If you want to apply for a visa or residence permit so that you can live in the UK with your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, then you need to understand three things:
- the rules that apply to your application
- the documents that you must provide
- the application process
For most applicants the most important requirements are:
- meeting the definition of a “partner”: this includes spouses, civil partners, fiancés/proposed civil partners, unmarried partners who have lived together for at least 2 years.
- the financial requirement. With only a very few exceptions, sponsors must have an annual income of at least £18,600 (or equivalent savings)
- the English language requirement. There are only very limited number of approved language tests and test providers.
You must provide “specified documents” to prove some parts of your application (for example, if you meet the financial requirement through your income from employment, then you need bank statements, wage slips, and a letter from your employer). You might run into difficulty if documents are missing or in the wrong format.
The process you need to follow to apply depends on where you are. Applicants in the UK can usually choose between submitting an application by post, or making a “premium” same-day application at one of UK Visas & Immigration’s regional offices. I can advise you on the best options for your circumstances.
If you are applying for a visa from overseas then your application must in most cases be submitted and paid for online. You will need to submit supporting documents and biometric data in person at a Visa Application Centre, usually run by a “commercial partner”.
I can support you throughout the application process, including helping you to prepare your application form and supporting documents, providing a covering letter to summarise your case, and acting as a point of contact with the immigration authorities if any problems arise.