4 Things You Need To Know About Spouse Visa Applications
The Law Of… Tying The Knot In The UK
With a transatlantic, royal wedding on the cards for 2018, Ashley Stothard – Paralegal in Immigration Law – explains the complex process of bringing a fiancé or fiancée to the UK from outside the EU.
I'm Engaged! What Visa Does My Partner Need To Be Able To Come To The UK?
As nerve-wracking as proposing can be, getting engaged is probably the easiest part of the process. Before your partner arrives in the UK, they will need to have applied for a spouse visa.
Depending on your circumstances, you might also want to have a think about making a prenuptial agreement.
How Does The Application Process Work For A Spouse Visa?
Your partner will have to apply for their visa online whilst outside of the UK. They can only apply for this type of visa if you're:
- A British citizen
- Settled in the UK – for example, you've got indefinite leave to remain
- A refugee with this status or humanitarian protection
Your partner will be able to stay in the UK for 6 months after the visa application has been accepted. But, this is on the condition that you'll get married within the 6-month time frame. There are also different requirements that you'll both need to meet in order to get the visa approved.
The really important point for you both to remember is that once you're married your partner will need to apply to extend their visa before their 6-month leave expires. The application will also need to be made whilst they're in the UK.
What Requirements Do We Have To Meet?
Before your partner's visa is approved, you'll have to prove that you can meet certain requirements, which include:
- Having the right finances – as the British partner, you'll have to prove you are earning at least £18,600 a year (if you don't have any children). If your partner has children who aren’t British nationals, then the income requirement is higher: you'll have to show you're earning £3,800 extra for your first child and £2,400 for any other children. The good news is that you don't have to just rely on your wages to prove you've got the right level of income to support your partner. You can also provide proof of your savings and non-income earnings via cash savings of over £16,000, money from a pension, or income that isn't related to employment – for example, if you're renting a property out to someone. The Home Office will also need to see proof of your income, which you can send to them in the form of bank statements, 6 months of payslips, or a letter from your employer that proves you're working for them. Your fiancé, fiancée or civil partner will also need to remember that they're not allowed to work whilst you're engaged and they're in the UK.
- Proving your love is true – of course, your partner's visa will only go through if you can prove that your love is genuine and subsisting. Get ready to dig deep into your relationship history as you'll most likely have to answer questions about your time together, including how you first met and how often you see each other. Being previously married might make wedding planning a little easier, but if you or your partner were previously married, you will need to include evidence that the previous relationship has permanently ended as part of the application. This also applies if you or your partner have been widowed. This is a requirement under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
- Having a suitable home – you've also got to prove that you have accommodation ready for your partner that isn't overcrowded, and that you can support them without having to rely on any public funding.
- Speaking the Queen's English – if your partner is from an English-speaking country, the language requirement isn't going to affect them. But, if they're not from a country where English is widely spoken they'll have to pass an English speaking and listening test.
My Partner's Application Was Successful – Does This Mean They Can Live In The UK Permanently?
After you get married and have successfully applied to extend your partner’s leave, your partner will be given 2.5 years leave to remain in the UK. Before the end of the 2.5 years, your partner will have to apply to extend the visa for the same amount of time (and you'll both have to meet the same requirements again).
After your partner has lived in the UK for 5 years, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain. As you're a British citizen or have settled here permanently, your partner can also apply for British citizenship the day after they get indefinite leave to remain.
How Can Simpson Millar's Immigration Lawyers Help Me?
Although filling out an application form might not seem so hard, making a small error or even missing out minor information could have disastrous consequences on your chances of getting the visa approved.
This means that it will be even harder for your partner to enter the UK, putting your wedding plans in jeopardy.
To prevent this from happening, our immigration experts can handle the application process for you and your partner from the start to the end. As we've helped countless clients to successfully get visas, including spouse visas, we can ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.
We can also help your partner apply for an extension to their visa once they're in the UK, as well as indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship.
If the visa application is rejected, we can advise you on what to do next as well as help you to appeal against the decision.
We're a multi-lingual team, and can also provide immigration support in Polish, Urdu, Punjabi, Italian, French, Kicongo, and Lingala.