UK Spousal Visa
Under the UK Immigration Policy for Spousal Visas, Citizens who can show that they are married to a British Citizen or settled spouse may apply for a visa that will allow them to stay in Britain for an initial period of 2.5 years. During that time, your spouse may work without restriction, employed or self – employed. Your spouse may also freely exit and re-enter the UK multiple times.
To qualify, you must show that you:
- You can support yourselves without any help from public funds
- You have suitable accommodation, which is owned or lived in only by you and your household, and where you can live without any help from public funds
- You must meet the financial requirements for this visa. There are various ways you can meet these requirements, such as:
– Employment – The minimum income threshold of £18 600 needs to be met by the British partner. You will need to supply evidence that you meet the financial requirements based on the earnings from the 12 months period prior to your partners application. Income from outside of the UK will be considered.
– Cash savings – More than £16,000 will be required if (the British national) has not earned the minimum £18 600 (this makes up for the shortfall).
- When determining whether the financial requirement in paragraph EECP. 3.1. of the immigration rules is met only the following sources will be taken into account- (a) income of the British spouse from specified employment or self-employment, which, in respect of the British national returning to the UK with the applicant, can include specified employment or self-employment overseas and in the UK
- You must not have one or more unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (this includes any court issued fines).
- You have English speaking and listening skills at Level A1 or above. (IELTS tests can be delayed depending on demand, please enquire if you need more information).
- You have been screened for Tuberculosis (applicable for certain Nationalities
- The British spouse is required to show a confirmed job offer in the UK, commencing within 3 months or your family relocating, and the offer must meet the minimum required income threshold.
Leading to Settlement
If you want to remain in the UK past the expiry date of the 2.5-year visa, you may then apply for an extension of 2.5 years. Once you have completed 5 years residence in the UK as married partner, you could be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This application can be lodged one month before reaching the 5-year mark. This status is also known as ‘Full Residency’ or ‘Permanent Residency’. ILR allows the holder to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. To be eligible to apply for ILR your partner must show that she has continued to meet the requirements of the Spousal Visa and have spent a continuous period of 5 years in this capacity.
Applicants that have been in the country for 5 years on a spousal visa and then held residency for a further year may start the naturalisation process.
Proof of Funds
You will need to have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK for the first two months; we suggest a closing bank balance of £1600. Your bank balance should be your own money and large sum deposits within the last 3 months are questioned by the British High Commission. If the money in your account is the result of the sale of an investment, then proof of this sale should be supplied.
Once submitted applications are usually concluded in 8-12 weeks, this can however be expedited when paying additional Government Fast Track Fees.