When your significant other is not living in your home country, you want to do everything in your power to join them where they are now. However, unless you have a visa, you cannot easily enter that country – at least not legally. Some people choose to go with a work visa – whereas others prefer to opt for a spouse visa. If your significant other already has citizenship, then all you have to do is bring proof of your relationship.
However, there are a few requirements in that regard. There will be some documents you will have to give as proof – and other documents that might look good but are not particularly necessary. To enter the UK on a family visa, you will have to bring proof that you know for sure you will not be sent back.
What Is a Spouse Visa?
Spouses of permanent residents or citizens that are permanently settled there may come to the United Kingdom under the UK Spouse Visa and begin working as soon as they are granted their leave. It is mandatory that both partners (citizen and visa seeker) pay the fee (if required) and get an Immigration Health Surcharge number that is required by the Home Office.
A spouse visa is given to a non-EEA citizen and has a validity of 2.5 years. Before those 2.5 years are up, you will have to extend that visa, ensuring that you meet all the necessary requirements. Once you have lived in the United Kingdom for 5 years, you may apply to become a settler under the visa category referred to as “Indefinite Leave to Remain.”
Age Requirements for a U.K. Spouse Visa
In order to apply for a U.K. spouse visa, both partners will have to be over 18 years of age. By this, we mean that both applicants will have to be over 18 years old upon application – and not when they intend to travel to the United Kingdom. If an applicant is under 18 years of age, then their application will be refused.
Furthermore, the permanent UK resident or citizen (i.e. the sponsor) must have also met their spouse prior to submitting; otherwise, they would not qualify. This measure was set to prevent a circumstance that generally occurs during an arranged marriage, where the wife and the husband have never actually seen each other in person.
How UK Visas and Immigration Processes the Data
In the process of giving you your visa, UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) will be processing the evidence that you give to them. However, many people are not informed, and simply end up giving documents that are not really of any concern to the officers.
Initially, you might want to contact the Service Support Centre, as well as the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centres. If you pair these centres with a good immigration lawyer, then you will know how to bring out the documentation that only concerns the visa officers.
Overall, here is the proof that you will have to bring:
- A bank statement that shows your’s and your partner’s income
- Proof of savings, as savings over 16,000 pounds may be used as proof of earnings.
- 6 months’ worth of payslips
- A letter from the employer, dated and written on a headed paper that should confirm your situation
- Proof of marriage or that you are planning to marry your partner within the next 6 months
- Proof that any previous marriage has come to an end (if the case applies)
- Proof of settlement (you and your partner must live together after the application, and you will have to prove that)
Depending on your situation, you may or may not have to come up with further proof. However, since submissions and processing may take quite a lot of time, you might want to ensure that you have the right documents from the very beginning. A useful tool in this regard might be to use WM Immigration’s document checking service.
Aside from that particular documentation, you will have to take an approved Secure English Language Test and score at least an A2 level. Ideally, however, you may want to have at least a B2 score, as this will save you from having to take the test a second time after you have settled.
The higher the test, the better your chances of being accepted as a citizen. You may also have to take a Knowledge and Life in the U.K. test, where you prove that you are already aware of the lifestyle, culture, and history of the United Kingdom. However, bear in mind that this is not a replacement for the language exam.
Evidence Not Required, but Commonly Presented
As mentioned, many visa seekers out there are presenting evidence of their relationship and their status – but that is not necessarily required. Granted, some information and further proof might be required when you reach the interview stage – but when you apply, the evidence is not needed for the decision-making process. Some examples of commonly submitted evidence include:
- Photos that depict the relationship (for example photos of the couples, wedding albums, parents with the children, and so on)
- Transcripts/Screenshots of conversations occurring in the online medium (e.g. Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, email, etc.)
- Greeting cards (sent on birthdays, Father’s Day, and so on)
These kinds of proof might be useful if you have them on you during the interview – if asked for – but are not necessary when you are submitting your application. Therefore, if you submit evidence that the UKVI does not see as required or relevant, this evidence will be sent back without being scanned, or it will be retained by the Home Office system. If the latter occurs, the person applying for a visa will be issued a document explaining that the documentation sent was not taken into account.
Providing they come up with the proper proof, immigrants may easily apply for a spouse visa and enter the United Kingdom. However, make sure that you provide proof that is relevant – and not the kind that will be sent back to you by UKVI.