Marriage Visas are the method by which British nationals can bring their spouse to the UK for settlement. Here are the Top 10 questions that our lawyers are asked about this important immigration category
1.Can only British Nationals apply?
No, under the rules non British nationals who hold ILR (indefinite leave to remain can also apply and are treated the same as British Nationals. EEA nationals carry different rights.
2.Do we have to get married?
No, you can rely on an unmarried partnership so long as the relationship is based upon 2 years of living togther (co-habitation). This can be hard to prove but it is an alternative to getting married.
3.What if we do not want to get married yet and we dont have 2 years cohabitation?
Then there is always the fiancee visa, this allows you to get six months before you get married to live in the UK, bear in mind you cannot work on this visa until you get married to then move onto a marriage visa.
4. Are the rules the same for gay couples?
Yes, aside from the fact that the name of the visa is different – (civil partner visa) the rules are the same.
5. Do I have to be married with a UK marriage certificate?
No, a UK marriage certficate is useful as it is clear evidence of marriage, but if you have been married abroad, this is fine. Please bear in mind though that if you are married abroad, you must have had a marriage that confirms to the laws in that country.
6. How much savings do I need to have?
It is important to note that the primary test is one of joint couple’s income rather than the joint couple’s savings. Savings do help and if there is in excess of 8,000 GBP, no evidence of earnigns needs to be shown. But most clients apply with very little savings and instead rely on earnings?
7. What about if my spouse couldn’t get a job as they are not yet in the country?
A job offer can be used , so long as it is from a credible employer and is genuine – this can be used to show ability and intention to work.
8. What if I am self employed?
This is fine, the evidence usually takes more care to get together, as it tends to be harder to prove personal income but it is something that we do all the time.
9. Do we need to have somewhere to live?
Yes, you must have a place that you identify as where you both will live as a couple. But you do not have to live there at the time of the application, so long as the evidence is credible and carefully put together, you can rely upon a property that you are going to move into so long as you have made arrangements to do so.
10. When should I start preparing the application?
As soon as possible, it can often take a long time to get everything ready – it is best to get an immigration lawyer in early so your work is reduced.
Westkin are proud of their work in this area, please contact us if you would like further advice.
5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
0207 118 4546