UK Spouse & Family Visa Solicitors
UK spouse visa applications can be a daunting task for applicants to tackle alone. At Primus Solicitors, we specialise in providing expert immigration advice to our clients and guide them through the complex process.
Understanding UK immigration law and the specific requirements for various types of family visas is crucial for a successful outcome. In this article, we aim to provide a clear overview of the UK spouse visa, recent changes to the minimum income threshold, and the eligibility criteria for various family visas.
Spouse Visa Key Points
Key Point Description Expert Legal Support Primus Solicitors offers expert legal advice and support for UK spouse and family visa applications, simplifying complex immigration processes. Recent Changes Recent Home Office Updates include minimum income threshold increase and clarifications in Appendix FM, allowing for more flexibility under exceptional circumstances. Eligibility Criteria Eligibility for spouse, unmarried partner, dependent child, adult dependent relative, and parent visas, all slightly differ from one and other. Application Process Guidance Primus Solicitors can assist at every stage of your spouse visa application. Financial Requirements The financial requirements for spouse and unmarried partner visas, including specific thresholds and considerations for dependents. Language and Accommodation Requirements English language and suitable accommodation requirements are applicable for applicants.
What Is A UK Spouse Visa?
The UK spouse visa allows non-EEA nationals married to British citizens or persons settled in the UK (e.g. indefinite leave to remain) to join their partners. It’s an immigration route for families to live together in the UK, offering the right to work and study without restrictions.
Eligibility for spouse visas in the UK depends on meeting specific criteria outlined Home Office, including relationship validity, financial thresholds, accommodation provisions, and passing an English language test.
Recent Changes to the UK Spouse Visa
Recent changes to the spouse visa immigration rules have introduced flexibility in meeting the minimum income threshold. Under specific circumstances, decision-makers can now consider additional sources of income or financial support, acknowledging exceptional situations that could render application refusal a breach of human rights. These changes aim to make the application process more accessible and fair, reflecting the government’s commitment to family unity.
Primus Solicitors’ guide to UK Spouse Visa provides an in-depth look at these updates and how they might affect your application.
Key Changes to the Spouse Visa Rules
The UK Government has made significant updates to the spouse visa application process, aimed at making it more accessible and fair for applicant:
- Minimum Income Threshold Flexibility: Home Office can now consider other sources of income, financial support, or funds under certain circumstances. This flexibility is designed to address situations where meeting the Minimum Income Requirement might not be possible but refusing the application could result in unjustifiably harsh consequences.
- Consideration of Additional Financial Support: In cases where the Minimum Income Requirement is not met, credible guarantees of sustainable financial support from a third party, credible prospective earnings, or other credible sources of income may be taken into account.
- Exceptional Circumstances: The new rules allow for the consideration of exceptional circumstances that could make refusal of the application a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, due to potentially harsh consequences for the applicant or their family.
- Child’s Best Interests: Decision makers must consider the best interests of any child affected by the application decision, ensuring that children’s welfare remains a priority in visa decisions.
- 10-Year Route to Settlement: Applicants granted entry clearance or Leave to Remain as a partner or parent can be on a 10-year route to settlement, with the possibility to switch to the five-year route if they meet the relevant requirements later on in there stay under the 10 year route.
- Clarifications in Appendix FM: Minor changes have been made to clarify certain sections of Appendix FM, including ensuring children are granted leave of the same duration and conditions as their parent and clarifying the English language requirement for further Leave to Remain applications.
Eligibility Criteria for UK Family Visas
The eligibility criteria for UK family visas is a crucial step in the application process. Each visa type has its specific requirements, tailored to ensure that applicants and their families can support themselves while in the UK and integrate into British society. Below, we have broken down the eligibility criteria for the main types of UK family visas:
- Marriage Legitimacy: Applicants must be legally married to a British citizen or someone settled in the UK.
- Age Requirement: Both partners must be 18 years old or over.
- Co-habitation Intent: There must be an intention to live together permanently in the UK.
- Financial Threshold: The sponsoring partner must meet the minimum income threshold of £18,600 annually. This increases if dependent children are also sponsored.
- Accommodation: Suitable living arrangements must be in place for the couple, and any dependents.
- English Language: Applicants must meet the English language requirement.
- Relationship Duration: Couples must have lived together for at least two years in a relationship akin to marriage.
- Financial and Accommodation Requirements: Similar to the spouse visa, including the £18,600 minimum income threshold and suitable accommodation.
