The Spouse Visa requirements
When you come to apply for your Spouse Visa UK, there is a long list of requirements that you will need to meet in order to be deemed eligible and therefore successful. Meeting the requirements largely depend on your individual circumstances, but the application will require you to submit a plethora of documents to back up your claim.
Generally speaking, the requirements dictate that you and your partner intend to live together in the UK. When you come to apply, you must also prove that your married or civil partner is a British citizen or someone with Settled Status such as Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you and your partner can meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to stay in the UK for two and a half years. If you are not yet married, it may be best to seek a Fiance Visa instead in which you will have entry permission to stay in the UK for 6 months, during which time you must get married to your proposed civil partner or spouse.
How Our Birmingham Immigration Lawyers Can Help
Our team of immigration lawyers in Birmingham are legal professionals that specialise in all areas of immigration law. We recognise the importance of being with your loved ones. We deal with family visa cases every single day and approach each unique client with care and understanding.
Once you have spoken to our dedicated client care team, you will be assigned your own immigration lawyer who will be able to custom-make your Advice Session or Application Session to meet your needs.
Whether you need general Advice, a thorough document check or a full Application check, our immigration experts are here to help you. Get in touch by calling 0121 667 6530 so that we can make a start on your Spouse Visa application today.
What is the UK Spouse Visa?
The Spouse Visa applies to foreign nationals who are married or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen or settled person in the UK. To apply, you must ensure you meet the Spouse Visa criteria.
If your Spouse Visa application is successful, you are able to live and stay in the UK legally for 30 months if you have applied from outside the UK. If you are already in the UK under a different visa, such as a Work Visa, but you switch onto a Spouse Visa, your permission can last up to 33 months instead.
The Spouse Visa allows overseas nationals to access the UK labour market and live in the country with their married partner. Unlike most other visa routes, the Spouse Visa can speed up the process towards British Citizenship. However, you will need to apply for a Spouse Visa extension once your initial visa expires in order to stay in the UK. If you are successful, you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain for 12 months before making the permanent step to British Citizenship.
The route to permanent settlement is a little longer for couples who are not yet married. However, if you are engaged, you can apply for a UK Fiance Visa instead. The Fiance Visa allows couples to get married in the UK within 6 months, granting the foreign Spouse a temporary form of Leave to Remain. Once married, you will then be able to apply for the UK Spouse Visa to remain in the country for 33 months.
About the Spouse Visa application
The requirements of the UK Spouse Visa are arguably some of the most challenging to meet across the immigration rules. In order to be successful, you and your proposed civil partner will need to apply and prove you meet every single requirement with extensive documentation and proof.
The highest hurdle applicants can sometimes struggle with is the Genuine Relationship Test. Unlike many other UK visa routes, the immigration officer assesses this aspect of your application with severe scrutiny. This is because the Home Office takes sham marriages and marriages of convenience very seriously. To surpass this part of the application, you will need to convince the Government that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your proposed civil partner. You will need to provide a wealth of documents that prove you and your partner have met at least once and that your relationship is legitimate. This may include photographs, travel tickets for visiting one another and any ongoing correspondence such as letters, emails and texts.
However, there are other criteria to be met too. Your ‘Sponsor’, the British or settled person, will need to write a declaration letter and will need to earn a minimum of £18,600 per annum. As a couple, you must state that you intend to live together under the same roof and provide evidence of your chosen accommodation.
Get in touch with us today on 0121 667 6530 to start your application.
The general Spouse Visa requirements
As mentioned, each case and client remain different from the last. When you come to apply, the documents you may need to provide or the requirements you may need to meet may vary depending on your unique circumstances.
Generally speaking, there is a checklist of requirements that you must consider when you apply for a Spouse Visa.
The general requirements are as follows:
- You and your partner must be over the age of 18
- You must be married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or someone with Settled Status
- Your British or Settled partner must meet the Minimum Income Requirement
- You must have met at least once before
- You must intend to cohabit together while in the UK
- You must have adequate savings to demonstrate that you can financially support yourself without welfare support
- You must have suitable accommodation already set up for your arrival
- You must pass an English language test to demonstrate that you can understand and speak English
The documents needed for a Spouse Visa
In order to satisfy each requirement, you will need to supply a portfolio of documents to support the merits of your case.
However, it is important to remember that you should take extra precaution when supplying documents in your Spouse Visa application. The Home Office combs through each application with particular scrutiny. This is to ensure that applicants aren’t marrying for visa purposes or for fraudulent immigration advantages. As a result, you must make sure that you don’t provide an overwhelming or suspiciously high number of documents as well as too little.
