LGBT Immigration Lawyers in London

Across the world homophobia is still alarmingly prominent in certain countries.  The UK has a more enlightened attitude and many individuals from the LGBT community find sanctuary and tolerance in the British Isles. 

We can also assist individuals who want to marry foreign nationals, we can help you navigate the process regardless of whether you just want to be married in the UK or would like to marry and permanently  live in the UK with your partner.

Fiancé(e) Visa

If you live abroad and just would like to be married in the UK and then go home again it is a fairly straightforward procedure.  Your partner must be 18 years old or older and you can apply for a Fiancé(e) Visa, which is a special Visa for just such a provision.  An application must be made at the nearest British embassy or consulate which will require you to state that:

  • You don’t intend to stay in the UK in excess of six months, you will have to be able to demonstrate, with evidence, that you intend to leave. 
  • You don’t work in the UK.
  • Nor do you intend to study in a UK school or university
  • That both you and your fiancé(e) have sufficient funds to finance yourselves whilst in the UK and can pay for your return journey.
  • That you are not in the UK for medical treatment.
  • Finally, that you are not using the UK as a transit country for another journey.

It should be remembered that, once married, your marriage may not be recognised in every country.  In some countries there can be a significant threat to gay couples.

Spouse Visa

A Spouse Visa is similar to the Fiancé(e) Visa but permits you to marry your partner from overseas and remain in the UK after the marriage.  As my be expected it is harder to obtain a Spouse Visa.  If your partner is a foreign national subject to immigration control you both must give notice of your intended marriage in person at certain designated Registry Offices in England and Wales.   The criterion your partner will have to fulfil for a Spouse Visa is as follows:

  • Age requirement of at least 18 years old.
  • Your partner is over 18 years old, is a British citizen or has settlement rights in the UK.
  • You have met your fiance(e) in person.
  • You are to be married within six months.
  • There is no impediment to your marriage.  You are legally free to marry.
  • You will be living with your partner.
  • You have an independent income of £18,600 or over which is separate from your partner’s.
  • You can speak English.

Following your marriage the Spouse Visa should remain valid for a further six months, after which you must apply for permission to remain as a husband, wife or civil partner.  If you application is successful you will be able to remain a further two years and can take up employment.  At the end of the two year period you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided you are still married.  If granted it gives the right to remain in the UK for as long as you wish.

Name Changing

In the UK you can assume your partner’s surname, keep your existing surname, combine your two surname’s in a hyphenated name and in some cases you may need to change your name by Deed Poll (a legal document binding the applicant to using the new name exclusively from the date the document is drawn up).

It is worth establishing that the foreign national in the marriage can legally use his or her new name in their home country.

 

For more information please contact london@giambronelaw.com or telephone 020 7043 5928.