UK Spouse Visa Advice & Representation
If you are married or legally partnered with someone who is lawfully settled in the UK, or a British citizen, then you may qualify for a UK Spouse Visa.
Everything You Need to Know About UK Spouse Visas
The UK Spouse Visa is an Eventual Route to British Citizenship
The UK Spouse Visa will allow you to stay and work in the UK with your loved one. The initial visa is for 30 months, after which it can be extended for a further 30 months. After residing in the United Kingdom for five years, you will be qualified to apply for indefinite leave to remain and, after this, British citizenship.
Who can apply for a UK Spouse Visa?
Individuals must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for a UK spouse visa:
What are the prerequisites for a Spouse Visa?
To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you must meet certain requirements, including:
Genuine relationship: You must be in an authentic and existing relationship with a British citizen or an individual with settled status in the UK.
Financial requirements: You must meet the financial requirements, which involve demonstrating that you have a minimum income of £18,600 per year for at least six months (soon to be £38,700 from Spring 2024), or savings of at least £62,500 if you are not working (soon to be £112,750 from Spring 2024).
English language proficiency: You must meet the English language prerequisites by either passing an approved English language test or providing evidence that an exemption applies. If you have a degree taught in English that will satisfy the requirement
Accommodation requirements: You must meet the accommodation requirements by providing evidence that you have suitable accommodation for you and your dependents without relying on public funds. An immigration accommodation report would be beneficial to have.
Health requirements: You and your dependents must not have any serious health conditions that would pose a risk to public health. For applicants from certain parts of the world, a tuberculosis test is necessary. If you are from certain countries you will need to have a TB negative test.
Genuine Relationship Test
What is the ‘Genuine Relationship Test’?
The Genuine Relationship Test is designed to assess whether your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting. The UK Immigration Rules state that people applying on the basis of their relationship must demonstrate that they have met in person and are in a “genuine and subsisting” relationship.
The Genuine Relationship Test focuses on four key criteria:
- Financial aspects of the relationship,
- Social aspects of the relationship,
- Commitment levels exhibited by both partners,
- Physical contact between each other.
In order to pass this test, you will be expected to provide evidence to demonstrate that all four criteria have been met. This could include bank statements showing joint accounts, letters or emails sent between the two of you, photographs which show mutual affection and physical contact, and proof that both partners are committed to the relationship.
The Genuine Relationship Test is a crucial part of any immigration application based on marriage or civil partnership. Therefore providing as much evidence as possible is highly recommended in order to ensure your application is successful. If you need advice when applying for UK immigration based on your relationship, do not hesitate to seek professional legal assistance from an experienced immigration lawyer.
What are the Spouse Visa financial requirements?
To meet the financial requirements for a UK Spouse Visa, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have a minimum income of £18,600 per year as stated above or savings of at least £62,500. If you have children, the financial requirements will be higher.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to combine income from more than one source to meet the financial requirements. For example, you and your partner can provide evidence of combined savings and any other sources of earnings, such as pension allowances or rental income. You can also utilise an assortment of cash savings and/or your annual earnings to satisfy the requirements.
You’ll need to provide documents proving that you have enough funds available in order to satisfy the UK Visas & Immigration authorities that you are in a position to support yourself and your family during your stay in the UK. These documents could include bank statements, payslips and other official documentation.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the financial requirements for a UK Spouse Visa are subject to change, so do always look out for the newest information when assessing this.
What required documents do i need to apply for a UK Spouse Visa?
In order to apply for a UK Spouse Visa, the following documents are required:
- Passport or travel document
- Proof of your relationship with your spouse
- Evidence of your financial situation
- Evidence of your English language proficiency
- Evidence of suitable accommodation
- Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
What types of income can be used to meet the financial requirements for a Spouse Visa?
Earning or revenue from various sources can be included towards the financial prerequisites for a UK Spouse Visa, including:
- Income from employment
- Self-employment income
- Income from property rental
- Pension income
- Savings and investments
- Cash savings
Financial Rules For Benefits
Am I able to utilise income from benefits in my case?
The UK government has a minimum income requirement of £18,600 for UK Spouse Visas. This criterion must be fulfilled to get acceptance. It is important to note that the minimum income requirement can be met through a combination of both benefits and other incomes.
In most cases, income from benefits cannot be used towards the financial prerequisites for a UK Spouse Visa. However, there are some exceptions, such as Disability Living Allowance, which may be considered. You should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to determine if your benefits income can be used in your case.
