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If you are a non EEA national and married to a British national or someone with indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence), you will require a UK spouse visa to live and work in the UK. A UK spouse visa entitles you to live in the UK with your partner and take employment or establish yourself in business for so long as your relationship is subsisting. The UK spouse visa is a two part process that will require you to make an extension application after you have been in the UK for an initial period of 30 months. After spending 5 years (60 months) in the UK with a UK spouse visa, you will become eligible for indefinite leave to remain and then British citizenship.

Entry Clearance

Requirements for the settled person in the UK If you wish to join your husband, wife or civil partner who is settled in the UK, you must first ensure that: They are at least 18 years of age They currently reside and have ‘settled status’ in the UK; OR They are coming to live permanently in the UK with you An applicant should qualify to apply for a spouse/civil partner visa if they are able to demonstrate the following: The couple are both at least 18 years of age. The couple have met before the application The couple is legally married to the spouse or in a civil partnership recognised in the UK The spouse or civil partner is present and settled in the UK They intend to live together permanently They are able to financially support themselves and any dependants without assistance from UK public funds and meet the minimum income requirements They have adequate accommodation for themselves and any dependants which is legally owned or rented by the couple without assistance from UK public funds, and which will be occupied exclusively by the couple and any dependants (it can be a room in a shared house as long as it is exclusively occupied by the couple) The applicant has passed an approved English language test to the A1 CEFR standard.

Switching

However those already in the UK on a valid visa of more than six months validity (this will normally exclude short-term category visas such as visitor or short- term students) may qualify to apply to extend or vary their leave in the UK on the basis of a legal marriage or civil partnership with a settled person in the UK. If you already hold a UK fiancé visa, work visa, or student visa valid for more than six months, you may be eligible to switch to a spouse visa UK. A person who is in the UK with leave to remain which was originally granted for period of more than six months and who is married to: a British Citizen, or a person with ILR, or a person with refugee status, or as a person with humanitarian protection.

Extension

For the applicant to succeed in the spouse visa renewal under the 5 years route, the applicant must: meet the suitability criteria as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules; show that he/she has been living with the UK spouse during the last grant of leave as spouse and the relationship of the applicant is genuine and subsisting; meet the financial requirement of earning £18,600 gross per year (or above if there are non-British children), individually or jointly; meet the requirement of adequate accommodation to be accommodated in the UK without any recourse to public funds; prove that the applicant meets the English language proficiency at CEFR level A2 in listening and speaking only. How Long is a Spouse Visa Issued For? It depends on whether or not it was issued inside or outside the UK. If it was issued whilst you were in the UK, (either residing or visiting), it will last for 30 months. If the visa was issued whilst you were overseas, the term of the visa is 33 months. After 33 months, you can apply for an extension, to take your total time in the UK to five years. Once you have completed five years on a spouse visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain You’ll need to take a CEFR A2 test when you apply to remain after 2 years 6 months if you took the CEFR level A1 test when you first applied. If you were exempt from the requirement to do the CEFR level A1 test when you first applied, you’ll need to pass the test (CEFR A1) when you apply after 2 years 6 months.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

If your application is successful under this category, you will be granted permission to live and work in the UK for a period of 33 months (for entry clearance applications) or 30 months (for leave to remain applications). This is known as the ‘probationary period’ and under the current immigration rules, towards the end of this period, providing you are still married or in a civil partnership and you plan to live with your spouse/civil partner permanently in the UK, you may apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain). In order to be eligible for indefinite leave to remain the applicant will need to show sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, unless he/she is aged 65 or over at the time he/she makes his application.

English language requirements

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply. You can prove your knowledge of English by passing a test at an approved test centre. You need to get at least CEFR level A1. Check the current list of approved tests and test centres. This list changed on 6 April 2015 - tests on previous lists won’t be accepted. Alternatively, you can give evidence that you have an academic qualification that both: was taught or researched in English is recognised by UK NARIC as equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree or PhD National of a majority English speaking country You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of these countries: Antigua and Barbuda Australia the Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Dominica Grenada Guyana Jamaica New Zealand St Kitts and Nevis St Lucia St Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago US Exemptions You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if: you’re age 65 or over you’re unable to because of a long-term physical or mental condition you can show there are exceptional circumstances which prevent you from meeting the requirement Please note: from 01 May 2017 those who apply for Spouse visa extension after 2.5 years must show an English language speaking and listening qualification to at least level A2 CEFR.

Financial Requirement

There is a minimum earnings requirement of £18,600 in order to sponsor spouses, fiancées, partners and civil partners for settlement in the UK. If a child is also sponsored the minimum earnings requirement will be £22,400 and £2,400 for each further child.

UK Spouse visa - 10 years route

You can make an application for leave to remain as spouse under the 10 years route if you do not meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules for spouse visa under the 5 years route. Generally, the applicants who cannot meet the immigration status requirement, English language requirement or financial requirement make application for spouse visa under the 10 years route.

Exemption From Meeting The Financial Requirement

The applicant will be exempt from meeting the financial requirement of earning £18,600 gross per year if the UK sponsor receives any of the following: Disability Living Allowance. Severe Disablement Allowance. Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit. Attendance Allowance. Carer’s Allowance. Personal Independence Payment. Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme. Where the exemption from the financial requirement of earning £18,600 applies, the applicant must prove that the household income of the UK sponsor will not be less than what an equivalent British family of that size will receive from Income Support.

Need a legal advice?

UK immigration law is extremely complex and constantly changes. The UKVI has strict criteria relating to different types of visa. Therefore, it is essential you get the right legal advice from an expert UK immigration lawyer to make sure your application is successful, first time. We will guide you through every step of the process, putting you in the best place possible to get a good result.

Why choose Blackstone Law Associates?

Competitive Fixed Pricing

We offer a fixed price service, this means the price you are quoted does not change; We work on fixed fees basis unlike other firms who charge you for each and every call and letter.

Dedicated Lawyer with Direct Access

You will have direct access to our qualified lawyers, with in-depth knowledge of UK Immigration law. Upon instructing us you will be allocated an experienced lawyer who will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case.

Expert Advice

Immigration laws in the UK change frequently. Our team of lawyers are trained and are kept up to date on all the latest developments. We have a combined wealth of knowledge and experience. Our expert immigration lawyers can provide advice and the best possible option available for you.

Highest Success Rate

We are proud to claim that through our wealth of knowledge and experience we are able achieve the results that are needed. Our expert Lawyers put their full efforts in your case as we strongly believe in getting for you what you want.

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