If you’re married to a British citizen or a person who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain, then you may be eligible to live in the UK with what’s known as a Spouse Visa. Also commonly referred to as the UK Marriage Visa, the Spouse Visa allows non-British nationals to join their partners in the United Kingdom for up to 30 months.
Once that time has elapsed, providing you meet certain criteria, you can then apply for an extension for the same period. After that, you’ll be free to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and remain in the UK indefinitely, so holding a Spouse Visa is the first step to gaining permanent residence in the UK.
To apply for a Spouse Visa, there are a number of requirements that must be met. Firstly, you must be married to or in a civil partnership with someone who is either a British citizen or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain. Alternatively, if you hold a Fiancé Visa you can also apply.
You will also need to provide evidence that proves your relationship is genuine, and both you and your partner must meet the minimum financial requirement before you can obtain a Spouse Visa.
What are the spouse visa financial requirements?
When applying for a Spouse Visa, you and your partner must be able to demonstrate that you can afford to come and live in the UK without the need for state help. To help determine this, the Home Office has a minimum income requirement in place that ensures you’ll both be earning enough while you’re living here.
For your Spouse Visa application to be accepted, you and your partner must have a combined income of no less than £18,600. This is the minimum requirement if you are travelling to the UK alone. For those travelling with children, the minimum income requirement will be more. How much more will depend on how many children you’re travelling with.
The exact amounts are as follows:
- £3,800 for first child
- £2,400 for any other children thereafter
It’s worth noting that if any of the children are already settled in the UK, have pre-settled status or are British or Irish citizens, then you won’t need to meet the additional income requirements for them.
What counts as income?
There are a number of ways you can meet the minimum financial requirements when applying for a Spouse Visa. These include the following:
- Earning from employment or self-employment
- Maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay
- Other income such as funds generated from rent or shares
If the combined income of you and your partner fails to meet the minimum financial requirements, it’s possible to make up some of the shortfall with savings. In order to do this, your savings must amount to at least £16,000, plus £2.50 for every £1 you’re short
For instance, if you require an income of £22,400 for you and your children, but you only earn £20,000, you’d need to have at least £22,000 in savings (£16,000 + shortfall of £2,400 x 2.5).
Remember, when making up some of the income with savings, it’s possible to include savings of both you and your partner, which should make it easier to reach the required amount.
Other requirements when applying for Spouse Visa
In addition to the financial threshold that must be passed, there are a number of other requirements you and your partner must meet before you can obtain a Spouse Visa.
One of the main things the Home Office will be looking to determine is whether or not your relationship is genuine. This is because some couples pretend to be together simply to obtain a visa, so to weed out these sham applications the Home Office asks all applicants for proof that they’re in a genuine relationship with their partner.
Evidence such as text messages, photographs, travel documents proving you’ve spent time together, evidence of shared bank accounts or savings and joint mortgage or tenancy agreements will all count as proof that your relationship is real.
Additionally, as the applicant you’ll also have to demonstrate your knowledge of the English language, and depending on which country you’re making your application from, you may need to pass a medical test to show you don’t carry Tuberculosis (TB).
How can Manchester Immigration Lawyers help with my Spouse Visa application?
Applying for any type of visa can be a complex and confusing experience, but luckily our Manchester Immigration lawyers are on hand to advise you and guide you through the process. Our team of lawyers is experts in this field, and they can help you with your application every step of the way.
We’ll help to make sure you have all the evidence you need to make your Spouse Visa application, and we’ll also fill out your application form to the highest possible standard, ensuring there are no errors or oversights. On top of that, we’ll also liaise with the Home Office and keep you updated throughout your application, giving you peace of mind and ensuring you have the best chance of getting the decision you’re looking for.
For more information, speak to a member of our team now on 0161 532 7794
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