UK SPOUSE VISA APPLICATION

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Overseas nationals who are married to a British Citizen, a person having settled status (Indefinite Leave to Remain), Refugee leave or Humanitarian Protection leave in the UK, can apply for UK Spouse Visa (entry clearance when overseas) or leave to remain (in country) to join their spouse in the UK. There are several requirements that need to be met to qualify for the UK spouse visa. A minor mistake or absence of a necessary document may result in the refusal of the spouse visa application.

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REQUIREMENTS FOR UK SPOUSE VISA APPLICATION

Relationship Requirements

The Spouse Visa UK Applicant and his UK sponsor need to provide evidence that both of them are above 18 years of age, are not within prohibited degree of relationship, have met in person, are in a genuine and subsisting relationship and intend to live together permanently.

Financial Requirements for UK Spouse Visa Application

The Spouse Visa applicant and the UK Sponsor must provide evidence of having earned at least £18,600 in the last 12 months plus an additional £3800 for the first child and an additional £2400 for each additional child (if children are also applying to come with the applicant). This amount can be earned through employment / self-employment of the partner in the UK or through one of the following specified sources of incomes.

TIER 4 G VISA APPLICATION (ENTRY CLEARANCE)

  • They may also use their savings that have been maintained for over 6 months` period. The first £16000 of savings are not counted while the rest of the balance needs to be divided by 2.5 to come up with a figure that can be used towards fulfilling the requirement of £18,600.
  • They may also use their specified pension income.
  • They may also make use of maternity allowance or bereavement income received by the partner of the applicant, in the UK.
  • Other specified income of the applicant or his / her partner.

Exemption from Financial requirements in Spouse Visa UK Application?

The Spouse Visa applicant does not need to provide any specific level of earnings only if his partner is in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

The Spouse Visa applicant’s partner would however need to provide evidence of having adequate funds for the maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds.

Please note in addition the funds for maintenance, the Spouse Visa applicant’s partner also needs to provide evidence confirming that there is adequate accommodation available for the applicant’s residence.

English Language Requirements for the UK Spouse Visa Application

Unless, exempt due to being over 65 years of age, disability (physical or mental or other exceptional circumstances, the Spouse Visa UK applicant also needs to provide evidence that they either:

  • Have passed an approved English language test at A1 level
  • Is a national of one of the specified English speaking countries.
  • Have passed Bachelors or Masters or PHD degree which was taught in English.

Once the UK Spouse Visa application is approved, the applicant is given entry clearance for 33 months or leave to remain for 30 months.

EXTENSION OF SPOUSE VISA UK

Initially UK spouse visa applicant is granted visa for 2.5 years (in-country) and would need to extend it for another 2.5 years in order to complete 5 years in total. After completion of 5 years lawful stay in the UK they can apply for Indefinite leave to remain in the UK. There are several requirements that need to be met to qualify for the extension of spouse visa. A minor mistake or absence of a necessary document may result in the refusal of the UK spouse visa application.

What are the requirements for Extension of Spouse Visa?

Relationship Requirements

For extension of the UK spouse visa, the applicant and his sponsor need to provide evidence that both of them have been in a subsisting relationship throughout the 2.5 years’ period and intend to live together permanently.

Financial Requirements for Extension of UK Spouse Visa Application

The applicant and his / her sponsor must provide evidence of having earned at least £18,600 in the last 12 months plus an additional £3800 for the first child and an additional £2400 for each additional child (if children are also applying to come with the applicant). This amount can be earned through employment / self-employment of the partner in the UK or through one of the following specified sources of incomes.

  • They may also use their savings that have been maintained for over 6 months` period. The first £16000 of savings are not counted while the rest of the balance needs to be divided by 2.5 to come up with a figure that can be used towards fulfilling the requirement of £18,600.
  • They may also use their specified pension income.
  • They may also make use of maternity allowance or bereavement income received by the partner of the applicant, in the UK.
  • Other specified income of the applicant or his / her partner.

Exemption from Financial requirements for Extension of Spouse Visa Application?

