Friday 13 May 2016

How to Get UK Spouse Visa

How to Get UK Spouse Visa

If you are relocating to the UK and want your spouse to come and join you, you will need to know how to get UK spouse visa. There are several different types of visas that can be applied for depending on your circumstances and here we look at which you will require.

British Marriage Visa

The Marriage Visa permits married partners of UK citizens to join their husband or wife in the UK. The UK citizen must either be born a British Citizen, or have been granted an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the country, with no immigration restrictions. In order to be eligible to apply for this visa there are several criteria that you must be able to meet.

Eligibility Criteria

Both you and your partner must be older than 18 years.
You must have previously met your spouse.
You must have been legally married.
You must have the intention of living permanently as a couple.
You must be able to support yourselves financially without claiming any benefits.
The sponsoring partner must have an annual income that is greater than £18,600 or alternative have sufficient savings to be able to support their dependents, with the annual income requirement being higher if children are also being relocated to the UK.
You must have secured appropriate accommodation.
You must be able to speak the English language to the required level.

Application Process 

It is possible to apply for a Marriage Visa from outside the UK or from inside the country if you have already been issued with a valid visa of a different type, for example a fiance visa, student visa or work visa. The time taken to process your application will vary depending on where you are applying from however it could take as little as 2 weeks to process or as long as 12 weeks depending on your circumstances.

Validity Period

If you are applying from inside the UK, your initial Spouse Visa will be granted for a period of 30 months. This will be a period of 33 months if your application is from overseas. After this period has elapsed, you will then be eligible to apply for an extension. This will be granted for a further 30 months after which you will have been in the country for the five years necessary to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You can then apply for this permanent residency visa as long as you are still married to your partner, are still residing in the UK and you are still able to comply with the requirements regarding maintenance. If you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may then be eligible to be naturalized.

English Language

Any spouse wishing to relocate to the UK must have a good understanding of the English language. All spouses whose home country is outside the EEA, who do not come from a primarily English speaking country or who have not undertaken a degree course that was taught in English is required to pass the English comprehension requirement.

Unmarried Partners

An unmarried partner may also apply for a visa to join their partner in the UK as long as they have been in a relationship that has lasted for longer than 2 years, living as a couple in a manner that is like a marriage. All of the other eligibility criteria remain the same as the Marriage Visa in that you must be able to provide for yourselves financially and must be able to comply with the English Language requirement.

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