Spouse / Partner VISA
This visa provides an opportunity for non-British partners to live and work in the UK. You can apply for this family visa if you are the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner (living together in a relationship for at least 2 years) , fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner (will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving)of a specified partner.
What Are the Requirements for a UK Spouse Visa or Partner Visa?
To successfully obtain a family visa as a partner or spouse, you must meet the following requirements:
- You and your partner both need to be 18 or over.
- Your partner must either:
- be a British
- have settled in the UK – for example, they have ILR, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January2021
- have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
- have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
- You are in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK or you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply or you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving
- If you are a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you must be seeking entry to the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place in the United Kingdom.
- The relationship between you and your sponsor must be genuine and subsisting
- You intend to live permanently with your sponsor in the UK and have adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds
- Your sponsor meets the financial requirement. This would normally mean having an income of at least £18,600 per year (this increases if you have children) and/or having sufficient savings
- You meet the English language requirement
What Supporting Documents Do I Need for Spouse Visa or Partner Visa?
- Your current passport or other travel documents
- Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Divorce certificate for any previous marriages, if applicable
- Details of any criminal convictions, if applicable
- Details of your accommodation in the UK (Housing Assessment Report)
- Bank statements of the last 6 months
- Evidence of employment income (employers letter, payslips – last 6 months)
- Your sponsor’s British passport or BRP documenting Indefinite Leave To Remain status
- Proof of genuine relationship ( whatsapp conversations, emails, call logs, wedding photos )
- Sponsorship Declaration
- Appendix II form
How Do I Apply for a UK Spouse Visa or Partner Visa?
You can apply online. You would also need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to enrol biometric data (photograph and fingerprints) as part of the process.
Not only will you need to fill in the application form correctly, you will also need to upload copies of the required supporting documents, which can be extensive.
If the caseworker examining your application has doubts about the genuineness of your relationship, you may be asked to attend a Spouse Visa Interview. You will be asked questions about your relationship and each other to see if your marriage is authentic, and not a sham.
How long does the UK Spouse/Partner visa process take?
You need to complete an online application to attend a physical (biometric) appointment whether applying from inside or outside the UK.
An application made from outside the UK could take around 3 months to be processed. Priority services are available in some countries, for expedited processing. On approval, your passport would be endorsed with a “vignette” to allow you to travel to the UK. You would need to collect your biometric residence permit on arrival to the UK from a pre-selected Post Office.
Although the decision would normally be issued within 12 weeks of your biometric appointment your biometric residence permit will usually take a further 10 working days to be issued from the date of the decision.
How much does it cost to apply as a partner or spouse?
From outside the UK the spouse visa (classified as a “settlement visa” for the purpose of entry clearance) the visa cost is £1523. The settlement priority service, if available in the country of application would be an additional £573.
The applicant must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £624 per year (£312 for every 6 month period). The spouse visa is granted for a 30 months (2.5 years) inside the UK, therefore the total surcharge would be £1560 for leave to remain. From outside the UK, the visa is granted for 33 months, therefore the total surcharge would be £1,872.
What is the English language requirements for Entry on Spouse Visa?
Applicants need to show they meet the English language requirements, in Speaking and Listening. For your initial application you will need to pass an approved English language test at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening, which is beginner’s level. For your extension after 2.5 years, you must prove that you pass an approved English language test at least a CEFR level A2.
Is there any exemption for English Language Requirement for UK Spouse Visa ?
Those who hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD, awarded by an educational establishment in the UK can rely on this to meet the English language requirement.
Individuals who hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD that was awarded by an educational institute outside of the UK, will be required to obtain confirmation from UK NARIC that the award is at an equivalent level to a UK degree. This is still the case even if the award was issued in a majority English speaking country.
In addition, certain applicants will be required to obtain UK NARIC confirmation that the award was taught or researched in English to a suitable level of the CEFR.
What is the required financial Threshold?
In order to make a successful application as a partner or spouse, the couple must provide specified evidence to show that they have sufficient income or means to support themselves in the UK.
