UK Spouse visa is a vital part of a married couple’s life where one of the spouse is a British Citizen and the other spouse wants to join them in the UK. The immigration department is very strict about who gets to enter as a spouse and takes every case through a rigorous test. The interviews can get too personal too quick and the wake up calls can be harsh. Also, if you fail to get a visa the first time around, the consecutive trials only become that much harder. This is why it really helps to have an expert solicitor and consultant in your
stride from the beginning.
1 Check the ‘settled status’ of your British partner
First and foremost, you have to check the actual status of your partner in the UK. A basic overlooking of this can cost a fortune. Make sure to verify their documents before even thinking to apply as any kind of failure to comply with the laws will make things hard on
your part. The things that can be looked at to verify this are
a. British citizenship documents
b. Proof of permanent Residence in the UK
c.Settled Status using IRL Visa route
d. Having Refugee Status or Humanitarian Protection in the UK
This will be the most vital aspect for those who are moving newly to the UK and want a spouse visa to the UK as soon as possible.
2 Marry legally, not just traditionally
UK immigration has very clear procedure when it comes to recognising the marriage between a couple. The marriage or civil partnership outside the UK has to take place in the right manner as per the immigration requirements. A partnership without any documentations or completed legal formalities will be looked upon dimly. The resident partner needs to provide the appropriate documents for application approval.
3 Gain Command over English Language ‘before’ applying
One of the basic requirements of emigrating to the UK on a spouse visa is that the partner must have a good knowledge of english, both spoken and written. And no matter how good your english is, it wont matter unless you can prove it some how. Some ways to quantify your claim of having a good english are:
a. Take an English test with at least CEFR A1 in speaking and listening
b. Provide Academic Qualifications that are recognised by UK NARIC
Pro tip 1: For UK NARIC, providing a UK based address will reduce processing time
Pro tip 2: Nationals of USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, along with some other, don’t need to prove their knowledge of English language
4 Switching Visa type within the UK
If you are already in the UK on a different visa, and wish to switch to Spouse Visa due to marriage with a British Citizen, simply switching your visa is also an approach to getting a Spouse Visa.
The following categories of other Visa holders are most common to switch:
a. Tier 4 Student Visa Holders
b. Tier 5 (Mobility) Visa Holders
c. Leave to Remain holder who has completed 6 months
You might also get an Indefinite Leave to Remain after Marriage within the UK sooner if you stay on your current Visa.
What does not qualify for switching is clearly a Visitor Visa. But in case you are one of the few who has fallen in love with a British Citizen on your visit to the UK, contact our expert consultants for more details on solving this complexity.
5 Have a combined income of more than £18,600 a year
This is a quick one, and like the most basic thing to include in your check list. This is a mandatory requirement for a couple and this increases in case you have children who are going to relocate along with you. Unless you have a special case that breaches the Article 8 of European Convention on Human Rights, this requirement is more or less set in stone. So make sure to clear this off your plate before planning your move.
Pro tip 3: If the applicant or sponsor get academic maintenance grant or stipend, it can be shown as a source of income. A tax-free grant of £15,800 will be enough to meet the financial requirement of £18,600
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6 Prepare for Interview and Procure Needed Documents
This goes without saying, but always keep consistent records of all your financial dealings. Specially if you wish to apply for a Spouse visa in the UK. Preparation is the key to having a smooth sailing interview with the officers in charge of your case file. As discussed earlier, the immigration department is really strict about who they allow in the country via Spouse Visa. The more the preparedness, the easier it will be to answer queries raised by the department.
If you are called for an interview make sure your submitted documents are available as needed. It wont make the best impression to spend 5 minutes trying to find the original of a photocopy, specially given the over-worked nature of the immigration department.
