What is a Spouse Visa?
Also known as a UK marriage visa, a spouse visa allows married partners of UK citizens to immigrate to the UK because they are married to someone who is ‘settled in the UK’ – i.e. a person who is ordinarily resident in the UK and has no immigration restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK.
Chances are, going through the process of applying for a UK Spouse Visa doesn’t sound too appealing. We’ll be talking about the steps you need to take to make it a little easier.
You can contact our immigration attorneys for help with your UK Partner Visa application and find out how you and your UK citizen partner can enter the country and apply for indefinite leave to remain.
The Basics of the Spouse Visa Process in Detail
If you intend to move to the UK, you should apply for a Spouse visa in advance, and you shouldn’t book any flights or travel arrangements until you hear back from the Home Office.
Foreign spouses can initiate the application process for a UK Spouse visa (Appendix FM and other forms) online. However, you may be required to submit biometrics in person at a visa application centre. To improve your chances of obtaining a UK Spouse or Partner visa, it is important to note that there are multiple forms and documents that must be correctly filled out with sufficient evidence.
If you are applying from within the UK, you will need to show proof that you are in the country on an eligible visa in order to switch to the UK spouse visa.
If the Home Office has any concerns about your application after reviewing it, you may be asked to attend a Spouse visa interview. You will be asked questions during the interview to determine the genuineness of your relationship and intent in the UK.
An interview is not required as part of the Spouse Visa application process; however, its significance cannot be overstated if you are asked to attend one, whether as an applicant or a sponsor.
How to prepare for the Spouse Visa Interview?
You must be able to persuade the ECO that your relationship is genuine, ongoing, and not fabricated only for immigration purposes. The interview would not take place if the officials had no worries about the authenticity of your relationship or questions that needed to be answered.
However, in an atmosphere where you are aware that the quality of your responses will be judged, anxiety can get the best of you, causing you to freeze up and appear to be unsure of the answers to some of the questions being asked. Facts and genuineness of sentiment can also be lost in translation if English is not your first language or you are presenting your responses through an interpreter.
Some of the questions you may be asked in a spouse visa interview include:
● Is this your first time applying for a UK visa?
● Have you ever sought a visa to another country?
● Have you ever had a visa denied?
● When and how did you meet your husband/wife for the first time?
● Did he/she write or call you? How did you contact him/her?
● When did your spouse propose to you?
● What religion does your husband/wife practice?
● What are your husband’s/interests, wife’s or activities in his/her leisure time?
● What do the two of you have in common?
Make sure you send the correct supporting documents and that both of you know what they are. In case of any discrepancies between the answers given during the marriage visa interview and supporting documentation submitted as part of the initial application, the ECO has the authority to refuse the applicant straight away. Therefore, you must make sure that the story of your relationship and the documents to prove the genuineness of your marriage match-up.
The last point is the one that most people worry about the most when collating their documentation for a UK Spouse Visa. It is also the area where you and your spouse need to be most consistent in your story during the spouse visa interview. Examples of what you can send include:
● photographs of you and your spouse together
● selective excerpts of Skype logs
● a selection of emails to and from your spouse
● a letter of introduction from your family and friends who have known you as a couple
● wedding photographs, invitations etc.
If you’ve been requested to attend a spouse visa interview, the UKVI likely did not find your application straightforward. As you can see, you’ll need to gather a lot of paperwork and have responses prepared for a variety of questions posed throughout the interview process. By hiring an expert immigration solicitor to assist you and your spouse in preparing for the interview, you will be able to pass with flying colours and begin your life together in the UK.
What are the Documents Required for a Spouse Visa Application? Having all of the necessary documents to support your UK Spouse Visa application will help to ensure its success and avoid delays. Please keep in mind that any documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a professionally translated version. All evidence must be submitted in the format specified by the Home Office.
The following documents must be submitted to the Home Office in order for you to be granted the right to remain in the UK:
1. Your original certificate of marriage or civil partnership
2. Evidence that you and your partner have been living together for at least two years.
3. A valid passport is required to obtain leave to remain in the UK.
4. A valid certificate that meets the English language requirement
5. Accommodation documentation
6. Evidence that the relationship is genuine
7. Proof that you meet the income and financial requirements
8. You must provide proof that you are married to a British citizen or settled person (for example, UK citizens can submit a copy of their passport)