Are you married to a British citizen or a person with a permanent right of residence in the UK? Do you wish to make the UK your home and be permanently reunited with your loved one? If this is the case, you may wish to apply for what is known as a ‘UK spouse visa’.
What will this visa allow you to do?
A spouse visa will allow you to make the UK your home with your partner. Your application may be for entry clearance if you are currently outside the UK or alternatively, depending on your current visa status in the UK, you may be able to make an application for leave to remain. This visa will give you the right to live in the UK and freely travel in and out of the country and even take up employment here.
Under Appendix FM, entry clearance will be granted for an initial period of 30 months and this will have to be subsequently extended for a further period of two and a half years, before the initial period of leave expires. After 5 years you may be eligible for indefinite leave to remain and then subsequently British citizenship, subject to a few further requirements.
The most important things to think about before making the application:
It is a requirement that you have ‘adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds’. While there is no concrete definition of what the Home Office will regard as ‘adequate’, the property must not be overcrowded by the UK standards and should usually be owned or exclusively occupied by yourselves.
2. Financial requirements
Your ‘UK sponsor’, in other words, your partner, will need to meet the financial requirements as specified by the Immigration Rules. The rules feature a minimum annual income threshold should they be relying on their employment salary. Another possibility is relying on any savings they have, for which there is also a minimum amount required.
The stated purposes of these minimum thresholds are to ensure that people who are entering the UK will not end up relying on public benefits. The Home Office will require various supporting documents as evidence of meeting the financial requirements and there are numerous ways to meet the requirement.
3. English language
In most cases, you will also need to meet an English language requirement either by taking a specified or having completed a degree taught in English.
The total fee for an application currently includes: the Home Office application fee, the Immigration Health Surcharge and an extra fee for a priority service should you wish to expedite the application process.
Despite the fact that a refusal of a spouse application gives you the right to appeal against the decision, there may be other consequences. On the most basic level, a refusal will result in a considerable loss of money by way of Home Office fees, and a loss of time. The appeal process mentioned above can take up to 12 months to be decided and if you have made the application from abroad, you will not be allowed entry into the UK before the decision has been made. This will mean potentially extended periods of time away from your partner.
Should you believe this situation applies to you, please do not hesitate to contact us. Gherson has over 30 years experience in applying for this type of visa and assisting with various other UK immigration matters. Each application is dealt with in a tailor- made way as we appreciate the importance of being with your loved ones.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.