This requirement applies if the partner is joining the UK sponsor from overseas, if the couple are already living together in the UK or if the couple are returning to the UK, from overseas.
Evidence required depends on the couple’s individual circumstances, but generally speaking the financial requirement for a partner visa is £18,600.
So, for example, if the sponsor has been in permanent paid employment for more than 6 months, earning a fixed salary of over £18,600 per annum, the couple could use evidence of the sponsor’s income to meet the financial requirement.
Evidence of savings can also be used or combined with employment income evidence to meet the financial requirement. Extensive additional evidence would be required for self-employed individuals who are relying on their self-employed income to meet the financial requirement.
If the couple have children who would be sponsored as dependents of the main applicant partner, the financial threshold is increased for each child included in the application. Specifically, in addition to the £18,600 threshold for the partner, an additional £3,800 is required for the first child and a further £2,400 for each additional child.
For Example :
- 1 Child – £22,400
- 2 Children – £24,800
- 3 Children – £27,200
- Each extra Child = +£2,400
DO I MEET ANY EXEMPTIONS FOR FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT FOR UK SPOUSE VISA?
Where your partner is in receipt of certain benefits or allowances in the UK, you will be exempt from meeting the financial requirement for the spouse visas by providing evidence of ‘adequate maintenance’. This include :
– Carer’s Allowance
– Disability Living Allowance
– Severe Disablement Allowance
– Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
– Attendance Allowance
– Personal Independence Payment
– Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed forces Compensation Scheme
– Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
– Police Injury Pension
– You must however, also provide evidence that you and your partner are able to maintain and accommodate yourselves and any dependents
adequately in the UK, without recourse to public funds.
What is a genuine and subsisting relationship for UK Spouse Visa?
Demonstrating that a relationship is genuine and subsisting in a UK spouse visa application often requires innovative thinking. This is especially so in situations where, for cultural or religious reasons for example, a couple have not previously lived together or spent a significant amount of time together prior to the marriage. The rules on the evidence that is needed are far less prescriptive than those regarding the financial requirement.
Suitable Evidence to Show Genuine and Subsisting Relationship
If the couple has been living apart for a lengthy period of time, or have never lived together, prior to submitting a spouse visa application, suitable evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship could include, for example:
- records of holidays taken together;
- evidence that the couple have kept in touch whilst apart;
- photographs of the couple;
- letters of support from friends and family;
- evidence of any joint financial commitments;
- any other formal documents linking the couple (invoices, memberships etc.
What is the Adequate Accommodation In The UK?
In order for an applicant to be successful under this route, it needs to be shown that there is adequate accommodation in the UK for them to arrive to. We at Adam Bernard Solicitors provide Housing Assessments on each residence we represent to ensure the best chance of success. Our expert team will take care of all matters to ensure that our clients are guided through this process seamlessly.
When Can I extend my spouse visa?
Yes, provided you meet the requirements you should be able to extend your visa for 30 months (2.5 years) at a time. You will need to extend your visa at least once to complete your 60 month (5 year) qualifying period for settlement as a partner or spouse. You might also need to extend if you don’t fully meet the requirements for settlement after 5 years, for example, if you cannot yet speak English to the required level for settlement or if you fail the Life in the UK test.
How to renew my spouse visa
To renew your visa, you will need to submit an online form (also known as an FLR(M) form). Having paid the relevant application fees you would need to upload scanned copies of your supporting documents to an online portal managed by the Home Office’s commercial partner, Sopra Steria.
What Can I Do if My application is Refused ?
An application under this category can be refused if not prepared carefully. Therefore, your other options when faced with a refusal may be to submit a new application entirely, to apply for a judicial review or to go on appeal.
WHY ADAM BERNARD SOLICITORS?
- Our team of immigration spouse visa solicitors in central London and east London have years of experience in navigating the requirements under this route and will ensure that you are comprehensively advised and represented throughout the process.
- We have achieved numerous successes when making applications under this route as evidenced through our client testimonies.
- We understand the significance that these applications have on the lives of our clients and will ensure that every avenue is covered to give them the best chance of success.