Feel free to contact an experienced immigration lawyer for more information.
English Language Test
What is the English Language Test Requirement for Spouse Visas?
To prove your English language ability, you must pass the Spouse Visa English Language Test, an approved exam by governing bodies. The test assesses your ability to speak, listen, read, and write in English. The test is administered by an authorised UK government testing organisation and can be taken either in-person or online, depending on the type of visa you’re applying for.
The test is composed of two sections: a written and an oral portion. The written portion includes reading and writing assessment sections, while the oral portion requires you to answer questions spoken by a native English speaker in real time. Your overall test score will indicate your ability to use English in everyday life.
This test is required for those applying for a Spouse Visa from outside of Europe as part of the visa application process. It’s important to note that if you fail this exam, then you may not be eligible for a UK visa.
What are the accommodation requirements for a UK Spouse Visa?
To meet the UK Spouse Visa accommodation requirements, you’ll need to provide evidence that you have suitable accommodation for you and your dependents without relying on public funds. The accommodation must be safe, habitable, and not overcrowded. It also cannot be shared by more than two individuals who are not members of the same family. Additionally, it must meet any local authority standards and regulations.
The accommodation should also provide enough space for you and your dependents to live without overcrowding, with each person having at least one room to themselves (unless they are under ten years old). It is important to note that the UK Border Agency may visit your address to check that the accommodation meets their requirements.
It is important to ensure that all of these requirements are met in order to be successful in your application. If you fail to do so, your visa proposal is likely to be declined.
Accommodation Requirements Continued
What criteria do I need to fulfil to qualify for the Spouse Visa accommodation requirements?
To qualify for the Spouse Visa accommodation requirements, you’ll need to provide evidence that you have a suitable place to live, such as a tenancy agreement or mortgage statement. You’ll also need to show that the accommodation is suitable for you and your dependents and that it meets the minimum health and safety standards.
You will also need to provide evidence that you have the financial means to live in the accommodation, including regular income from employment or other sources. In addition to this, you must be able to prove that you and your dependents will not become a burden on public funds. This can include providing proof of health insurance and having adequate savings for rent and living expenses.
Finally, you’ll need to show that your spouse is eligible for entry into the UK. This includes providing proof of their relationships with you, such as marriage or civil partnership certificates. Once all these criteria have been met, then you will be able to apply for the Spouse Visa accommodation requirements.
making an application
How to apply for a Spouse Visa
To apply for a UK Spouse Visa, you’ll need to fill out an online application form and pay the relevant fees. You’ll also need to provide the required documents and attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph.
In addition, if you’re applying from inside the UK, you must attend an interview at a Home Office visa application centre. During this interview, you will be asked to take your biometrics and a photo will be taken as well. Your application will start the consideration process after the biometrics appointment.
What is the current UK Spouse Visa application fee?
The cost of a UK Spouse Visa application is currently £1,846 if you’re applying from outside the UK and £1,048 if you’re applying from within the UK. If you’re applying with dependents, there may be additional fees to pay. The cost of a Spouse Visa relies on the number of dependents applying, such as children. Visa fees usually increase annually. The NHS surcharge is at present £624 per annum so for a 2.5-year visa for one person, it will be £1560.
It is also vital to note that there may be additional costs beyond the visa fee. These costs can vary depending on the length of stay in the UK and whether you will be applying from within or outside the UK. Speak to an immigration specialist if you need more information about these potential extra costs.
Finally, if your application is successful, you will have to pay a healthcare surcharge fee as part of your visa application process.
What can I expect if my UK Spouse Visa is approved?
If your application for a UK Spouse Visa is approved, you’ll be granted a visa that allows you to enter and remain in the UK for up to 30 months. After this, you can extend your spouse’s visa for another 30 months if your relationship is still ongoing. With this opportunity, you will be able to settle and work in the United Kingdom with the potential of being granted indefinite leave to remain after a period of five years residing there consecutively. You’ll also be able to bring any dependents with you who are listed in your visa application.
Once your UK Spouse Visa has been granted, it’s important that you abide by all the conditions set out in the visa. This includes things like notifying the Home Office of any changes that might take place, as such a breakdown in the relationship.
It is also advisable to regularly check your immigration status while in the UK, as this can help you stay up-to-date on any changed requirements or rules regarding visas for spouses. If there are any changes, it is important that you act quickly and follow the relevant steps to ensure your continued stay in the UK.
