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, and 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. New applicants must usually prove they meet a minimum of the A1 CEFR standard in speaking and listening. There are only very limited number of approved language tests and test providers. You may need to “upgrade” your language qualification each time you apply to extend your leave.
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. The initial application is made online, with documents being provided in person or uploaded electronically. You might be eligible to pay extra for a “priority” application, to get a decision sooner. I can advise you on the best options for your circumstances.
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.