Spouse, fiancé (e), unmarried partner and civil partner applications
Individuals wishing to come to the UK on the basis of their relationship to a British citizen, person with indefinite leave to remain or limited leave to remain under Appendix EU or Appendix ECAA, must apply for leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK in that capacity.
In order to qualify, you must meet the following requirements:
Your partner (the sponsor) will need to demonstrate that s/he earns a gross annual income of at least £18,600.
An income of at least £22,400 is required if the individual has a dependent child who is not settled in the UK, or who is not British.
£2,400 is required for each additional child.
Your partner can meet the financial requirement through:
In some circumstances, it may be possible to rely on a combination of the above sources of income to satisfy the financial requirements.
If your partner is in receipt of the following benefits, s/he will only be required to show that you can be “adequately maintained”:
Fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners
If you apply to come to the UK as a fiancé(e) and your application is successful, you will be granted 6 months leave to enter. In addition to the above requirements, you will need to show your plans to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
Once in the UK with this visa, you must marry/register your partnership within 6 months after which, you can switch into the spouse visa category.
Immigration Health Surcharge
As of 6th April 2015, those who are applying to enter the UK for more than six months will be required to pay an ‘immigration health surcharge” or IHS. This will be in addition to the visa fees and will be payable at the point of payment for the visa application.
Leave to remain is initially granted for a period of 2 ½ years (except the fiancé(e) visa which is granted for 6 months). Before your visa expires, you may apply for an extension of your leave which, if successful, will be valid for another 2 ½ years. You may qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) also known as settlement, after completing 5 years on this visa. You will need to meet the requirements for ILR.
Bereaved partners and victims of domestic abuse may be able to apply for settlement before the end of the 5-year period.
Common grounds for refusal
If you do not satisfy the above requirements, your visa application may be denied. There are a number of mandatory documents which must be supplied and other evidence which may be needed based on individual circumstances. The financial requirements in particular, can be complex as specific documents must be provided.
Most decisions will carry a right to request administrative review of the decision which must be exercised within 28 calendar days of receiving the decision. You may also be able to appeal the decision on human rights grounds.
Some of the most common reasons for refusal are cited as follows:
What can I do if I cannot satisfy the requirements?
If you are unable to satisfy the requirements as above, you may still be able apply for leave to remain with your partner on the basis of human rights grounds. For instance, where you can demonstrate that that there are compelling and compassionate circumstances which prevent you from continuing with your family life outside the UK.
If you are unable to meet the financial requirements, other sources of income can be considered in certain circumstances. However, where other sources of income are relied upon, you and any dependent children, may be granted leave to remain on a 10-year route to settlement. Other sources of income may include:
We would strongly advise that you seek legal advice before making an application, otherwise you risk losing the substantial application fees and risk being involved in potentially lengthy and costly appeal process.
At Descartes Solicitors our experienced lawyers can assist you whether you are making an initial or fresh application, whether you have been refused and wish to exercise a right of appeal or even where you have been denied a right of appeal.
For further information, please contact us on 0208 995 3556. Alternatively, please email us at email@example.com