How to Prepare for a Partner Visa Application

Navigating the process of applying for a partner visa can be daunting, but with the right preparation and knowledge, you can streamline the process and improve your chances of success. This guide aims to provide comprehensive information on how to prepare for a partner visa application, tailored to the requirements of British immigration laws.

Understanding the Partner Visa

A partner visa allows non-UK citizens to live in the UK with their British partner. This visa is applicable to those who are married, in a civil partnership, or in a long-term relationship akin to marriage. The primary goal of the partner visa is to keep families together while maintaining the integrity of UK immigration controls.

Eligibility Criteria

Before starting your application, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. The main requirements include:

1. Relationship Requirement: You must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British citizen or someone settled in the UK. Evidence of your relationship’s authenticity will be crucial.
2. Financial Requirement: You and your partner must demonstrate that you can financially support yourselves without relying on public funds. Typically, this means showing an annual income of at least £18,600 or having substantial savings.
3. English Language Requirement: You must prove your proficiency in English, which can be demonstrated through a recognised English language test or academic qualifications.

4. Accommodation Requirement: You must have adequate accommodation for yourselves and any dependants that live with you.

Gathering Documentation

Proper documentation is essential for a successful partner visa application. The required documents typically include:

Proof of Relationship: Marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, or evidence of cohabitation if you are unmarried. This may include joint bank statements, utility bills, or tenancy agreements.

Financial Evidence: Payslips, bank statements, tax returns, and employment contracts to prove you meet the financial requirement.

English Language Proficiency: Test results from an approved English language test or academic certificates.

Accommodation Proof: Evidence of adequate housing, such as a tenancy agreement or a letter from a landlord.

Personal Identification: Passports, birth certificates, and photographs.

Completing the Application Form

The application form for a partner visa can be completed online via the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. Be thorough and accurate in your responses to avoid delays or rejections. Here are some tips for completing the application:

1. Double-Check Details: Ensure all personal details, such as names and dates of birth, are correct.
2. Consistent Information: Make sure the information you provide matches the documents you submit. Inconsistencies can lead to complications.
3. Honesty is Key: Provide truthful answers. Misrepresentation can lead to a visa refusal and a ban on future applications.

Attending the Biometric Appointment

After submitting your application, you will be required to attend a biometric appointment. This involves providing fingerprints and a photograph at a visa application centre. You will receive an appointment confirmation with instructions on what to bring.

Preparing for the Visa Interview

Not all applicants will be required to attend a visa interview, but it is a possibility. If selected, be prepared to discuss your relationship and provide additional evidence if needed. Here are some tips:

1. Know Your Partner: Be ready to answer questions about your partner, including details about their life, family, and your relationship history.
2. Bring Supporting Documents: Bring copies of your submitted documents in case the visa officer needs to review them.

3. Stay Calm and Honest: Answer questions truthfully and calmly. The interview is an opportunity to clarify any doubts the visa officer may have.

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Post-Submission Steps

After completing the application and attending the biometric appointment, you will need to wait for a decision. This can take several weeks to months, depending on various factors. During this period, you can track your application status online.

Preparing for Arrival in the UK

If your visa is approved, it’s time to prepare for your move to the UK. Consider the following:

1. Health Insurance: Ensure you have health insurance coverage. The UK offers an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which grants access to the National Health Service (NHS).

2. Travel Arrangements: Book your travel tickets and plan your journey to the UK.

3. Settling In: Arrange for temporary accommodation if needed and start looking for a more permanent residence.

Post-Arrival Obligations

Upon arriving in the UK, there are a few steps you need to take:

1. Register with the Police: Some nationalities are required to register with the police within seven days of arrival. Check if this applies to you.

2. Collect Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): Collect your BRP within ten days of arrival from the designated post office.

3. Open a Bank Account: Setting up a UK bank account can help manage your finances more easily.

4. GP Registration: Register with a local GP to access healthcare services.

Preparing for the Visa Extension or Indefinite Leave to Remain

A partner visa is typically granted for 30 months. Before it expires, you will need to apply for an extension or for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Start preparing early by ensuring you meet the continuous residence requirements and gather necessary documentation for your next application.


Applying for a partner visa involves meticulous preparation and a thorough understanding of the requirements. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enhance your chances of a successful application. Remember to stay organised, provide accurate information, and prepare well for each stage of the process. With dedication and attention to detail, you can look forward to joining your partner in the UK and starting your new life together.