All You Need to Know About Applying For a UK Spouse Visa
Do you have questions about applying for a UK spouse visa? In this article our spouse visa solicitors answer some of your frequently asked questions about the spouse visa. If you have additional questions or you are not sure about whether your personal and financial circumstances make you eligible to apply for a UK spouse visa, call our expert and friendly immigration solicitors.
UK Online and London Based Spouse Visa Solicitors and Immigration Lawyers
UK spouse visa frequently asked questions
At OTS Solicitors our immigration lawyers are often told that visa applicants aren’t sure if they can ask questions or are worried that their question will be considered stupid. At OTS Solicitors we don’t think that any question is too basic to ask. All our spouse visa solicitors like answering questions and believe that it is important that you ask if you have a query so that we can give you the best advice and service.
Who can apply for a UK spouse visa?
If you are from overseas and married to a British citizen or a person with indefinite leave to remain you may be eligible to apply for a spouse visa. A spouse visa is time limited but once you have secured your first spouse visa you can apply to extend your spouse visa. Once you meet the residence requirement you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. You don’t have to stop at indefinite leave to remain as you could go onto apply for British citizenship. It all starts with your spouse visa.
Can I apply for a spouse visa from within the UK?
You can apply for a spouse visa if you are already in the UK provided that you are not in the UK on a visitor visa. Your visa also needs to be of more than six months duration for you to be able to switch from your existing visa to a spouse visa.
Can I apply for a spouse visa from overseas?
You can apply for a UK spouse visa from the country where you are living. It is possible to instruct UK spouse visa solicitors online so you get the expert immigration law advice you need. Complete our online enquiry form for help.
How do you apply for a spouse visa?
The spouse visa application is made online to the UK Home Office. The key to successfully securing a spouse visa is to make sure that:
- You submit the correct online application for your circumstances.
- You provide the right supporting paperwork.
- Your application covers any matters that a Home Office official may query, for example, if you are meeting the financial requirement for the spouse visa on your partner’s self-employed income and their finances are complicated.
What do you need to prove to obtain a spouse visa?
To successfully apply for a spouse visa your spouse visa solicitor will need to be able to show that:
- You and your partner are both over the age of eighteen.
- Your partner is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
- You are married or in a civil partnership.
- You have met your partner in person.
- Your relationship is genuine.
- You intend to live together permanently.
- Any previous relationships have broken down permanently.
- You meet the English language requirement and the maintenance requirement.
- You meet the adequate accommodation requirement.
That is a long list and can seem overwhelming. The best thing to do is to break the list down and get the specialist spouse visa solicitor advice you need on what evidence you will have to provide in support of your spouse visa application. The evidence will depend on your personal and financial circumstances and those of your partner.
Do you have to have got married in the UK to be able to apply for a UK spouse visa?
You do not need to have got married or entered into a civil partnership in the UK to apply for a spouse visa. The immigration rules say that your overseas marriage must be recognised in the UK and must be valid in the country that you got married or entered a civil partnership in. If you are not sure about the legal status of your relationship it is best to ask advice.
How do I meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa?
One of the biggest worries for spouse visa applicants is whether they will meet the financial requirement or not. There are many different ways in which you can meet the financial requirement for your spouse visa.
The basics are that the minimum financial requirement is met if you and your partner have an income of £18,600 per year. If you have children who are not British citizens then the maintenance requirement is increased.
You do not have to meet the minimum financial requirement if your partner is in receipt of specified benefits, such as disability benefits.
The income required to meet the financial requirement does not have to be derived from paid salary. The financial income requirement can be met through:
- Paid employment.
- Property rental income.
- Pension income.
In some situations, it is possible to combine different sources of income to meet the financial requirement. The immigration rules are a bit complex on what income sources can be combined. Spouse visa solicitors say if you are meeting the visa financial requirement on anything other than paid income it is best to get expert advice.
If you can't meet the financial requirement based on yours and your partner’s income you may be able to use cash savings to either top up your income or to meet the financial requirement in full. If you are relying just on savings to meet the financial requirement you will need £62,500. You will need more in savings if you have children who are not British citizens.
The type of savings that are accepted by the Home Office in support of your spouse visa application (and the savings evidence you need to produce) can be very complicated. It is therefore best to get legal advice from spouse visa solicitors.
How do you prove a relationship is genuine for a spouse visa?
It can be a bit insulting to be asked to prove that your relationship with your partner is genuine but the immigration rules require you to prove that. Our spouse visa solicitors will talk to you to find out a bit about your relationship and how best to prove to the Home Office satisfaction that not only is your relationship totally genuine but that you intend to live with your partner on a permanent basis.
Every relationship is different and therefore a spouse visa solicitor cannot give you a prescriptive list of what you will have to produce to show that your relationship is genuine. For example, you may not be a couple who have taken numerous photos of yourselves on holiday together and you may not have lived together before your marriage. In every spouse visa application, our expert spouse visa solicitors can carefully assess your best evidence.
Does my partner have to own their home for me to obtain a UK spouse visa?
The accommodation requirement can confuse a lot of spouse visa applicants. Many believe that house ownership is a requirement but it is not. The accommodation requirement can be met through renting a property or even sharing accommodation with family members. If you are worried about whether staying with family will meet the accommodation requirement, ask a spouse visa solicitor about your planned accommodation whilst in the UK on a spouse visa.
Can I work in the UK if I obtain a spouse visa?
You can work in the UK if you obtain a spouse visa. There are no restrictions on the type of work you can do. That means you do not need to find employment with a UK employer who holds a Home Office issued sponsor licence. You therefore have the flexibility to work for any type of business in the UK. All UK employers will require you to prove that you have the right to work in the UK but you will be able to prove this because you are in the UK on a spouse visa.
Can I appeal if my spouse visa application is refused?
There is usually a human rights element to a spouse visa application so there is a right of appeal. However, spouse visa solicitors emphasise that it is best to get expert immigration advice before you submit your online visa application so hopefully your application will be granted by Home Office officials without your having to go through the worry of an appeal. It really is best to get the application right first time but if you need spouse visa appeal advice call 0203 959 9123. There are time limits for appeals so don’t delay.
UK Online and London Based Spouse Visa Solicitors and Immigration Lawyers