If you are in a relationship with your partner who is a British national or who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, you can apply to join them and live in the UK for settlement purposes. The definition of ‘Spouse Visa’ includes: husband, wife, civil partner and unmarried partner.
If you are eligible for spouse visa you will initially be granted leave for 2 and a half years. When your visa expires you can apply to stay in the UK for a further 2 and a half years, provided you meet the requirements. If at the end of 5 years period you continue to meet the requirements, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are important financial requirements, which need to be met.
To meet the requirements for a spouse visa you must be able to show that:
If you are applying as a fiancé, fiancée, spouse visa or proposed civil partner you must prove that any of your previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended and you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
If you are already in the UK and would like to extend your stay as a partner of a British citizen you can apply for further leave to remain. You must meet the relevant criteria including the above and make a valid application before your current visa expires.