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What is a spouse visa in the UK?

A spouse visa also known as a marriage visa or partner visa is a type of visa that allows an individual to join their spouse or civil partner in a different country. In the context of the UK, a spouse visa permits the spouse or partner of a UK citizen or a person with settled status in the UK to live and work in the country.

To obtain a spouse visa for the UK there are specific requirements that need to be met. These requirements typically include demonstrating a genuine and subsisting relationship with your spouse or partner meeting specific financial criteria and proving English language proficiency. The application process can be complex and time-consuming as it involves submitting various documents and fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

At TMC Solicitors, we specialize in immigration law and provide services related to spouse visa applications for the UK. We can assist you in navigating the legal requirements preparing your application and ensuring that all necessary documentation is in order. We can also offer guidance on meeting the financial requirements and provide support throughout the entire application process including liaising with relevant authorities on your behalf.

Who is eligible for a spouse visa in the UK?

To be eligible for a spouse visa in the UK, you must meet certain requirements set by the UK Home Office. The eligibility criteria include:

Relationship: You must be married to or in a civil partnership with a person who is a British citizen, holds settled status in the UK, or has refugee status or humanitarian protection.

Genuine and subsisting relationship: You must demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. This typically involves providing evidence of your marriage or civil partnership, joint financial responsibilities, cohabitation, and social activities.

Financial requirement: You need to meet the financial threshold to prove that you can adequately support yourselves without relying on public funds. The specific financial requirement depends on your circumstances, such as whether you have children and whether your sponsor (a British citizen or settled person) is receiving certain benefits.

Accommodation: You must have suitable accommodation available for you and your partner without relying on public funds.

English language requirement: You need to demonstrate your English language proficiency by passing an approved English language test or meeting one of the exempt categories.

Immigration history: You must not have any serious criminal convictions or immigration violations that could affect your application.

It's important to note that the requirements can be complex, and there may be additional criteria depending on your specific circumstances. It is advisable to consult with an immigration solicitor or seek professional advice from an experienced immigration advisor to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria for a spouse visa in the UK.

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What is the reason for spouse visa refusal?

There can be various reasons for the refusal of a spouse visa application in the UK. It's important to note that the specific reasons can vary depending on the individual circumstances and the merits of each case. However, here are some common reasons for spouse visa refusals:

Insufficient evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship:  If UK Visas and Immigration finds that the evidence provided does not convincingly demonstrate a genuine and subsisting relationship between the applicant and their spouse or partner, they may refuse the application. Lack of supporting documents, inconsistent or contradictory information, or suspicion of a sham marriage can contribute to this refusal reason.

Failure to meet the financial requirement: The spouse visa application requires meeting specific financial criteria to ensure that the applicant and their partner can adequately support themselves without relying on public funds. If the financial requirement is not met, such as not meeting the minimum income threshold or failing to provide the required financial documents, the application may be refused.

Inadequate accommodation: If the applicant cannot demonstrate that suitable accommodation is available for them and their partner without relying on public funds, the application may be refused. This could include not providing sufficient evidence of the accommodation or its suitability.

Lack of English language proficiency: Applicants need to meet the English language requirement by passing an approved English language test or meeting one of the exempt categories. If the applicant fails to provide evidence of meeting the language requirement, their application may be refused.

Immigration history or criminal convictions: Previous immigration violations or serious criminal convictions can be grounds for refusal. This could include overstaying a previous visa, providing false information, or having a criminal record.

Failure to provide required documents or information: If the applicant fails to provide all the necessary documents or information as outlined in the application requirements, the application may be refused.

It's important to thoroughly review the application requirements and provide strong and genuine supporting evidence to minimize the chances of refusal. Seeking the assistance of an immigration solicitor or advisor can be beneficial in ensuring that the application is prepared correctly and addresses any potential issues that may lead to refusal.

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How much does a UK spouse visa cost?

The cost for a UK spouse visa application is subject to change and may vary depending on several factors. Here are the main fees involved:

Application fee: The current fee for the spouse visa application from outside the UK (known as the "Entry Clearance" application) is £1,523.

Immigration Health Surcharge: As part of the application process, you are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. The surcharge allows you to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. As of September 2021, the surcharge is £624 per year for each applicant. The amount may vary depending on the duration of the visa granted.

It's important to note that these fees are subject to change, and it's advisable to check the UK Visas and Immigration website or consult with an immigration solicitor to confirm the most up-to-date fees at the time of your application. Additionally, there may be additional costs for services such as document translations, English language tests, or other related expenses.

The professional fees can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the level of assistance required. It's recommended to discuss the fees and services with TMC Solicitors immigration law firm directly to understand the costs involved.

How can apply for a spouse visa in the UK?

To apply for a spouse visa in the UK, you can follow these general steps:

Understand the requirements: Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria and specific requirements for the spouse visa. Ensure that you meet all the necessary conditions, such as relationship, financial, accommodation, and English language requirements.

Gather supporting documents: Collect the required supporting documents, which typically include proof of marriage or civil partnership, evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship, financial documents, accommodation details, and language proficiency evidence.

Complete the online application form: Create an account on the UK Visas and Immigration website and complete the online application form. Provide accurate and complete information, and upload the supporting documents.

Biometric appointment: Schedule an appointment at a Visa Application Centre to submit your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph). You may also need to submit your original documents during this appointment.

Pay the application fees: Pay the relevant application fees, which vary depending on the type of visa and your location. The fees can be paid online during the application process.

Submit the application: After completing the online application and attending the biometric appointment, submit your application online. You will receive a confirmation and a submission receipt.

Receive a decision: You will receive a decision on your application, either by email or by post. If approved, you will be issued a visa vignette in your passport, allowing you to travel to the UK. You will need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) after arriving in the UK.

At TMC Solicitors we can provide assistance and support throughout the spouse visa application process in the UK.

Why choose TMC Solicitors?

Expertise and guidance: TMC Solicitors specialize in immigration law and have expertise in spouse visa applications. We can provide accurate and up-to-date advice on eligibility criteria, supporting documents, and the overall application process.

Document preparation: We can assist you in gathering and organizing the necessary supporting documents, ensuring that they meet the required standards and provide the best evidence of your circumstances.

Expert representation: If necessary, we can represent you in case of appeals or challenges to any adverse decisions made on your spouse’s visa application.