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Getting a spouse visa

.The UK Spouse Visa, commonly known as a UK Marriage Visa, allows non-UK nationals to join their partner in the UK. Your spouse must be either a British citizen or a UK settled person. To go about getting this type of visa, there is some very key points and protocol that you should and very much need to follow. A Partner Visa UK, also known as a UK Marriage Visa, is a settlement visa that allows you to live together with your British partner in the UK for up to 30 months.

To apply for a Marriage Visa and enter the UK, you must be married to, or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, UK settled person or UK refugee. The main eligibility criteria include providing proof that you are in a genuine relationship and that you meet specific financial conditions. 

How to apply for this type and kind of visa 

You can apply online and 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.

Where you can apply from for this kind of visa

Due to a concession in place for Covid-19 it may be possible for people to apply from within the UK, even after entering as a visitor. If you intend to do this, you should seek advice and check the currently applicable policy. People applying for a spouse visa from outside the UK should apply in the country where they are resident.

The important points

Here are the key points you need to consider when it comes to this type of visa application:

  • Your partner is British or holds leave in one of the above categories;
  • You are both over the age of 18;
  • Your relationship is genuine and you intend to live together permanently;
  • Any previous relationships have broken down permanently;
  • There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
  • You speak and understand English to the required level.

Very important – the financial requirements to the visa

To meet the financial requirement, you will need to have income of at least £18,600; plus additional funds if you have children who are not British or settled. Should your finances be in a different state, this may work against you and so often does. It is of great importance you fully check all of the small print related to the process. Look at the finer points and work around this. Also, look out for any clauses that could go against you. Failure to spot this may see you needing to go down the route of appeal. This is where time can be lost.

How the financial requirements can be met

There are a number of ways around how you can meet the necessary criteria. This includes through employment, self employment, property rental income, pension income, savings etc. In some circumstances it is possible to combine different types of income to meet the requirement. If you want to meet the Spouse financial requirement through savings you will need to have access to £62,500 plus additional funds for any relevant children. The financial requirement will often be the most complex part of the application. It can be helpful to get advice from an immigration lawyer about this aspect of your application.

Up and down the uk, there are a number of firms able to help you with this. London and Manchester as well as Birmingham all have some very good law firms. See what cases they have carried out and assess if they may be able to help you. Appeals for example are much different to say, doing the whole process. You also need to consider how different each stage of the process is. There will be so many areas of litigation to go over and contend with.

You need to prove it is a real relationship

The required documents will vary depending on your circumstances. The evidence that you need will vary depending on how you meet this requirement.

What an application needs to ensure

Applicants should be very careful when using pre-prepared document checklists for spouse applications. Advice from an immigration lawyer will ensure that the documents listed are appropriate for individual circumstances.

How long will the application take to go through and process

The Home Office states that for applications made outside of the UK it decides 95% of settlement applications. This includes Spouse visas and some other categories under Appendix FM. This is within 12 weeks (3 months) of the application date. This is also 100% within 24 weeks (6 months) of the application date. In some application centres there are priority services for Spouse visa applicants available to allow a faster processing time.

Applications during COVID-19

For those applying in the UK, there is a 24 hour service available. Priority services will incur an additional cost. During Covid-19 not all priority services are available. It is recommended to keep a close eye out on how this works at present. You also need to talk with several sources if you are going to get the support you need.

Overall, what you need to know

If you are in the UK, you will be able to attend and give evidence before the Judge. If you are outside of the UK, your spouse will be able to attend. You can write a statement and provide evidence for the Tribunal to consider. Arrangements may be made for you to give evidence remotely if this is appropriate in your case.  Again, we recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist immigration appeal lawyer before appealing against a decision to refuse a spouse visa application. They are based in all of the main and major cities across the UK. The hiring process is also relatively easy too.

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