When you are planning your wedding, low down on the list of priorities are the unromantic things, like sorting out the correct Immigration visa or signing a prenuptial agreement. After all, it is far more exciting to plan the honeymoon or even to design the wedding invitations.
However, if you do not apply for the right Immigration
visa before getting married, this could have an impact on your future in the UK. That is why it is best to take expert legal advice on your spouse visa
options and to make sure that you have the right visa in advance of your wedding date.
London based OTS Solicitors are experts in Immigration
law. Our specialist Immigration
solicitors can advise you on how best to secure a spouse visa
or will talk to you about your alternate visa options. For fast, friendly advice from UK spouse visa
solicitors call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online
Marriage visa options
When there is talk of marriage and clearance into the UK, most people refer to “Spouse Visas
” but the marriage visa options are:
• Marriage or civil partnership visit visa; or
• Fiancée visa; or
The marriage or civil partnership visit visa
Many people assume that if they want to come to the UK and get married, that they need a marriage or civil partnership visit visa. It can be an expensive mistake to assume you need a marriage visa. That is why it is best to take legal advice on your marriage visa options.
The marriage or civil partnership visit visa enables you to:
• Come to the UK to get married or enter a civil partnership in the UK; and
• Stay in the UK for up to six months.
To be eligible to apply for a marriage visa, not only must you be in a genuine relationship with your fiancée, you must also intend to leave the UK within six months of your arrival. You cannot apply to extend a marriage visa and you cannot switch to another visa category if you enter the UK on a marriage visit visa.
For many couples, planning a life together in the UK, the name “marriage visit visa” sounds like the visa they need. However, it is not the right fit as it only enables a fiancée who is subject to UK Immigration
control to stay in the UK for a maximum of six months.
The fiancée visa
The Home Office refer to fiancée visas as “family visas’”. A family visa
enables a family member to apply to enter the UK under a family visa
if they are a fiancée of a British citizen or their partner has Settled Status or Indefinite Leave to Remain
in the UK.
A fiancée visa lasts for six months. If you do not get married within six months, you can apply to extend the visa. After the marriage, you can apply to switch to a spouse visa
• You are subject to UK Immigration control and want to enter the UK to live with your spouse who is a British citizen or who has Settled Status or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK; or
• You entered the UK on a fiancée visa and married your spouse.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
OTS Solicitors are spouse visa
specialists. London based Legal 500 recommended OTS Solicitors provide friendly approachable legal advice using their vast Immigration
and spouse visa
law expertise to provide the best visa outcomes. Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online
Making a UK spouse visa application
To apply for a UK spouse visa
application you will need to demonstrate to the Home Office that:
• Your husband, wife or civil partner is a British citizen or is settled in the UK or has Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK; and
• You are both over the age of eighteen; and
• You are legally married or in a civil partnership;
• You have met your spouse or civil partner – the relationship cannot be a long distance proxy marriage; and
• Your relationship is genuine; and
• You intend to live permanently with your spouse or civil partner; and
• If you or your spouse has been in a prior relationship the previous relationship/s have permanently broken down; and
• You have accommodation for yourself and your dependents; and
• You speak and understand English in accordance with Home Office requirements; and
• You can maintain yourself without access or recourse to public funds.
To give yourself the best chance of successfully applying for a spouse visa
it is important to take specialist legal advice on your application and the supporting paperwork you need to submit to the Home Office.
Meeting the financial criteria for a spouse visa
The financial criteria can be a real obstacle to an application for a spouse visa
but it is important that you are aware that there are alternatives to meeting the minimum income threshold.
To meet the spouse visa
financial requirement, you need to either:
• Be in receipt of a family income of at least £18,600 per year (the income threshold figure increases if you have dependent children who are not British citizens or EEA nationals); or
• Have savings of at least £62,500 (extra savings are required if you have dependent children who are not British citizens or EEA nationals).
Income does not have to come from salary or self-Employment
. It can include rental money received from a property portfolio, pension payments or a combination of income sources.
Often sources of income are not clear-cut or there may be concerns if your spouse is self-employed. It is best to take legal advice on the financial criteria and the paperwork the Home Office will require proving your income or savings.
Exceptional circumstances and Spouse Visas
If you do not meet the spouse visa
minimum income or savings requirement, then you can try to use the “exceptional circumstances” ground to secure a spouse visa
To secure a spouse visa
based on exceptional circumstances you have to be able to show there are exceptional circumstances that makes the refusal of the spouse visa
application a breach of your Human Rights
. If you can establish exceptional circumstances then the Home Office can exercise its discretion and take into account matters such as potential income.
If you cannot meet the financial criteria, even relying on potential income sources, Home Office officials should still look at your exceptional circumstances and consider whether refusing your spouse visa
application would be a breach of Human Rights
because refusal would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for you and your family.
Applying for a spouse visa
using exceptional circumstances is not easy. When you do not easily meet the financial eligibility criteria, then to stand the best chance of securing a spouse visa
, you should take legal advice from a spouse visa
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 recommended Immigration
solicitors and our friendly expert team of spouse visa
solicitors will advise you on the best way to secure your spouse visa