The applicant does not need to provide any specific level of earnings only if his partner is in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

The applicant’s partner would however need to provide evidences of having adequate funds for the maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds.

Please note in addition the funds for maintenance, the applicants partner also needs to provide evidence confirming that there is adequate accommodation available for the applicant’s residence.

English Language Requirements for Extension of Spouse Visa:

Unless, exempt due to being over 65 years of age, disability (physical or mental or other exceptional circumstances, the applicant also needs to provide evidence that he either:

  • Has passed an approved English language test at A2 level
  • Is a national of one of the specified English speaking countries?
  • Has passed Bachelors or Masters or PHD degree which was taught in English.

Once the application is approved, the applicant is given extension of spouse visa for 2.5 years.

Super Priority Service for Extension of Spouse Visa

We can arrange for super Priority service for this application and represent our clients in getting their extension of spouse visa expeditiously, by making sure that all requirements are met and making appropriate representations.

SWITCHING TO UK SPOUSE VISA

In order to switch to a spouse visa on the basis of being married to a British citizen or a person having Indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you must have a valid UK visa (leave to remain in the UK) at the time of making the UK Spouse Visa application. It can be any visa except a short term visitor visa.

What are the requirements for Switching to Spouse Visa?

Relationship Requirements

The applicant and his sponsor needs to provide evidences that both of them are married and their relationships is genuine and subsisting.

Financial Requirements for Switching to Spouse Visa

The applicant and his / her sponsor must provide evidence of having earned at least £18,600 in the last 12 months plus an additional £3800 for the first child and an additional £2400 for each additional child (if children are also applying to come with the applicant). This amount can be earned through employment / self-employment of the partner in the UK or through one of the following specified sources of incomes.

  • They may also use their savings that have been maintained for over 6 months` period. The first £16000 of savings are not counted while the rest of the balance needs to be divided by 2.5 to come up with a figure that can be used towards fulfilling the requirement of £18,600.
  • They may also use their specified pension income.
  • They may also make use of maternity allowance or bereavement income received by the partner of the applicant, in the UK.
  • Other specified income of the applicant or his / her partner.

Exemption from Financial requirements for Switching to Spouse Visa

The applicant does not need to provide any specific level of earnings only if his partner is in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer`s Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

The applicant’s partner would however need to provide evidences of having adequate funds for the maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds.

Please note in addition the funds for maintenance, the applicants partner also needs to provide evidence confirming that there is adequate accommodation available for the applicant’s residence.

English Language Requirements for Switching to Spouse Visa:

Unless, exempt due to being over 65 years of age, disability (physical or mental or other exceptional circumstances, the applicant also needs to provide evidence that he either:

  • Has passed an approved English language test at A1 level
  • Is a national of one of the specified English speaking countries?
  • Has passed Bachelors or Masters or PHD degree which was taught in English.

Once the application is approved, the applicant is given extension of spouse visa for 2.5 years.

Super Priority Service for Switching to Spouse Visa

We can arrange for super priority service for this application and represent our clients in getting their extension of spouse visa expeditiously, by making sure that all requirements are met and making appropriate representations.

SPOUSE VISA ILR INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN APPLICATION

Spouse Visa ILR Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) is the first goal of all immigrants which makes them free of all sorts of immigration control, work or study restrictions, residence restrictions, and also entitles them to take public funds. Here we will discuss about Spouse Visa ILR Indefinite Leave to Remain application on the basis of having completed the required time period and compliance with the relevant Immigration Rules.

Spouse Visa UK – Procedure from Spouse visa to Settlement

If you have a spouse visa and have completed 2 or 5 years of residence in the UK (subject to the date of your initial application i.e. before or after 09th of July 2012), you can make your Indefinite Leave to Remain application.

The applicants need to provide evidence that he / she continues to meet the suitability / eligibility / income criteria and also fulfil other requirements. There are several requirements that need to be met to qualify for this visa and even a minor mistake or absence of a necessary document may result in the refusal of the application.

Time frame for UK settlement on Spouse Visa?

