Spouse Visa

Hence, and application will need to be submitted which is capable of succeeding by relying on the UK Immigration rules or Article 8 of the ECHR which provides provision for the government to respect an individual’s Private and Family life limited to certain circumstances.

What we can do for you ?

  • The first stage will be to complete a questionnaire which will provide us with sufficient detail prior to a consultation meeting.
  • During the consultation process we will assess your requirements and provide detailed advice. This advice will be summarised in a letter following the initial meeting. We will not only provide detailed advice on the law and procedural aspects of the application, we will provide advice regarding the merits and pitfalls of your application.
  • We will provide a list of all the documentary evidence that will be required.
  • We will provide a list of all the supporting evidence needed.
  • If you instruct us to proceed with the application, we will not only complete the application, we will also draft a covering letter containing the law in support of your application. Further, we will draft witness statements and submit all supporting evidence along with the application.
  • We will prepare a sponsorship declaration if needed.
  • We will keep you informed on the progress and updates of your application and will liaise with the decision maker to help ensure your application is considered expeditiously.

Overall what are the general requirements which must be satisfied ?

Marriage to a British citizen/ individual with indefinite leave to remain status alone is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements for the UK Spouse visa. You must be able to satisfy all of the requirements as stipulated in the immigration rules.

The applicant must satisfy the following:

  • The applicant must ensure that all of the suitability requirements as set out in the Immigration rules are met (i.e. must be over the age of 18 etc).
  • The applicant must demonstrate that the marriage is genuine and subsisting (any previous marriage must be legally terminated, and the marriage must be valid in the country where it occurred).
  • The applicant’s spouse (sponsor) present in the UK must provide evidence that they can meet the financial requirements. The sponsor must demonstrate that they are earning a minimum gross income of £18,600 (no income sponsorship from a third party is typically allowed). Alternatively, if the UK sponsor is unable to demonstrate
    sufficient income, they will need to prove that they have minimum savings of £62,500.
  • The applicant must satisfy the accommodation requirement. You must demonstrate that both the UK sponsor and applicant will be able to be adequately accommodated without recourse to public funds.
  • The applicant must satisfy the English language requirement which is stipulated in the immigration rules as CEFR level A1, unless you are exempt from this language requirement.

Financial Requirements:

A specified gross annual income of at least-
(i) £18,600;
(ii) an additional £3,800 for the first child;
(iii) an additional £2,400 for each additional child; alone or in combination with specified savings of;
(i) £16,000; and additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income and the total required.

The immigration rules stipulate that when determining whether the financial requirement is met, income from only the following sources can be taken into consideration:

1. Income of the partner from specified employment or self-employment, which, in respect of a partner returning to the UK with the applicant, can include specified employment or self- employment overseas and in the UK;
2. specified pension income of the applicant and partner;
3. Any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the partner in the UK or any specified payment relating to service in HM Forces received by the applicant or partner;
4. Other specified income of the applicant and partner;
5. Specified savings of the applicant and partner.

Exemption may apply to the financial requirement:

The applicant may be exempt from the financial requirement of a minimum gross income of £18,600 if the sponsor of the applicant receives one or more the following allowances:

1. Disability living allowance
3. Industrial injury disablement benefit
5. Carer’s allowance
2. Severe disablement allowance
4. Attendance allowance
6. Personal independence payment
7. Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
8. Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme or Police Injury Pension.
Further to the above, the immigration rules state " the applicant must provide evidence that their partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds ".

Accommodation requirement

The UK immigration rules state that “the applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-
(a) it is, or will be, overcrowded;
(b) it contravenes public health regulations.”

English Language requirement

The applicant must provide evidence as specified in the immigration rules below to satisfy this requirement:

1. “Are a national of a majority English speaking country;

2. Have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider approved by the Secretary of State;

3. Have an academic qualification which is either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD awarded by an educational establishment in the UK; or, if awarded by an educational establishment outside the UK, is deemed by UK NARIC to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, and UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or above.”

Under the UK immigration rules, under certain circumstances an exemption may apply pertaining to the English language requirement. The immigration rules state “The applicant is exempt from the English language requirement if at the date of application.

The applicant is aged 65 or over

The applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement

There are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement prior to entry to the UK

How long will the visa for entry clearance last ?

If the applicant successfully meets the requirements for entry clearance (application from outside the UK), then the partner will be granted limited stay for a period not exceeding 33 months. This period of stay will be subject to no recourse to public funds, unless the decision maker has specified any different.

What if the application is refused ?