Pro Tip 4: Categorising your documents based on priority will be helpful: MARRIAGE PROOF | ENGLISH QUALIFICATION | MESSAGES WITH SPOUSE | LEGAL DOCUMENTS
7 Demonstrate your Intent to Stay together
Your case immediately gains a ton of attention and seriousness from the authorities if you can show them you are serious about being a well contributing citizen of the UK. Having a future goal in the country in terms of career is for sure a good thing to have, but you also have to prove your seriousness of being in the relationship permanently with your spouse. In that case the UK spouse visa will require a good deal of thought before application. Anything that shows you two love each other or are well binded by other forces such as family, common friends, work circle and personal interests will be welcome. Have screenshots of whatsapp messages and such other things to back up your claims if
Pro tip 5: You can show good faith by having joint bank accounts and investing in real estate properties together. This shows your long term commitments, but don’t over-do it
8 The older the relation, the better it will be
The older your relationship is, the better it is for the application process. UK Spouse Visa has a requirement of relationship to have been about 2 years old at least, so anything older is just another add-on that supports your case. This doesn’t mean being child-hood sweethearts will increase your chances automatically, but it will definitely make a better case than a more recent encounter. Providing proofs of your chats and other correspondence will also be effective in this case.
Pro tip 6: Generate social media proof of your association by uploading pictures together. Well documented social media accounts can help a lot. Specially on platforms like Instagram where the date of posting is not modifiable. Use your already existing account to strengthen your case
9 Show criminal records, if any
More harm comes form hiding information that the immigration department can discover, and finds out you have lied about. It is not okay to have a criminal record in the first place, but it is worse to try and hide it. Only serious criminals and those who are serious offenders will face any resistance. But they are not really the kind who come to another country on a Spouse Visa. And getting parking tickets is not really something that will hold a serious threat to admission into a country.
10 Hire a Consultant
A UK Spouse Visa is an important application and needs serious consideration and expertise when applying the very first time. A consulting immigration expert and solicitor will be able to guide you in the application process flawlessly and help you at every step.The investment in finding such expert help is priceless when compared to the value of being able to take comfort in the knowledge that your application is being handled by professionals. It also increases your chances.
Pro tip 7: Hire our expert help in your UK spouse visa application and have more confidence!
Having someone by your side is always a good strategy. We have helped thousands of applicants with their UK Spouse Visa.
These are the top 10 tips for a UK spouse visa from other countries.
As an additional give-away, here is a quick list of all the documents needed for your UK Spouse Visa Application:
- Proof of English language requirement.
- Proof of financial means.
- Proof of relationship as photos of you two together, etc.
- Valid passport with at least an empty page along with Your previous passports
- Two passport-sized colour photos that are in line with the requirements
- Your national insurance number
- Your parents’ date of birth and nationality (if you’re applying from outside the UK)
- Proof of accommodation
- Biometric information
- Details of any previous immigration applications, if any.
- Certificate of criminal record
- Proof of paid spouse visa fees.
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I’ve only started researching this and have to say I’m a bit overwhelmed. I want to apply for a UK spouse visa next year and I want to make sure I have everything ready. My main issue right now is the language, I understand it perfectly but I stumble when having a conversation, mostly because I feel awkward but I think I’ll be able to get the A1, at least. Should I send the documents by mails or upload them into the system myself?
Hi Clara, how you submit the application depend on where you are when you file the application. if you are in the UK you will be invited to upload your documents on the UK Visas and citizenship portal. If you are outside the UK then you have to use either Teleperformance or VFS to submit your application.
It is not required to be in a relationship for two years as point number 8 states.
You must be able to prove one of the following:
you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK
you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply
you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving
Taken from the gov website it clearly says prove one of the following. So if you get hooked up in a year or 10 years it doesn’t matter so long as you can prove you’re married or plan on getting married.
I hope that clears up some peoples misconceptions that this may have created
Hi Ahmed, thank you for your comment. Point 8 is in reference to those applying for a visa as unmarried partners. There is a requirement that you live together in a relationship akin to marriage for a period of no less than 24 months to meet that requirement.I hope this clears up any confusion.