 1) Time frame for Spouse ILR Applications Prior to 09th July 2012

 The applicant will need to reside in the UK for at least 2 years which start from the date when he / she first entered the UK or first granted leave to remain. They can however make their applications 28 days before completing their 2 years in the UK. This is the case for those who entered the UK or given leave on the basis of rules in place before 09th of July 2012.

2) Time frame for Spouse ILR Applications after 09th July 2012

For those, who obtained leave on the basis of rules in place on or after 09th of July 2012, they need to complete 5 years of residence and also fulfil all the criteria given regarding suitability, eligibility, financial requirements and other more stringent rules.

Requirements of Indefinite Leave to Remain – Spouse Visa Applicants

Relationship Requirements

The applicant and his sponsor need to provide evidence that both of them have been in a subsisting relationship throughout the 5 years’ period and intend to live together permanently.

Financial Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain for Spouse Visa Applicants

The applicant and his / her sponsor must provide evidence of having earned at least £18,600 in the last 12 months plus an additional £3800 for the first child and an additional £2400 for each additional child (if children are also applying to come with the applicant). This amount can be earned through employment / self-employment of the partner in the UK or through one of the following specified sources of incomes.

  • They may also use their savings that have been maintained for over 6 months` period. The first £16000 of savings are not counted while the rest of the balance needs to be divided by 2.5 to come up with a figure that can be used towards fulfilling the requirement of £18,600.
  • They may also use their specified pension income.
  • They may also make use of maternity allowance or bereavement income received by the partner of the applicant, in the UK.
  • Other specified income of the applicant or his / her partner.

Exemption from Financial requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain for Spouse Visa Applicants?

The applicant does not need to provide any specific level of earnings only if his partner is in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer`s Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

The applicant’s partner would however need to provide evidences of having adequate funds for the maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds.

Life in the UK Test & English Language Requirements for Spouse Visa Applicants:

Unless, exempt due to being over 65 years of age, disability (physical or mental or other exceptional circumstances, the applicant also needs to provide evidence that he either:

  • Has passed an approved English language test at B1 level; or
  • Is a national of one of the specified English speaking countries; or
  • Has passed Bachelors or Masters or PHD degree which was taught in English.

In addition to the English language requirement, the applicant is also required to pass life in the UK Test.

Absence from the UK on Spouse Visa

The maximum number of absences allowed is 3 months in a year. Any periods of longer absences need to be properly explained. The applicants are not allowed to add time spent on one any immigration categories.

Super Priority Service for ILR Application on UK Spouse Visa

We can arrange for super Priority service for this application and represent our clients in getting their Indefinite Leave to Remain expeditiously, by making sure that all requirements are met and making appropriate representations.

REFUSAL OF UK SPOUSE VISA APPLICATION

Following are the main reasons of refusal of spouse visa applications:

  1. Insufficient Documentary evidence relating to Financial requirement
  2. Insufficient documentary evidence relating to subsistence of relationship
  3. Adverse Immigration history of the applicant

Financial Requirement for Spouse Visa Application

The rules regarding financial requirement for spouse visa application or extension of spouse visa application or ILR application are quite complex. It is extremely important to select the correct options of source of earnings as some sources of earnings cannot be combined to meet the financial requirement. For example, self-employment income cannot be combined with the savings. Quite often, the applicants make assumptions in respect of the acceptability of the documents relating to a particular source of earnings and that often leads to disappointments. For example, if the applicant is working for a company run by his spouse or a relative, he would need to provide evidences of the company’s finances in addition to his employment documents. Every case is different and it is strongly advised to seek legal help in such matters.

It is extremely important to provide all the required documents or information with the spouse visa application or extension of spouse visa application or Indefinite leave to remain application, as otherwise one may have to either make a fresh application and pay the hefty fees once again or lodge appeal against the decision and wait for a prolonged period of time to have the decision overturned. In case of extension of spouse visa application, should the home office decides to refuse the application for some reason, they may grant leave on 10 year route instead, which in some case equally devastating as it makes the applicant to wait for a total of 10 years to make an application for ILR.

