Are you married to a British citizen or a person with a permanent right of residence? Are you planning to make the UK your home? If the answer to both questions is yes, spouse visa UK, also known as partner visa UK, is for you!
If you are unmarried partners and have lived together (not just dated!) for at least two years, you are eligible as well.
Civil partnership is on a par with marriage.
Who can apply?
Spouse visa requirements can be summarised as follows:
- Relationship - recognised and subsisting marriage or, if you are applying as unmarried partners, evidence of cohabitation for at least two years;
- English language - unless you meet the language requirement by being a national of a majority English speaking country or by having graduated from a recognised University where tuition was in English, or unless you are exempt from meeting the requirement - you have to take a test to A1 level (speaking and listening only);
- You have to have adequate accommodation in the UK;
- Financial requirements: income (£18,600) from specified sources or savings (£62,500) unless you are exempt;
- Good character requirements;
- Intention to make the UK your home
- In order to sponsor your partner, you need an annual income of at least £18,600.
- If you have a dependent child who is not a British citizen, the minimum income is £22,400 and addition £2400 applies for the second dependent child and all other children.
- This can be your salary before tax, or income from dividends, rental of property, investments, self-employment or pension.
- The evidence you will have to provide will depend on the source of income and on how long you have had this income.
- If the sponsor is working for a company owned or partly owned by a family member, there are special evidential requirements.
- In the more common scenario, the sponsor works for the same employer for more than six months and is paid above the required minimum throughout the period.
- Self-employed income is more complex evidentially, and a combination of employed and self-employed income is even trickier.
- The timing of the application can determine what documents you will need in support.
- It is important to mention, that the foreign partner's work-related income does not count in the initial applications for entry clearance. The non-employment income of both the sponsor and the applicant counts.
Exemption from the financial requirements
If the sponsor is in receipt of disability-related benefits the minimum income requirement may be considered met.
In exceptional circumstances, where refusal of the application would cause significant hardship you may be able to rely on third-party support or other sources of income. And in most exceptional circumstances you may get a waiver of the financial requirement. If that's the case, the visa will be issued under the 10-year route. All cases requiring the decision-maker to exercise discretion are complex and an experienced immigration solicitor will maximise your chances of success.
What is the difference between the 5-year and the 10-year route
Where all financial, evidential and other requirements are met, the UK spouse visa is granted under the 5-year route. This means that after five years you will qualify to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
If some of the requirements are not met but due to special circumstances a refusal would be breach of Article 8 and would cause significant hardship, the visa is granted under the 10-year route.<
Please contact us to find out if you would qualify under 5 year or 10 year route.