A Spouse Visa UK application is a complex and often stressful process. In an effort to restrict the number of fake marriages, the UK government have introduced a number of measures intended to confirm that a relationship is genuine. However, for many genuine couples with no experience of the UK immigration system, these measures can cause great difficulty and can result in refusals.
The Spouse Visa UK requirements in 2018 include a strict financial threshold, accommodation expectations and passing the genuine relationship test. Making an application to the UK authorities will require a great deal of evidence to show the applicant meets every single requirement and avoid a refusal on minor grounds such as missing documents or incorrectly completed forms. The lawyers at IAS can provide a comprehensive UK Spouse Visa document checklist based on your circumstances.
The UK Spouse Visa document checklist includes:
- Application forms
- Non-British applicant’s documents
- UK sponsor’s documents
- UK sponsor’s financial documents
- Evidence of appropriate accommodation
- Documents showing your relationship
UK Spouse Visa application forms
The process of applying for a Spouse Visa is now an online application using the Visa4UK service recently introduced by the government.
The online form will include questions on:
Part 1: Passport and travel information – this will include your personal information, current immigration status, planned arrival in the UK and how long you will be staying.
Part 2: Personal details and travel history – you will need to provide details on your current address, travel history and criminal background including any immigration charges you may have.
Part 3: Family details – your sponsor’s information, your parents’ information and whether you are travelling with any children.
Part 4: Employment – information on your work history and your current employment status.
Part 5: Medical treatment – a question on any past medical treatment you may have received in the UK.
Part 6: Sponsor details – your sponsor’s details, including their current immigration status.
Part 7: English language – your English language proficiency level or how you qualify for an exemption (e.g. you are the citizen of an English-speaking country).
Part 8: Additional information – this could include further detail about something you discussed earlier in the application but ran out of space to explain, or any other information that you think could influence the Home Office’s decision.
Part 9: Declaration – a declaration by you that all the information and documents are genuine and accurate.
Non-British applicant’s documents
This section of your UK Spouse Visa document pack will include your travel documents, such as your passport. You will also need to provide your English language certificate or degree certificate if this is applicable and your TB certificate if you are from a country with this requirement.
UK sponsor’s documents
Your UK husband or wife will need to include their travel documents and a Spouse Visa letter of support, written by them and providing details on your relationship and why the Home Office should grant your visa.
UK sponsor’s financial documents
The Spouse Visa UK requirements include a financial threshold of £18,600 for the UK sponsor. This must be money earned in the UK and cannot include your earnings if you are outside the UK.
There are a number of alternative ways a UK sponsor can meet this income requirement. They include:
- Maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay;
- Non-employment pay, such as from rent or shares; and
- Cash savings of over £16,000
Some benefits can exempt your sponsor from the financial requirement, such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments. For more information on these or for any questions about the UK Spouse Visa financial requirements, contact an immigration expert.
Evidence of appropriate accommodation
When moving to the UK to join your spouse or partner, you will need to show that you intend to live with them and that there is enough space at the property for both of you and any children who may be accompanying you.
In some cases, you may need to provide an immigration housing report to prove that you meet the accommodation requirement. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to provide a letter from your landlord or owner of the property you will be living in.
Documents showing your relationship
This part of the Spouse Visa document checklist aims to meet the genuine relationship requirement. This can include evidence like:
- Chat logs from social media/texting
- Travel documents on visits to each other
- Pictures of you throughout your relationship
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Divorce certificate (if applicable)
There have been reports of Spouse Visa applications refused for both too little evidence and too much. The genuine relationship requirement is very limited: finding the right balance of providing the correct level of evidence and avoiding the common pitfalls the Home Office are looking out for can be very difficult.
Spouse Visa fees
The Spouse Visa UK fees in 2018 are:
- £1,033 for in-country applications
- £1,523 for out of country applications
Each dependant in your application will also need to pay the same amount for their application. For example, to join your spouse with two children from outside the UK will cost £4,569.
With such complicated, often discretionary requirements make sure you give your application for a UK Spouse Visa the best chance by seeking the advice on an immigration expert from IAS. Your personal lawyer will provide you with a full Spouse Visa UK document checklist created to suit your circumstances. Our service also includes support from your lawyer to complete the Spouse Visa application form before submitting it.