Some documents you will need to include are:
- Your passport
- Your partner’s passport or proof of identification
- Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Your English language certificate
- A short history of your relationship from the day you met to the current date
Yet by no means is this an exhaustive list. You will need to provide proof of your accommodation arrangements which varies if you intend on bringing children or other dependents with you to the UK. You will also need to provide evidence of your financial situation, such as your earnings and/or accumulated savings.
The Genuine Relationship requirement
To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, both you and your partner will need to prove that you are in a “genuine and subsisting” relationship.
To satisfy this rigorous test, you may need to map a timeline from when you first met, when you married and your recent correspondence. You must be able to prove that you have an ongoing communicative relationship with your other half and that you spend significant time together when you meet.
Although there is no set documentation checklist to meet the Genuine Relationship requirement, you may like to include:
- Your marriage certificate
- Proof of meetings – such as photographs or evidence of holidays
- Previous accommodation arrangements such as a shared tenancy or mortgage
- The birth certificate of your child or children if you have any together
- Evidence of ongoing correspondence such as texts, video calls, social media messages, visits to one another
- Evidence of any gifts you may have bought one another
- Evidence of any events you may have attended together
This aspect of the Spouse Visa is particularly important. If you fail to provide sufficient evidence, the immigration officer may decide that your marriage is fraudulent.
The Spouse Visa financial and accommodation requirements
To be eligible to come and live with your partner in the UK, you must also meet the Minimum Income Requirement and Accommodation requirement.
To do so, your British/settled partner must earn an income of £18,600. This can be achieved via employment, money from stocks and shares, income from renting or pension payments.
Alternatively, you can meet the financial requirements if you have savings of up to £16,000. This is to ensure that you can live in the UK and financially support yourself without relying on public funds.
In order to meet the Accommodation requirements for a Married Partner Visa, the British or settled sponsor will need to provide extensive details of your housing arrangement. It must be adequate for the two of you to live together and should have additional bedrooms per every child/dependent that plans on living with you.
It is also important to note that you may need to meet this criterion when you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Get in touch with our Birmingham immigration lawyers today to see how we can help you build your portfolio of documents.
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In addition to the above, when you apply for your Spouse Visa, you must also demonstrate that you can speak and understand English. If you do not originate from an English-speaking country, such as the US, Canada or Australia, you may be required to sit an English language test.
To pass, you must score A1 or higher in your IELTS exam. However, you may also be exempt from the exam is you have a degree that was taught in English.
When you apply for your Spouse Visa, the waiting time to hear a verdict on your case can vary. If you are applying from outside the UK, it may take longer due to postal services.
Generally speaking, you should receive a result on your application within three months.
However, if there are any discrepancies in your application, it may take longer for the immigration officer to make a verdict on your case. You may be required to submit new documents which can add time onto your case.
If you need an urgent decision, it is best to apply for a Premium Service which aims to process your Spouse Visa in a two-week timeframe.
We have put together further information on the UK Spouse Visa processing time for your ease of reference.
The base fee for the Spouse Visa sits at £1,523 if you apply from outside the UK. If you are applying from inside the UK, this cost is lowered to £1,033.
However, this fee does not include the additional costs that must be paid to accompany your visa.
- The Immigration Health Surcharge
- The housing report
- English language test cost
- Any document translation
- Any lawyer fees
If the Fiance Visa or Married Partner Visa doesn’t apply to your current situation with your partner, you should apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa instead. However, the requirements of this visa stipulate that you must have been in a relationship akin to marriage and that you have lived together for at least 2 years prior.
Our immigration lawyers in Birmingham are well versed in all areas of family immigration law and are well equipped to help you every step of the way of your Married Partner Visa application.
All our immigration experts are OISC trained and certified. We have a plethora of tailor-made packages to help you, no matter your query.
Our services include:
- A thorough document-check to ensure your application meets the Spouse Visa requirements
- A general advice session to walk you through the application and advise you on your next steps, such as which documents you need
- A full application breakdown in which your immigration lawyer will assist you from start to finish in filling out your Spouse Visa application
- Full assistance with appeals in the event your Spouse Visa is refused and you require a lawyer to support you in your Tribunal
We even include a Letter of Representation to accompany your application that supports the merits of your case and character. Your personally assigned by your lawyer who will liaise with the Home Office on your behalf throughout your case until you have a verdict.
Contact us on 0121 667 6530 to see how we can help you today.