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Personal Immigration

Spouse/Partner Visa

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Spouse/Partner Visa

The spouse or civil partner visa category is for partners of British citizens or those settled in the UK to either apply to join them or extend the stay to remain together. This category can be applied from within the UK or abroad. This route is normally taken by married couples or civil partners to live together in the UK and leads to settlement after 5 years under normal circumstances.

Spouse or Civil Partner visa requirements

In order to qualify for a Spouse or Civil Partner visa, both the applicant and their partner would need to be above 18 years old and satisfy the below requirements.

  • Spouse/Civil Partner must be British or Settled in the UK
  • Both have met in person, legally married or in a civil partnership and the relationship is genuine and subsisting
  • Meets the Financial requirement and will be able to maintain themselves adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds
  • Intend to live together permanently and have suitable accommodation available
  • Meet the English language requirements of CEFR level A1 for Initial applications and A2 for extensions

The financial requirement that needs to be met differs on the basis of the number of financial dependants applying together. The minimum requirement is an annual income of £18,600 for a partner application and there will be an additional £3800 for the first child and £2400 for each child afterwards. Only those children, who are not British or settled in the UK will be counted for the additional income requirement.

The financial requirements can be met in a number of different ways including salaried or non-salaried income, salary or dividends from the company, income from self-employment, rental income, pension or income from any investments etc to name a few. It is also possible to use cash savings that has been held for more than 6 months, if above £16,000 to be used in part or full to meet the financial requirement. The applicants can also combine some selective type of income and/or savings to meet the financial requirement. This is an area where applicants must take extra caution, as not providing the right specified documents to evidence income remains one of the most common reasons for refusal under this route.

The applicants may rely on Human Rights grounds if they otherwise do not meet all requirements and can demonstrate that there would be very significant difficulties in continuing the relationship outside the UK. The Home Office may also consider in specific circumstances, any third-party funding or support when examining whether the minimum income threshold has been met.

Extension & Settlement

The applicants are normally granted an initial leave of 30 months if applied from within the UK and 33 months if applied from abroad. They will be able to extend this leave if they continue to meet the requirements and can apply for settlement further to the completion of 5 years under this category. It is also worth noting that if the leave is granted further to relying on human rights or otherwise not meeting the requirements, the applicants will only be able to settle in the UK after 10 years. The spouse of a British Citizen can immediately apply for British citizenship further to obtaining settlement, if they meet all other requirements. Spouse and Civil Partner visa holders have a full right to work, study and carry out business activities in the UK.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on family and private life visa applications. Our Immigration team carefully assess each of our client’s financial scenarios before advising on the right income route. We can also advise clients whose circumstances are not straightforward and do not meet the income criteria from one single source, by mixing various income categories permissible and/or evidencing with any third party support. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an Interview for spouse visa application?

There may be an interview as part of the application process conducted over the phone if applicant is abroad or face to face if in the UK.The main purpose of the interview is to establish the genuineness of the relationship. We can assist clients in preparing for such interviews if required.

What can I provide to evidence cohabitation for 2 years?

The evidence may include correspondence addressed to both the applicant and sponsor individually or jointly and spread out evenly over the 2 years. The documents should be from at least 3 different sources and may include bank statements, utility bills,mortgage statements, council tax bills etc. The Home Office suggests that applicants may provide 6 items of correspondence if in joint names or 12 items (6 each) if in sole name only.

Is living with relatives or friends in a shared accomodation sufficient?

It is possible to meet the accommodation requirement, if you live in a shared accomodation as long as that accommodation is adequate and not deemed overcrowded under the public health regulations. The applicants must ensure they evidence their permission to live at the property. The supporting evidence depends on each individual circumstance and you should take legal advice if you are unsure.

What can I do if my application is refused?

The spouse or partner visa applications are normally deemed as applications that have an impact on human rights of individuals and any refusal of such applications normally carries a right of appeal. The applicant would be able to challenge the decision in the Immigration Tribunals and should seek legal advice on any refusals.

Can my spouse or partner change jobs or stop working after getting the visa?

The requirement to meet financial requirements only applies when you make an initial application, extend your visa or apply for settlement under this category. It does not matter if your circumstances change after getting the visa, as long as you would meet the requirements at the time of extension. It is worth noting that in some scenarios, you have to evidence 12 months of income rather than 6 months.
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