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Spousal visa tips for UK

Getting a UK visa can be a very complicated process including the social, financial and legal requirements attached with it. The process can get heftier if one spouse is a British citizen while the other has to wait long to join them after the rigorous visa procedures. It’s hard enough to live physically away from a spouse, more if the marriage involves children who are emotionally displaced being away from their parent. While the UK immigration process is tough, our team of visa experts have compiled a list to help you avoid unnecessary delays in the visa track.

I. Marry legally, not just traditionally to avoid delays in legal recognition of your marriage

You will need to apply online if you are applying from outside of the UK. You will need to complete the VAF4A Appendix 1 Application form and fill the required documents to submit online.

The UK visa authorities have very clear instructions about recognizing the status of your marriage. In order to ensure your marriage documentation fulfills all UK immigration requirements, make sure you have fulfilled all legal requirements such as Apostille certificate for your marriage.

II. Make sure your partner’s settled status is not questionable

First and foremost, if you’re applying for a UK visa, you must make sure that your spouse meets one or more of the following visa conditions for a spouse’s settled status:

- Be a permanent resident of the UK;
- Demonstrate that the spouse is a resident of the UK in either Settled Permanent or an Indefinite Leave to Remain;
- Has Refugee Status; or
- Has been granted Humanitarian Protection in the UK;

An overlooking of these can cost you a fortune and huge delays in your UK visa process.

III. Demonstrate that you intend to stay in the UK

If you need to apply for a spousal visa, you must clearly show your intention to remain permanently in the UK.

IV. Gain proficiency over English language

If you wish to apply for UK spousal visa, the English proficiency requirements for both written and spoken English are a must. You can proof your command over English by providing documentation recognized by the UK NARIC or take an English test with CEFR A1 for both speaking and listening.

V. Have a combined income of more than £18,600 a year

Under the normal immigration regime, a foreign spouse of a British citizen can live in the U.K. as long as the combined annual income of the couple exceeds £18,600, with an additional £3,800 for the first child, and then £2,400 for each one after

VI. Demonstrate your intent to stay together

If you need to apply for a spousal visa, your case will immediately earn lots of credibility if you can prove your intent to stay permanently in the UK with your spouse. You can do this by setting up joint bank accounts, investing in real estate together or getting a career option ready in the UK.

Pro Tip: If you are already working or studying in the UK, you can simply apply to switch from a Tier 4 (Student Visa) or other Tier visas (such as Work Visas) to a Spousal Visa.

VII. Prepare for interview and keep all documentation ready

This does not need to be reiterated, but it is always a good practice to keep consistent record of all your financial dealings. Preparing in advance for the interview with all possible documentation for every potential question or objection by the visa authorities will work a long way in boosting your visa procedure.

Pro Tip: You can categorize your documentation based on the level of priority in helpfulness for your visa process i.e., Proof of Marriage | Proficiency of English Language |Proofs of Intent to Stay Together | Career Options (optional) | Legal Documents

If you’re new to the spousal visa process or need help in navigating the complex formalities of the UK Spousal Visa, you can get legal help through our expert visa solicitors at First Precedent & Visa Services in Streatham, UK.