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.
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.
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.
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.
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.