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Spouse Visas and the Price of Love

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We look at how the higher salary threshold for Spouse Visas and Family Visas could affect you.

If you are a multi-national family the price of love is going to get more expensive. At least it will unless you secure a Spouse Visa or Partner Visa before the immigration rules change in Spring 2024.

In this article, our Immigration Solicitors assess the impact of the planned Spouse Visa changes on multi-national families.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors

For expert Family Visa immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Priced out of love

Spouse Visa Solicitors are keen to point out that the planned changes to the income requirement for the Spouse Visa and Family Visa do not just affect those wanting to move to live in the UK to reunite with a loved one. They also affect British citizens and settled persons desperate to be reunited with their husband, wife or partner in situations where their loved one requires a Family Visa to live in the UK.

At present, and until Spring 2024, you can come to the UK on a Spouse Visa if you or your sponsoring partner (who must be a British citizen or have settled status ) earns at least £18,600 gross a year. There are a few other eligibility criteria but meeting the Spouse Visa financial requirement (and how to evidence that you or your sponsor does so) is often the criterion that concerns Spouse Visa applicants.

When the new immigration rules come into force, the Spouse Visa financial requirement will rise from £18,600 to £37,800. Spouse Visa Solicitors expected that the financial requirement would rise at some point – after all there is an argument to say that it should rise in line with wage rises in the UK but a sudden rise of around £20,000 is going to price out many Spouse Visa applicants.

Apply now for your Family Visa

What can you do about the immigration rule changes? If you want to come to the UK on a Family Visa or want to sponsor a loved one on a Spouse Visa then do so before Spring 2024.

You may think that you can safely wait until March 2024 before applying for your Spouse Visa or Partner Visa. In the opinion of Spouse Visa Solicitors that would be a mistake.

Why? To make a good application for a Family Visa your application needs to be supported by the right paperwork. Getting the best documents together can be time-consuming especially if:

  • You are applying for a Partner Visa – if you are in an unmarried relationship you need to show evidence of your relationship and this can involve tracing historical documents to establish the length of your relationship
  • You are applying for a Spouse Visa but your marriage was arranged by family and you have had little contact with your husband or wife
  • Your sponsor is self-employed and their business is a start-up or they are not good at doing their business accounts
  • Your sponsor will be relying on a combination of income sources and some capital/savings to try and reach the financial requirement
  • Your sponsor is a company director and their income comes from salary, dividends and withdrawals from a director loan account

There are many other reasons why your Spouse Visa application may need extra paperwork. That’s why it is best not to rush your application to meet the Spring 2024 deadline.

Also, you may have previously thought that you could use a local solicitor to help you with your Family Visa application or maybe even thought of trying to apply on your own. Our Spouse Visa Solicitors regularly help people in this position who have unfortunately had their first or even second Family Visa application refused and then approached our specialists. With the timeframe for the planned immigration rule changes, you do not have the time to use a non-specialist lawyer to submit your visa application.

Are the Spouse Visa rule changes going to affect you?

The government has indicated that if you are in the UK on a Family Visa and you need to apply to extend your Spouse Visa or to apply for indefinite leave to remain you can do so using the current financial requirement. Spouse Visa Solicitors hope that remains the case but rules have changed in the past. That’s why we are recommending that anyone who falls within the timeframe to apply to extend their Partner Visa or Spouse Visa does so before Spring 2024. If you are eligible to apply to settle by making an indefinite leave to remain application then do so before the rule changes if you meet the residence requirement and other eligibility criteria.

Act now with the immigration health surcharge due to increase in January 2024

If you are not sure you have the time to talk to Spouse Visa Solicitors there is another reason to call us now. That’s because as well as the immigration rule changes to the financial requirement the government is also increasing the immigration health surcharge in around 16 January 2024.

You can read more about the rise in the immigration health surcharge and how it will affect the cost of your Family Visa application here.

Next steps

It can feel daunting to call an Immigration Solicitor if you haven’t done so previously or if you have had a bad experience in the past. Take a look at our great online reviews and give us a call to discuss the first steps in securing your Family Visa.

Our individual immigration expertise is recognised in the 2024 Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors

For expert Family Visa immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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