A spousal visa (or a UK marriage visa) is a visa given to partners which permits them to migrate to the UK with their UK partners. An IR1 or CR1 spousal visa is also an important visa given to an alien who wants to enter the U.S. with intentions of living with his or her U.S. citizen spouse.
- CR means Conditional Resident.
To get a spousal visa for UK, you will go through procedures and meet up legal requirements. If you want to apply for entry clearance or have already been granted the visa and now wondering how to lengthen your leave to remain, this article is to give you a visa guide through the procedure of getting a spousal visa.
Who is a partner?
- An unmarried partner. This is an individual who has been residing with a person for 2 years, and above to the date the application was made. Their relationship is predicted to end in either a civil partnership or a marriage.
- A civil partner
- A soon-to-be civil partner or a fiancé
- A spouse
Where You Apply For A Spousal Visa
If you are staying outside the UK, you have to make your application for a visa from your current country. If you are staying in the UK and have an authentic leave to stay in any other category in the immigration system, you can now switch to the spouse category.
If you are a visitor, you won’t apply this method. You will have to apply from abroad. If you wish to apply from the UK but do not have an authentic status, you have to prove that there are oppositions to you and your partner staying together in the UK. If you cannot meet up this procedure, you have to return to your country to apply for your spousal visa. When you return to your country, ensure there are no conditions that will warrant you to be locked out of the UK.
People applying for a spousal visa from abroad will be given leave to enter the UK for about 33months, and people changing to this category who are already in the UK will be given a leave of 30months. People who wish to stay longer may apply to lengthen their stay in the UK for 30months.
WHY YOU SHOULD GET A SPOUSAL VISA
- Acquiring a spousal visa gives the freedom to work in the UK
- Your visa permits your children to school in the UK
- After a period of time partners with spousal visas can apply for indefinite leave to stay
- Acquiring a spousal visa ensures your family stays together in the UK.
WHO NEEDS A SPOUSAL VISA?
- Spouse of British citizens based in the UK
- Unmarried partners of British citizens based in the UK
- Civil partners of British citizens based in the UK.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ACQUIRING A SPOUSAL VISA
This is categorized into 3 fields:
- Relationship requirements
- English requirements
- Financial requirements
- The partner must be 18 years or above
- The relationship must not be mentioned in the prohibited degree as stated in section 5E(6) of the VEA if the person is:
1)A ancestor of the other individual
2)A sister, brother, stepsister or stepbrother of the partner.
- Previous relationships must have ended
- Both partners must have met
- Your marriage must be valid and recognized legally
- You must show proves that your relationship is genuine and you plan to live together.
- You must show evidence that you often keep in contact with your partner for the time you were apart.
- Proofs of visits also serve as strong prove.
- In case you are already married, provide your marriage certificate and strong evidence that you had a wedding reception.
Below are documents that can help prove your marriage is genuine :
- Printed copies if Facebook messages, WhatsApp chats, emails etc.
- Consider writing a statement about your relationship, stating the developments, method of reaching out to each other and your future plans etc.
- You may consider showing forth evidence of the flights you boarded together and your hotel receipts etc.
- You might want to get a witness statement from a friend, family, stating the genuineness of your relationship. A copy of the ID must be attached to this statement.
- Consider adding a few pictures to support your claim.
- If you have been staying with your partner, you must show proves of cohabitation. This includes the rent receipts, bill receipts, and bank statements in single names of both partner and/or joint names.
In case you wish to apply to lengthen your leave:
- Submit evidences showing you have been staying with your partner since your last grant of leave. If it happens that there were times you didn’t stay with your partner, you must give solid reasons for it and show that you will live together with him or her in the UK.
A person can be excused from this condition if the individual is over 65years and is unable to withstand the physical and mental stress of learning a new language. A person can automatically meet these criteria if he or she came from a country that speaks English as a major language. Aside from this, you have to get a degree you researched or tutored in English or get a pass of A1 of the CEFR in any English test.
This area requires strict evidences.
The financial threshold depends totally on the annual income of £18,600. You have to pay an amount of £3,800 for your first child and £2,400 for other children, that is, £2,400 per child, if your children are still dependent. You are excused from this rule if you get certain benefits like career allowances, DLA, or PIP.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A SPOUSAL VISA
- Check that you are qualified to apply for a spousal visa as stated earlier.
- Arrange all your supporting files. Go with your original passport as photocopies are accepted. The date on your financial papers must be 28 days before your submission date. You have to obtain some papers again if you acquired them too soon.
- Consider using the Priority Settlement Service if the time used to process your visa exceeds what you require. If you apply from abroad, the processing time will be about 60days. If you are staying abroad or applying from there, the time used to process the visa will be about 2 months.
- Draft out your application forms.
- Fill out your online forms. If you are residing abroad and wish to apply from there click Here
Incase you are residing in the UK and wish to apply from there, click Here to fill out your forms
- Recheck the files carrying your evidence. Send in your application form and check your appointment date.
- Visit a visa processing office.
- Show your papers. You may request your partner to send the papers to the center. It is not necessary to fix an appointment, simply walk in. Carry along your passport and complete papers.
- See that you do not miss your appointments. If you reside abroad and wish to apply on behalf of your partner, using the slot that was allocated to you when you sent in your online application. Attend the meetings and remember to carry along an original passport currently taken and your complete papers. You have to take your biometric examinations and send in your papers so they can be scanned.
- Patiently await a decision.
- Obtain a decision. Visit the visa application centre to obtain your passport and decision.
- Ensure you enter the UK in 30 days. If your application to obtain a spousal visa had been accepted, a sticker will be attached to your passport. This will give you an entry clearance of 30 days to get back to the United Kingdom. You have to acquire your biometric residence permit within 10 days of your arrival or before your 30 days elapses.
REASONS WHY YOUR APPLICATION CAN BE DENIED
- Lack of clarity on the reason for travelling: The reason for travelling is a basic and common question asked when one goes to apply to get a spousal visa. Inability to clearly state with adequate proofs the reason you want to migrate can cause a denial. Your answers must be sincerely, truthfully and clearly stated.
- Inability to prove you will return to your country: Embassies always have the fear that people migrating to other countries never return to their country when their visas expire, hence, they overstay and end up in some mishap. You have to give solid proofs that you will surely return to your country. Show that you have strong connections with your country; therefore, you cannot just vanish. You can use tour business, work, family or properties as a guarantee.
- Lack of financial stability: your financial status also decides if you will be granted a Visa or not. You need to show that you have enough money to find the trip to and fro and of course enough money to sustain you over there or a business you have over there.
- Fake identity or papers: When some people go to apply for a visa and realise they do not have some of the needed papers, they resort to making fake papers and documents. This is totally wrong and if caught, your application will be thrown out and you will not be attended to. To clarify some of the information written down, some embassies call the offices of the applicants to confirm the information.
Are you still wondering how to get a spousal visa? Well now you’ve found a way! I hope this article was helpful.