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Married Spouses, unmarried partner's and Fiance(e)'s of British Citizen's or Persons with Indefinite Leave to Remain are able to enter or remain in the UK permanently by way of settlement visa applications.
Applicant's who are from a non-majority English Speaking country (Outside EU) need to demonstrate English language proficiency to Level A1 CEFR (Level A2 for Extension Applications).
Sponsor's (the British Citizen or Settled Partner) must show a yearly income of no less than £18,600, which can be met via employment, self-employment, savings, pension or other income.
Successful applicants will be granted Leave to Enter or Remain in the United Kingdom for a period of 30 months. Fiance(e) Applicant's will be granted 6 months and must extend their stay in the UK following their marriage for 30 months.
Applicants must extend their stay for a further 30 months prior to the end of their visa, following which they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Stay) once they have completed 60 months (less 28 days).
The Immigration Rules contain various routes to enter or remain in the UK with a British Citizen partner, or partner who has indefinite leave to remain, including as a Fiance(e), Spouse or Unmarried Partner
However, for each application, it is vital that the mandatory requirements are all met, such as the suitability requirements (whether the applicant has an adverse criminal history for example), relationship requirements, immigration status requirements, financial requirements and English Language requirement.
If you can satisfy the above requirements, you will be granted 30 months (2.5 years) Leave to Enter/Remain in the UK (except the Fiance(e) Route which is provided for a maximum of 6 months). You will need to extend your stay prior to the expiry of the 30 months for a further equal period, prior to applying for Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Spouse Visa Requirements:
The Immigration Rules state that, in order to satisfy the Spouse Visa/Marriage Visa rules you must meet the following criteria:
that you meet the suitability requirements;
that you and your partner are both over the age of 18 at the time of submitting the application;
that you are not in a forbidden relationship with your partner (i.e. too closely related);
that you have met your partner in person;
that you are in a genuine and subsisting marriage;
that you were free to marry (i.e. any previous marriages have been legally ended);
that you intend to live together with your partner permanently;
that your UK partner is able to meet the relevant financial criteria (£18,600 per annum) by way of employed income, self-employment or savings. Please note that the financial criteria to be met increases if there are any children to be included as part of the application, rising to £22,400 for one child and £2400 per additional child. Additionally, you may be exempt from the financial criteria if you receive certain benefits such as Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Carers Allowance etc;
Proof of English Language at level A1 of the CEFR for Languages (A2 from May 2017 onwards).
The requirements for unmarried partners are identical to the above except that instead of showing that you are married to your partner, you must instead demonstrate that you have been cohabiting as a couple for a period of no less than 2 years.
Finally, the requirements for Fiance applications are also identical to the above except that the length of stay provided is a maximum of 6 months. These applications are provided so that individuals can enter into the UK for the purposes of entering into marriage with their British Partners. Once you have entered into marriage, you should make a further application for Leave to Remain (Spouse Visa) from within the UK.
Note: Applications could be made via the Premium Service (one day-decision) or Priority Service (usually within 2 weeks) depending upon your location. Speak to me today so that I can assess your case for you.
What can and can't I do during my stay in the UK?
You can use your ‘settlement’ visa to:
work (you cannot work if you are on the fiance(e) visa, however)
get public funds for yourself and any dependents
commit any criminal convictions
spend the majority of your time outside of the UK
What happens after 30 months? Can I extend my stay?
You will be able to extend your stay from within the UK prior to the completion of 30 months. Applications are usually made 28 days prior to reaching 30 months. Your stay will usually be extended for another period of 30 months, following which you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as ILR). If you would like more information relating to ILR, please see the following page 'Settlement (ILR)'