Let My Legal Services Help You With Your Spouse Visa Legal Requirements
What is a Spouse Visa and what are the requirements you must fulfil to obtain one?
This visa category is 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.
This type of UK visa allows the non-EEA spouse to enter the UK as the partner of a British or settled person. The initial Spouse Visa last for 2.5 years and needs to be extended and used as qualifying time for permanent settled status and then qualify to become a British citizen. You need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for a Spouse Visa for the UK. These include passing the ‘genuine relationship test’ and meeting ‘Financial requirements’.
To find out more about whether you or your partner is eligible for this visa category, call My Legal Services today on 0203 732 4736 . One of our expert lawyers would be happy to assist with advice, application process and procedure, or appeal service. We cover the whole of Woolwich including the SE18, WC1V areas of L:ondon and the UK.
In order to qualify for a UK Spouse visa you will need to satisfy and meet the following requirements:
In order to apply for Spouse visa of your husband or wife, 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. If your UK Sponsor – husband or wife is in receipt of the following specified benefits, you will need to fulfil the financial requirement of £18,600.
- Disability Living Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit
- Police Injury Pension
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under War Pensions Scheme
What is the ‘adequate maintenance’ test & requirement?
The adequate maintenance test/requirement will require you and your partner to prove that the level of income available to your family unit (after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted), is equal or exceeds the level of Income Support an equivalent British family of your size is eligible for. This is subject to the following adequate maintenance calculation:
The adequate maintenance calculation
A – B ≥ C
(A minus B is greater than or equal to C)
A is the net income (after deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions);
B is housing costs (what needs to be spent on accommodation)
C is the amount of Income support an equivalent family unit can receive in the UK.
Do I need to pay the UK NHS Charge?
All applicant (s) need to pay the UK NHS Surcharge, which is a separate fee from the Spouse visa application fee. The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) covers the initial period of the length of the visa, which is 2.5 years. A separate fee is applicable for each dependant. The Immigration Health Surcharge fee is currently £1,560. The NHS charge will cover a period of 33 months.
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 case it can be longer and each case is considered in its own individual merits. In some cases it can take a lot quicker depending on the case worker at the respective British High Commission, Embassy or Consulate. 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.
Spouse Visa document checklist:
Partner Visa applications require the most extensive amounts of supporting evidence, as you need to prove you meet every requirement to be eligible. A few examples of the types of documents you should submit with a Spouse Visa application are:
- 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.
What happens if my application is refused?
If your application is unsuccessful and has been refused by an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), 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.
If this is not the case the matter will be listed for a full substantive appeal hearing in the U. Your UK Sponsor will be required to attend the hearing in order to give evidence before an Immigration Judge. There will also be several other court directions that must be complied with prior to the hearing, including pagination of a bundle of documents and witness statements and that would be required at the hearing itself. The IJ will consider all evidence before the parties before reaching a decision whether the applicant be granted a Spouse visa.
If your application is refused, you can either lodge an appeal or submit a fresh application to address the ECO concerns raised in the refusal letter. If you decide to apply and submit a fresh or new application, you will again be subject to paying for the visa fees and once again the Immigration Health Surcharge, NHS charge.
We have years of experience to help you with appealing against the decision to refused and will conduct a full assessment of the prospects of success or advice you submit a new application.
There are several categories that may apply and there are specified documents that will need to be provided in order to satisfy the Spouse visa requirements, depending on your circumstances.
You will also have to make sure you are compliant with many other things such as meeting the requirements for Financial and English language parts of the Visa, the processing time for the Spouse Visa can be anywhere from 30 days to 3 months on average, this is due to the amount of time it will take the UKVI to gather all your evidence and submitting your case can take a few weeks alone.
Once your application has been received, UKVI will process it, and assess whether you meet all the requirements. Once the assessing official has made a decision on your case, they will get back to you with a decision. This whole process can take a while, especially if there is something especially complex about your case and/or you apply with dependents.
We here at My Legal Services can help you along every step of the way from start to finish, even to refusals and appeals. We look forward to hearing from you.
You may also be interested in:
- Fiancé/Fiancée Visa
- Unmarried Partner Visa
- Parent of a British Child
- 7 years child rule/route
- Child Registration as a British citizen
- Naturalisation as a British citizen