t any interview for my spouse visa as well. It truly all depends on the documents you provide so you should be very organised and prepared. There was no dress code, but I did come in a respectable pair of jeans and a blouse. I like looking a bit smart for things like this. I was in and out of the application center in 15 mins. I submitted the documents which the visa application officer reviewed, then I was asked to do biometrics. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the visa to be mailed back to you.

      Hope that helps!

      Abbi

    • hello natalia 🙂 i wanna ask, what sort of proof of relationship you submitted ? i have all the proofs like our boarding pass entrance ticket on tours we had, souvenir pictures ,and our wedding photos..but i am really confused if i need to give them all the originals (i cant let go of them cos it has value for me) can i scan those and include in my application or i really need to let them go huhuhu lol! i hope you can give me advice..

  35. hi thanks for the blog
    i hope you can give me some info…and its so nice to read that you are now as a couple and starting to bulid a family
    my question ive read online and one of the requirements is my partner need to reach the amount of 18600 pounds a year..but sad to say my boyfriend couldnt reach that amount..what would be the other option to meet the finacial requirement?what if we are already maried here in philis is it necesary that amount that am already his wife?
    hope you could help me
    thanks hope to hear you son

    • Hello! From what I have read the £18600 requirement is very important to be able to bring a partner to settle in the UK. A marriage in the Philippines does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reside in the UK, unfortunately. So even if you are already married if he can’t prove that he can support you in th United Kingdom, your application will be denied. 🙁

      As for other means to meet the financial requirement, I think he can try to accumulate all his savings and non-employment income (such as pension, etc) but from what I recall, that would raise the financial requirement. I am not sure about this.

      I really wish you luck, hope everything works out!

  36. hi! i need some help please nakakagulo kasi… i am married na last february 17 2016, now my husband went back to the uk and we are sorting my visa. ano ba ang iaapply ko? kasi nakaka confuse yung settled in uk chorva, tapos.. you didnt mention na you took english exam and tb exam,kasi nabasa ko yun na you need to undergo to that tests.. hope you can help me para alam ko gagawin ko salamat ng marami!!!!!

    -rohanie

  37. Thanks Abbi, this is clearer to me now. =) I’ll definitely be asking more questions from you when my time comes to process for this visa… Thanks a lot again. =)

  38. Hi Abbi,

    Question, did you both appeared for the UK wedding application? As I have read in UKVI website that both parties should be together when applying for notice to get married in UK. If yes, did you do it while you were still in UK as tourist? I hope I made my question clear…just confuse with some rules in the website. =)

    • Yes. You have to schedule the notice of marriage a month before your actual wedding, so you will be doing this together when you are already in London on a marriage/fiance visa. Your partner can get a date reservation from the borough you intend to get married. They will issue you a receipt and a confirmation that the wedding date has been booked, these can be forwarded along with your fiance visa document requirements.

    • Yes. You have to schedule the notice of marriage a month before your actual wedding, so you will be doing this together when you are already in London on a marriage/fiance visa. Your partner can get a date reservation from the borough you intend to get married. They will issue you a receipt and a confirmation that the wedding date has been booked, these can be forwarded along with your fiance visa document requirements.

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