What can I expect if my UK Spouse Visa is rejected?
If your Spouse’s Visa application is denied, you have the opportunity to challenge that decision and request a review. It’s important to seek legal advice if your application is rejected, as the process can be intricate. Depending on the reason why your application was rejected, you may need to deliver further proof or make changes to meet the requirements. In any case, it is worth speaking to an immigration lawyer to understand your options and how to proceed.
You should also be aware that if your Spouse Visa application is denied, it could affect any future applications. It’s important to carefully consider the reasons for the rejection before submitting a new application, as any mistakes or omissions may lead to further rejections. To avoid this, you may want to look into using an experienced immigration lawyer who can guide you through the process and provide advice on how best to present your case.
Spouse Visa Appeals
What does the Spouse Visa appeal process entail?
If your Spouse Visa application is declined, you may be able to petition the decision. The procedure of doing so can be convoluted, and it’s recommended to seek legal advice to understand your options. In the UK, appeals are heard by an immigration tribunal. To lodge an appeal, you must complete a Notice of Appeal application form (Form EA) and submit it to the Tribunal Office in your region. You will have 14 calendar days from receipt of the decision to appeal if in country or if out of country you will have 28 days.
The Tribunal will consider any evidence relating to your case before making its decision. This could include medical reports, bank statements, letters from employers and witnesses, or other documents that can support your application. After examining all the evidence presented at the hearing, the Tribunal will make one of three decisions: allow the appeal, dismiss the appeal, or adjourn proceedings for further investigation. If successful, your Spouse Visa application will be reconsidered, and you may be granted leave to remain in the UK.
It’s vital to note that the appeal procedure can be prolonged, and it’s not guaranteed to be successful. If your appeal is rejected, it may still be possible to submit a fresh application for a Spouse Visa. It is advised to pursue legal guidance before making any judgments. se Visa accommodation requirements.
Spouse Visa appeals Continued
How much time does the Spouse Visa appeal process require?
The Spouse Visa appeal process can take several months, based on the sophistication of your case and the current workload of the Immigration Tribunal. Generally, you can hope to obtain a decision within 6-12 months of submitting your appeal. You will be reported as shortly as possible if the process takes longer than usual. It is important to keep in mind that this timeline may be affected by various factors, including the number of appeals submitted at any given time and any changes in immigration laws or regulations. Additionally, you may experience delays if there are issues with evidence or other paperwork. To ensure your Spouse Visa appeal goes as smoothly and quickly as possible, it is important to work with an experienced spouse visa lawyer who can help guide you through the process and provide legal advice on how best to move forward with your case.
Extending or Renewing Your UK Spouse Visa
Is it possible to renew or extend a UK Spouse Visa?
Yes, you can renew or extend a UK Spouse Visa before it expires, provided you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. To apply for a revival or extension, you have to fill up the appropriate form and present it along with all substantiating documents. You may also be needed to sit an interview at your local UK Visa Application Centre if there is some doubt about the relationship.
If successful, you will receive a new visa sticker in your passport, allowing you to stay in the UK for up to 2.5 years as a spouse or partner of an individual who is settled in the UK. Please note that if your current visa has expired during this process, you may not be able to remain in the UK lawfully until your new visa is approved.
If you are looking to extend or renew your existing visa while outside of the UK, please contact us for advice on how best to proceed with this process
How much time does the UK Partner Visa process take?
The Partner Visa process can take several months, depending on various factors, including the complexity of your application and the current processing times. Generally, the average processing time for a UK Partner Visa is between 6 – 12 months. There is a priority and super priority service when you make the application online , and for an additional fee you can have your visa application fast tracked.
There are several steps involved in the process of obtaining a UK Partner Visa that can affect how long it takes to complete. This includes attending an interview at the visa application centre where your documents will be assessed; submitting biometrics such as fingerprints; providing medical evidence that you are free from communicable diseases; and completing additional forms or providing supporting documents if required by the Home Office. In addition, waiting times may increase due to any delays caused by Covid-19 restrictions.
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FAQs About UK Spouse Visas
How can we help?
If you’re considering applying for a UK Spouse Visa, our experienced team can provide you with expert advice, guidance and representation throughout the process. We can help you to prepare your application, provide evidence to support your case, and advise you on your options if your application is rejected. Reach out to us today and discover how we can support you in your journey.