- English Language Proficiency: Applicants must prove their knowledge of English.
- Age and Dependency: The child must be under 18 and not leading an independent life.
- Financial Requirement: An additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child, on top of the spouse or partner visa requirement.
- Age and Relationship: Applicants must be over 18 and have a close family member needing long-term care that the sponsor can provide.
- Financial Support: The sponsor must prove they can support the relative without public funds for five years.
- Child’s Status: The child must be British or settled in the UK.
- Responsibility or Access: The applicant must have sole responsibility for the child or at least access rights.
- Self-Support: Evidence of financial independence is required, along with meeting the English language requirement.
For comprehensive details on each visa type and expert guidance through the application process, Primus Solicitors’ UK Family Visa Services page is an invaluable resource.
What Is The Spouse Visa Application Process?
The application process for a UK spouse or family visa can seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance, it becomes manageable. Here’s a simplified overview of the steps involved:
- Eligibility: Review the specific requirements for your visa type to ensure you meet the criteria.
- Gather Relevant Documents: Collect all necessary documents for your specific application form, including proof of relationship, financial stability, accommodation, and English language proficiency.
- Complete Correct Application Form: Fill out the relevant application form accurately.
- Pay Fees: Submit the application along with the required home office application fee, which varies depending on the visa type and where you apply from.
- Biometrics and Interview: Attend an appointment to provide biometric information and possibly an interview.
- Wait for a Decision: Processing times can vary depending on your application type, so it’s essential to apply well in advance of your intended travel date. Processing Times are also subject to any Home Office Time Delays.
At Primus Solicitors, we understand the nuances of the application process and offer tailored assistance to streamline your experience. From initial eligibility assessment to submission and beyond, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
To Speak to one of our SRA approved Spouse visa lawyers, Call Us Now On 0161 222 5860.
What Are The Financial Requirements For UK Spouse Visas?
Understanding the financial requirements for a UK spouse or family visa is crucial in the application process. These requirements are designed to ensure that applicants can support themselves and any dependents without relying on public funds.
- Minimum Income Threshold: For those applying for a spouse or partner visa, the sponsor must demonstrate an income of at least £18,600 per year. If dependent children are also applying, the financial requirement increases by £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child.
- Acceptable Sources of Income: Income can come from employment, self-employment, pension, rental income, or certain savings. Savings over £62,500 can be considered to meet the financial requirement without the sponsor being in employment.
- Consideration of Other Sources: Following recent changes, other credible sources of income, financial support, or funds may be considered in exceptional circumstances.
For detailed advice and assistance in meeting these financial requirements, You Can Contact A Spouse Visa Solicitor Today Via Our Online Enquiry Form
English Language and Accommodation Requirements
In addition to financial stability, applicants must also meet certain language and accommodation requirements:
English Language Requirement
Most applicants will need to pass an approved English language test in speaking and listening at level A1 or higher, depending on the visa type. Certain individuals, such as those from English-speaking countries or with a degree taught in English, may be exempt.
You must prove that you will have adequate accommodation in the UK, which is owned or occupied exclusively by you and your family without overcrowding and meets health and safety standards.
At Primus Solicitors we can help assess your cases eligibility and guide you on how to meet these requirements, ensuring your application stands the best chance of success. For more information, our UK Family Visa Services page provides detailed insights.
Primus’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q: Can I apply for a UK spouse visa from outside the UK?
A: Yes, you can apply for a spouse visa from outside the UK, known as entry clearance, which is a crucial first step in the process. For a more detailed breakdown of the Spouse Entry clearance’s own set of requirements, you can read our dedicated spouse entry clearance page.
Q: How long does it take to process a UK spouse visa application?
A: Processing times can vary, but applications typically take around 12 weeks when applied from outside the UK and up to 8 weeks from within the UK.
Q: What happens if my UK spouse visa application is refused?
A: In the event of a spouse visa refusal, it’s important to understand the reasons behind your refusal. You may have the option to appeal the decision or reapply, addressing any issues that led to the refusal.
The UK spouse visa application process requires a thorough understanding of the requirements, careful preparation of documentation, and adherence to the specific criteria set by the UK Home Office. With the right guidance and support from experienced solicitors like Primus Solicitors, applicants can increase their chances of a successful application, ensuring they can start their new life in the UK with their partner and family.
If you’re considering applying for a UK spouse or family visa, Contact Primus Solicitors today for expert advice and support tailored to your unique circumstances, helping you achieve a positive outcome for your visa application.