Spouse Visa UK
If you would like to apply for entry clearance to the UK as the husband or wife of a British Citizen or settled person you must meet the requirements for a UK spouse visa.
Your spouse must be:
- settled and living in the UK; or
- returning with you to live with you in the UK.
In order to qualify for a UK spouse visa you will need to show that:
- you are married or in a civil partnership;
- you are both at least 18 years old;
- you have met each other and that you intend to live together permanently;
- you meet the English Language requirement;
- you can support yourselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds by demonstrating that you meet the financial requirements; and
- you can accommodate yourselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.
Upon receiving your instructions we will:
- Conduct a detailed assessment of your personal circumstances to establish that you satisfy the requirements for a spouse visa;
- Complete the spouse visa application form;
- Prepare any supporting documents for you and your sponsor;
- Prepare a detailed covering letter to support your application;
- Finalise the application for you to submit at your nearest British High Commission or Consulate or online where appropriate; and
- Continue to provide support until you get your visa.
A UK spouse visa will grant you leave to enter the UK for two and a half years. You will need to apply for an extension before this leave expires which will be for a further two and a half years. After completing five years in the UK you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
Immigration Rule Changes
Since 09 July 2012 the requirements for family visa applications have changed significantly. Please see below for a summary of changes that took effect from 09 July 2012. Please note the changes below are only for spouse visa UK applications.
Previously a UK spouse visa would be granted for 2 years and then the applicant could apply for permanent residency. Since the rule change, a spouse visa application will be granted for 2.5 years; thereafter the applicant will have to apply for an extension of 2.5 years. After completing 5 years the applicant can apply for permanent residency known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Previously an applicant would have had to demonstrate that he/she would have enough income and/or savings so that support from the state in the form of welfare benefits would not be required. Furthermore, third party support was allowed. Since the rule change however, an applicant's sponsor must meet the minimum income threshold, which is £18,600 per annum (gross), £22,400 if there is a child dependant and an additional £2,400 for each further child. If you have a shortfall in your income and cannot meet the minimum threshold then you will need to have specified savings (of £16,000 + 2.5 x the deficit) to make up for it. Also third party support is no longer allowed. Please contact us for a detailed assessment of your income.
The financial requirement was being challenged but the in the case of MM and Ors v The SSHD 2014 EWCA Civ 985 the Court of Appeal have allowed the SSHD's appeals against the earlier decision of the High Court. The income requirement in its current form therefore continues to stand.
Previously there was some flexibility on the part of the Home Office when considering supporting documents and in some instances they would ask for missing documents. However, since the rule
change the Home Office require specific documents, which must be in the specified format. They will no longer ask for missing documents unless the missing document is part of a sequence e.g. where
the applicant provides 6 months payslips but the fourth month's payslip is missing. Please note that the Home Office will not request a document if you have failed to provide it. It is therefore
imperative that you take the time to collate all the necessary documents whilst referring back to the visa requirements.
Application checking service
If wish to prepare your application yourself, we offer a spouse visa UK application checking service. We can help ensure that all the required documents are enclosed with your application and we will advise you on anything further that needs to be done. We can help ensure that you make the strongest spouse visa application possible.
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