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UK Marriage / Spouse / Civil Partner Visa
If you are married or you are the civil partner of a British Citizen or a person settled in the UK you can apply for entry clearance to come and settle here with your spouse. Your application can be dealt with in your home country at the British Embassy or British High Commission or if you are in the UK with leave for more than 6 months you may be able to "switch" or extend your stay as a spouse of a person present and settled here.
The requirement for a spouse visa are set out below:
You and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;
your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;
you and your partner have met in person;
your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting;
if you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
you meet the suitability requirements;
any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);
you and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
you meet the financial requirement;
you meet the English language requirement; and
if you are in the UK and want to extend your leave or apply for settlement in the UK you will need to meet the suitability requirement.
You can meet the financial requirement, which means your sponsor has an income of at least £18,600 per year and can provide the required supporting evidence.
The immigration rules for spouses set out the requirements that have to be met and failure to meet the requirements may mean that your visa will not be granted. The changes to the rules also set out that third party support can no longer be relied upon and the income or potential income from a job offer for the migrant will no longer be sufficient to meet the financial requirements. The only persons exempt from the new financial requirements will be sponsors who are presently claiming one of the qualifying disability benefits.
If your visa application is successful and you applied from outside the UK, you will be granted a visa for 33 months. Shortly before the end of that period, you can apply for further leave to remain in the UK. If you still meet the requirements you will be granted permission to stay for a further period of 30 months. Once you have completed 5 years in the UK, as the partner of someone who is a British citizen or settled in the UK, you can apply to settle here. This is known as 'indefinite leave to remain'.
If your application to switch into this category within the UK is successful, we will grant you permission to remain in the UK (known as 'further leave to remain') for 30 months. Shortly before the end of that period, you can apply for further leave to remain in the UK. If you still meet the requirements you will be granted permission to stay for a further period of 30 months. Once you have completed 5 years in the UK, as the partner of someone who is a British citizen or settled in the UK, you can apply to settle here. This is known as 'indefinite leave to remain'.
The UK Home Office has also indicated that the above rules are proportionate to the legitimate aim of maintaining Immigration Control in the UK under Article 8 of the ECHR. Therefore if you fail to meet the above requirements you may be unlikely to succeed with an Article 8 claim on the same basis unless your case is an exceptional one. We do however ancitipate that there will be significant legal challenges to this over the coming months. We will continue to update the website setting out the outcome of any legal challenges and the affects these challenges will have for those making new applications.
Even if you meet all the requirements above you may still be refused entry to the UK under other parts of the UK Immigration Rules called "General Requirements". These will apply if you have an adverse immigration history, you have used false documents or lied on your application or you have failed to declare information in your application. You can appeal against the refusal of a UK Spouse Visa to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
If you require further assistance with a UK Spouse Visa application or appeal please contact us on 01642 219222 or email us at email@example.com. There will be a charge for advice provided by email or telephone. Please see our email/telephone advice page for more details.
UK FAMILY VISA
Unmarried Partner Visa
Dependant Relative Visa
Civil Partner Visa