If your application is not successful the first time (hence refused by the decision maker who will be the entry clearance officer), you may submit an appeal against the refusal if the decision is believed to be unlawful. Further, this appeal must be submitted within 28 days from the date specified in the letter of refusal. This appeal should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid any delays, as the letter of refusal may not be received the same day as the date specified on the refusal letter. Alternatively, if the refusal letter stipulates that you may not submit an appeal, you have the option of submitting a fresh application for a spouse visa.

Processing time ?

Usually 2-3 months, but may vary depending on the complexity of the application.

Legal fee- £1,000 ( 50% deposit accepted with remainder to be paid as instalments as agreed)

Switching into UK spouse visa (5 year route)

If you are married to a British Citizen or person with Indefinite Leave to Remain Status (or Refugee status/ humanitarian protection), you may apply to switch if you are living in the UK with limited leave granted for a minimum period of 6 months.
The applicant will still need to satisfy all of the eligibility and suitability requirements as listed under the Spouse visa section. The applicant will also need to ensure sufficient evidence to prove the relationship is genuine and subsisting is provided to support the application. The correct application to be used is form FLR(M). This is an online application which will be submitted to the Home Office.

Switching from the 10 year route to the 5 year UK Spouse visa route

There may be circumstances where an application was previously granted leave via the 10 year route using form FLR(FP), however during the extension period the applicant may now be able to meet the requirements of the 5 year route using form FLR(M). Further, under these circumstances the applicant may apply with the view of obtaining settlement status more expeditiously. However, the applicant must note that they the time they have already spent in the UK will not count towards the 5 year period, so the 5 year period will start from the beginning.

Renewal of Spouse visa

This is possible for Applicants who are living in the UK with their sponsor and continue to satisfy the requirements under this visa category as stipulated under Appendix FM of the immigration rules (requirements: evidence of a subsisting and genuine relationship, satisfy financial, accommodation and English language requirements, in addition to the suitability requirements). Further to the language requirements for those applicants.

Indefinite Leave to Remain following 5 years of leave under the Spouse visa route

Following completion of the 5 years under the Spouse visa route, an online application may be submitted using form SET (M).

FLR (M) Evidence Needed (for the purpose of the client care letter)

  • Applicant’s national passport and current BRP.
  • Sponsors passport.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • 2 passport photographs of applicant, 2x passport photographs for spouse.
  • Written confirmation that you have no pending criminal or civil judgements.
  • Written confirmation if you have any driving licence points, Penalty Charge Notices or parking fines. If you do have any of these please provide details of when and under what circumstances it occurred, and confirm payment of any fines, and state if you have any outstanding fines.
  • Please state any absences from the UK during the time of your leave, and states the dates of travel.
  • Applicant and sponsor’s contract of employment.
  • Can you provide your and your sponsor’s wage slips, P60’S and original bank statements for the period in question.
  • Tenancy agreements for current and previous places of residence.
  • Witness statement from you, your partner, and any other close members of you family/friends.
  • Mortgage statements/ agreement if applicable.
  • Evidence of residence in the UK (documents will need to be across the range of time of leave granted) Utility bills (electricity, water, gas, telephone, broadband etc), letters from government departments such as HM Revenue and Customs, documents from DVLA, TV
    licensing documents, letters from NHS.
  • English language test CEFR Level A1 (OR A2 IF YOU ARE APPLYING TO EXTEND)
  • You will need to prove that you and your spouse earn £18,600 or more.

FLR(FP) Evidence needed

  • Applicant’s original passport.
  • 2x passport photograph.
  • Sponsor’s original passport.
  • Pass English language test at CEFR Level B1.
  • Sponsor’s wage slips.
  • Sponsor P60’S.
  • 6 month of Bank statements.
  • Birth certificate of child if applicable.
  • Original Marriage certificate.
  • Tenancy agreements which reflect the period of time the applicant and sponsor have cohabited together.
  • Letters (utility bills) in the name of the sponsor/applicant addressed to where applicant/sponsor live. Other important evidence to support that relationship is genuine and subsisting includes-
    WhatsApp messages, photographs, Witness Statements from close friends/ relatives to confirm relationship is genuine.

Please note if the applicant has overstayed their leave, the Client must be made aware that the application may be refused by the Home Office without a right of appeal. Further, if refusal without appeal right is decided, the client may only challenge the decision by making an application for Judicial Review. Furthermore, if an applicant has overstayed and decides to leave the UK to return to their country of origin, they must be aware that the Home Office are likely to impose on ban on the applicant obtaining entry clearance, and to appeal to potentially overturn the ban is a very long process.

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