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Spouse visa applications made easy! (Part 1)

Monthly Newsletter- October 2017

What is a spouse visa?

Are you and your spouse currently living hundreds of miles apart? Are you missing them and want to join them in the UK so you can live together permanently? Are you fed up of having to suffer the hassle and heartache of a long-distance relationship? If so, then you have come to the right place! Here at DIY UK Immigration Services, we have everything you need to help you make a successful application to join your spouse in the UK.

Entering the UK on a spouse visa will allow you to enter the UK for two and a half years, during which time you must reside with your spouse. If you wish, you can also undertake employment or study. After the initial two and a half years, you can apply for a further two and a half years, providing your circumstances remain the same After completing five years in the UK as a spouse, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of your relationship with your spouse.

To be eligible for a spouse visa, there are certain criteria that you and your spouse need to meet. Firstly, you must be a non-EU national residing outside the UK. You must be married to your spouse and you must have met in person. Your spouse must either be a British national residing in the UK or intending to reside in the UK or a non-EU national with indefinite leave to remain or permanent residency residing in the UK. You and your spouse must be able to demonstrate that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship and that your spouse meets the financial requirements and has adequate means to accommodate you and any dependents in the UK. You will also need to demonstrate that you meet the English language requirements.

The covering letter and what you need to know

Making a spouse visa application without a Solicitor can be a daunting process, due to the volume of evidence required and complicated immigration rules you need to meet. This is where we can help. DIY UK Immigration Services has all the tools available to help you perfect your spouse visa application. Firstly, we can provide you with a comprehensive document checklist, which provides you with a list of all the documents you will need to submit with the application. This document checklist has been prepared by one of our experienced immigration Solicitors, who has over 17 years’ experience of preparing spouse visa applications. You can purchase this here for only £9.99. One of the main reasons individuals are refused their spouse visas is because they fail to provide all the necessary documents, so we believe having a comprehensive document checklist is an important part of the process.

I would always advise you to include a covering letter with your application. Your cover letter should outline the immigration rules and how you meet them and also what documents you are providing with the application etc. Our experienced immigration Solicitor has prepared a detailed template covering letter that can be purchased here for a fee of £99.99. This template covering letter contains 18 pages and highlights the important immigration rules for you and makes them clear and easy to understand; all you will need to do is amend the facts of the case to your personal circumstances. It really couldn’t be easier! If you were to instruct a Solicitor to prepare the full application and covering letter for you, you would usually be charged at least three times this fee, so using our template will save you a lot of money in legal fees. Our experienced immigration Solicitor has also prepared a Self-Checking Assessment Tool that can be purchased here for £29.99. This helpful tool will go through the template covering letter so you understand what goes in each section and where to put important details about your immigration history and relationship with your spouse.

Our detailed template covering letter can help you fully explain how you meet the immigration rules and why you are eligible for a spouse visa. You should start the covering letter by providing your personal details and those of your spouse. You should then introduce the application (this has been done for you on the template, you just need to amend the details to fit your circumstances), before going into the background of your relationship.In the background section, you should write about when you and your spouse met and where, when your relationship began, when you married and how you continue your relationship from separate countries. You should then list the identity documents you are relying on, such as your passport and a copy of your spouse’s British passport or Biometric Residence Permit. Next, write about how you meet the suitability requirements for entry into the UK. This has been done for you on our template covering letter and will just need amending slightly to fit your personal circumstances.

The beautiful and happy family walks in the winter outdoors

That’s the easy bits out of the way; it’s now time to look at the specific rules. One of the most difficult parts about making an immigration application is making sure you cover all aspects of the immigration rules, so you can be confident there should be no nasty refusal decisions. The immigration rules for a spouse visa are split into three sections: relationship requirements, financial requirements and English language requirements.

  • Relationship requirements. In this section, you will need to write about your relationship with your spouse, giving details of when you and your spouse met, when your relationship began, when you married and so on. You should include evidence of your relationship – you should refer to our document checklist for examples of things to include.
  • Financial requirements. In this section, you will need to write about how your spouse meets the financial requirements. This is generally the aspect of a spouse visa application that most applicants will struggle with and one of the main reasons that we see for spouse visas being refused. Your spouse needs to receive an income at least £18,600 per annum in order to meet the financial requirements. This can come from just one source of income, such as employment, self-employment, pension or rental income. Alternatively, this can come from a combination of sources. If your spouse does not earn enough, they can also rely on cash savings. Any cash savings relied on will need to have been held by your spouse for at least 6 months. If relying on cash savings alone, they will need to have at least £62,500. However, they can combine cash savings with income from employment, pension or rental income. It must be noted that cash savings cannot be combined with income from self-employment. Refer to our template covering letter and document checklist for the documents you will need to provide in order to demonstrate your spouse’s ability to meet the financial requirements. If you are unsure as to whether your spouse meets the financial requirements, I would advise you to book a telephone consultation with one of our experienced immigration Solicitors who will be able to discuss this with you in more detail and advise you.
  • English language requirement. In this section, you will need to write about how you meet the English language requirement. You can meet the English language requirement for a spouse visa in a number of ways: firstly, you do not need to show your English language ability if you are from one the exempt countries, that can be found here. If you are not from one of the exempt countries, you will need to either provide a certificate confirming you have passed a relevant English language test at level A1 or have a degree from a University in the UK or a degree from a University outside of the UK, with confirmation from the University that the degree was taught in English. If you are over the age of 65, you do not need to meet the English language requirements.

So, that’s the immigration rules over with and the covering letter is almost complete. You now need to write about your relationship with your spouse under Article 8 ECHR. This has been done for you on our template covering letter and you just need to slightly amend the details to fit your individual circumstances. You then just need to conclude the application. Again, our template has done all this for you and you just need to amend it slightly.

I hope this blog was of use to you and will help you to perfect your own spouse visa covering letter with our help. However, the covering letter is only one aspect of the application. Head over to part 2 of our ‘Spouse visa made easy (part 2)’ blog for how to complete the rest of the application.