Getting a spouse visa can sometimes seem like a complicated and tedious process. Getting a visa for your unmarried partner can be even more daunting.
An outline of the process will make it simpler and quicker for you and will ensure you are on route to success.
Here are five simple steps for getting your spouse to the UK.
Check If You Meet The General Requirements
Requirements that apply to all applicants:
- Both partners have to be over the age of 18
- You should either be married or be in a civil partnership or be able to show that you have lived together for at least two years and are in a durable relationship
- You must have met face-to-face (not online)
- You should not share close family connections
- Show intention to live together permanently in the UK
- Not be in a polygamous relationship
- Non-British partners should show a basic knowledge of English
- Meet the financial requirements
Check If Your Marriage Or Civil Partnership Is Recognized In The UK
Marriage or civil partnership will be recognized in the UK if it is recognized in the country where it was registered.
Civil marriage or partnership registered by a government authority is normally recognized and no further questions are asked.
Marriages registered in consulates of a third country are more problematic. You will evidence from a lawyer or government authority of the country hosting the consulate to confirm that the marriage is recognised.
Similarly, religious ceremonies may be recognized in some countries but not in others and you may need an apostille or a legal document confirming that the marriage is recognized.
Consider The Financial Requirements
The annual income of the British sponsor must be at least £18,600 from a qualifying source. This rises by £3,800 for the first child and a further £2,400 for each successive child if the partner is also applying with children.
Income may come from employment or self-employment of the British partner, or rental income from a property owned by the British partner.
Financial requirements may also be met through savings, and these can belong to either the British partner or the applicant for the visa. Show that you held the savings for at least 6 months and declare the source of the money.
The required amount of savings is £62,500.
If the British partner receives a Disability Living Allowance or another disability-related benefit, the financial requirement is assessed differently. You will be required to show that you will live in the UK claiming no additional benefits for the joining spouse–in other words, that there will be no additional burden on the public purse.
Provide Proof Of Your Proficiency In English
If you are a citizen of a majority English-speaking country, the knowledge of English requirements is automatically met.
If not, you can meet the language requirement if you have a degree certificate that was taught in English. If the University is not in a majority English-speaking country, you will need a letter confirming that the language of tuition is English. The degree has to be recognized by Ecctis.
You may otherwise take an English language test at a very basic A1 level in speaking and listening only. Check that the test is approved by UKVI.
TB Test Certificate
Generally, the UK does not require evidence of good health, but there is an exception in relation to TB. For residence in some countries, a TB test certificate issued by an approved provider is a requirement. You may wish to check Appendix T in the immigration rules and see if this applies to your case.
Assess The Costs And Timeline Of The Application
You will have to pay the visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge which is mandatory in the UK. The cost of this is approximately £3300.
You may also allow some extra money for the English language test or Ecctis confirmation if applicable.
A TB test certificate also comes at a cost, especially if you have to travel to get one.
If you can afford legal representation, it is a good investment, as you will have more confidence in success and the timeline of the process.
Generally, spouse visa applications are processed within 3 months, but sometimes it may take longer. The application can be expedited for an extra fee, and the processing time will be reduced to 4-6 weeks.
How To Apply
The application is made online, and the supporting documents are normally also uploaded using an online portal. This portal is not available in some countries, for example, in Iran.
You will have to book an appointment to submit your passport and biometric information.
Once the biometric information is submitted, you will receive an email confirming that they have received your application and is under consideration.
You may receive a further email or a telephone call if the decision-maker wants to interview you. But this is not common.
Once the application is submitted, all you need to do is relax and wait for the visa to be issued.