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UK Spouse Visa Application FAQ’s

Applying for an Spouse visa application can complicated, and it’s essential that you understand the current regulations and requirements for an successful application. In this post, we look at the most common questions asked when considering applying for a Spouse visa application.

This visa category allows married partners (applicant) to join their Spouse (Sponsor) husband or wife to the UK. Their Sponsor must be a British citizen or a person present and settled in the UK, with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It is also possible for applicant’s to join their husband or wife who has limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU or Appendix ECAA. who wish to join their husband or wife in the UK.

What are the Spouse Visa requirements?

In order to qualify for a UK Spouse visa you will need to satisfy and meet the following requirements:

The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) overseas must be satisfied you are in a genuine and durable relationship with your husband or wife. In order to prove this, you will need to show evidence that you have lived together, post marriage or in some cases pre marriage. You will need to show numerous documentation, including flight tickets, marriage certificates, visa stamps, evidence of contact, wedding card, exchange of gifts, photographs, evidence of contact, such as social media and so on. In some situations, the applicant is pregnant or has had a child and therefore meets the requirement.

You will need to meet every requirement to be eligible. Here are a few examples of the type of documents you should submit;

  • Proof that your relationship is real: Phone conversations, emails, messages, Skype sessions, Social Media evidence
  • Proof of your income: Job contracts, your P60, your bank statements, Payslips. Different rules are apply for Self employment applicants and/or Company Directors. It is also possible to satisfy the financial requirement via Cash savings by having sufficient savings of £62,500.
  • Proof that you meet the accommodation requirement: House lease, letting contract, proof of booked temporary accommodation
  • Proof that you meet the English language requirement: IELST Listening and Speaking Test unless you are exempt
  • There are many different types of documents you can use for a Spouse visa application. Proving that your relationship is genuine is subjective, and it depends on the nature of your lives together and communication with each other. As a result, there is no limit to the evidence you can submit to prove this.

How do I apply for a UK Spouse application

Your application will need to be submitted using the Home Office online application form system. There are different categories that apply when applying if you are applying from abroad or inside the UK. The online system allows you to pay the appropriate fee, including the Immigration Health Surcharge, known as the NHS charge and booking for appointment at a biometric scanning centre, where your supporting documents can be scanned.

What is the Financial requirement?

You will need to meet the financial requirement of £18,600 to demonstrate you will not have recourse to public funds. There are several ways to meet the financial requirement including:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). Maternity allowances are also counted including Bereavement benefits.
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares.
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. The cash savings requirement is £62,500. State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant. There are specified documents that will be required in support of your application.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). Different documents will be required if you are applying and relying on Income from self-employment or income as a Director or employee of a specified limited company.

You may still be able to meet the requirement if you are not working or are on benefits or have sufficient savings to satisfy the financial requirements. There are specified mandatory documents that are required in support of your Spouse visa application, which must be met. Give us a call today and we will be happy to help you every step of the way. 

How much is the Spouse visa application fee?

The Home Office online Spouse visa application fee is currently £1,523

How long does the Process Take?

On average it can take between 6-8 weeks for an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to consider your application and go through your documents to issue you a UK Spouse visa.  In some cases it can take a lot quicker depending on the case worker at the respective British High Commission, Embassy or Consulate.

How long will my Spouse visa be valid for?

You will initially be granted a 3 month’s visa, which will be stamped into your passport in order to allow you to enter the UK, within this 3 month’s grace period. After your arrival to the UK, you will be required to collect your Biometric Residence Card at your local UK Post Office. Your BPR Card will confirm your Spouse visa status and will be issued for 2.5 years or 30 months and give you the right to work, study and live in the UK.

When can I apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK?

Five year route Most people in the spouse visa category are on a five year route to settlement. Therefore, after two grants of 30 months’ grant of leave, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Ten year route

Some people are in the UK on a ten year route to settlement. If you are on the ten year route to settlement, you will need to have had four grants of leave before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

What happens if my application is refused?

If your application is unsuccessful,  you will be given an out of country right of appeal to challenge and lodge an appeal against the decision within 28 days to refuse your application for Spouse visa to the UK, to the First tier Tribunal. There is a court lodgement fee of £140 payable to HMCTS for the case to be brought before an Immigration Judge ‘IJ’ to consider the appeal. The case may be reviewed on most occasions during the appeal process for the original decision to be overturned.

We have years of experience to help you with appealing against the decision to refuse and will conduct a full assessment of the prospects of success or advice you submit a new application.

For expert advice and assistance in relation to a spouse visa application, spouse extension or spouse appeal, contact our immigration barristers and lawyers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.

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