Subsistence of Relationship for UK Spouse Visa

The Visa officer is quite keen to see whether the relationship is genuine and subsisting and expects to see a large number of documents confirming the genuineness and subsistence of relationship and a large number of visa applications are unnecessarily refused just for this reason alone. In case of extension of spouse visa applications or switching to spouse visa applications, the home office often requests for any missing documents giving the applicant an opportunity to provide the missing documents.

Adverse Immigration History of the applicant for UK Spouse Visa

The immigration history of the applicant also gets relevant if he has been refused for any other visa application earlier and the home office considers the applicant more cautiously to assess the genuineness of the relationship.

APPEAL AGAINST REFUSAL OF SPOUSE VISA APPLICATION

It is extremely important to provide all the required documents or information with the spouse visa application or extension of spouse visa application or Indefinite leave to remain application, as otherwise one may have to either make a fresh application and pay the hefty fees once again or lodge appeal against the decision and wait for a prolonged period of time to have the decision overturned. In case of extension of spouse visa application, should the home office decides to refuse the application for some reason, they may grant leave on 10 year route instead, which in some case equally devastating as it makes the applicant to wait for a total of 10 years to make an application for ILR.

It is mandatory for the Home Office to give reasons of refusal along with the notice of decision and to inform the applicant about their rights of appeal, if applicable. The reasons of refusal shall disclose all the issues / concerns of the Home Office which have been identified by the Visa officer or the home office on the basis of the information / documents provided by the applicant or the information already held on record by the home office.

Time to Lodge UK Spouse Visa Appeal

The applicant has 14 calendar days to lodge appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) or 28 calendar days if the applicant is based overseas. The Immigration Tribunals are quite strict in adherence to the time limits and one has to give a good reason, in case of any delays

Grounds of Immigration Appeal against refusal of UK Spouse Visa

One has to carefully consider and draft the grounds on which he may rely in his immigration appeal. This is an opportunity for the appellant to address all the concerns and issues raised in the notice of decision and the reasons of refusal of the immigration application. It would also be useful to refer to the information or the documents already provided with the said application and highlighting any relevant sections and provide a detailed explanation addressing the issues.

Drafting grounds of appeal is a specialized area of immigration work and should therefore be left for the experts to handle it.

UK Spouse Visa Court Hearings – Bundle of Documents

Once immigration appeal is lodged along with the grounds of appeal, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal schedules the appeal for a full court hearing.  Court hearings take place on the scheduled date and venue unless a very good reason is presented to seek adjournment of the court hearing.

The appellant or his legal representatives needs to prepare a bundle of documents for the upcoming hearing that is generally sent at least 5 working days before the court hearing. The bundle should include the witness statement of the appellant or any other witnesses that the appellant wishes to present to the tribunal, a chronology of relevant events, skeleton arguments and all the documents relevant to the issues raised in the notice of decision or the reasons of refusal.

It is really important to advise the witnesses of the appeal to be well prepared for the hearing and what to expect on the court hearing date. It has often occurred that the witnesses get confused or panic just because they were asked unexpected questions which they were not sure about or they were not advised anything about it.

UK Spouse Visa Appeal Immigration Barristers

We have several renowned immigration Barristers on our panel who have won a number of immigration appeals for our clients. We really trust our barristers in representing our clients in the First Tier Tribunals and with the help of whom we have been able to maintain an excellent success record. Working in liaison with the best Immigration Barristers allows them to have a deep insight in the matter and to prepare them accordingly. It is equally important to prepare the client for the hearing at the First Tier Tribunal, advising them on what to expect on the court hearing and how to handle any unexpected questions.

Why to instruct Chauhan Solicitors to advise you on your UK Spouse Visa Visa Application, Extension of UK Spouse Visa, Switching to UK Spouse Visa, UK Spouse Visa ILR and Appeal of UK Spouse Visa

We are a city law firm, specialising in UK Immigration matters. We are located in Central London, therefore conveniently accessible to Londoners and clients in other parts of the UK. Moreover, since all the UK immigration Applications can be submitted online, it has become easier for us to take instructions from anywhere in the world. We have been advising our clients successfully on their UK Spouse Visa Applications.

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