Spouse, Same Sex Spouse or Civil Partner
spouse visa, same sex spouse visa or civil partner visa is a formal permit that
enables married or civil partners to enter and reside in the United Kingdom on
the basis of their relationship with a person in the UK with settled status.
The term ‘settled’ applies to an individual who is free to reside in the UK
indefinitely, with no immigration restrictions or limitations on their right to
exit and re-enter the UK.
New Rights for Same Sex Couples
introduction of new legislation in 2014 extended the rights and recognitions
associated with traditional marriage to civil partnerships and marriages
between same sex individuals. Those who choose to marry or enter into a civil
partnership as a same sex couple are therefore recognised in the same way as
those who enter into traditional marriage.
current rules stipulate that civil partnerships can only be entered into as a
same sex couple. The Civil Partnership Act of 2004 overhauled the previous
rules governing the formalising of same sex partnerships in the UK, resulting
in the legal recognition of same sex unions with similar rights to those of
marriage. Individuals married to or
planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership with a same sex individual
with settled status in the UK can apply for a visa accordingly.
granted a spouse visa, same sex spouse visa or civil partner visa are permitted
to enter and legally reside in the United Kingdom for 33 months for their first
application. After which, an additional application may be submitted to extend
the duration of their stay for a further 30 months. This amounts to a total of
63 months – just over five years – during which time the individual is entitled
to apply for indefinite leave to remain – aka settled status.
most cases, residing legally and continuously in the United Kingdom for a
minimum of five years qualifies the respective individual for indefinite leave
note however that immigration legislation and the legal system in general in
the United Kingdom do not recognise polygamous marriages. Where a settled
individual in the United Kingdom has more than one same sex partner overseas,
only one partner can be brought into the UK on a spouse visa, same sex spouse
visa or civil partner visa.
more information or to discuss the specifics of your case in more detail,
contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today.
Clearance as a Proposed Civil Partner
with a standard fiancé visa, it’s also possible to legally enter and reside
temporarily in the United Kingdom on the basis of an intended marriage or civil
partnership with a settled UK resident. The new immigration rules on proposed
civil partnerships were introduced in July 2012.
the point of entry, the foreign national must ensure their civil partnership is
formally registered. If the application is successful, a further application
must be submitted to qualify for long-term residency or settled status as the
civil partner of the settled individual.
for Entry Clearance for Spouse Visa or Civil Partnership Applications
applications for spouse visa, same sex spouse visa or civil partner visa are
granted upon meeting several key requirements, which include:
applicant poses no threat to the public
have no criminal convictions within the past 12 months
are not subject to any current deportation order
request, the applicant has provided the required information and documentation
to a satisfactory extent, attended formal interviews, undergone medical
examinations where necessary and generally comply with applicable immigration
applicant is able to provide evidence of suitable accommodation
that the applicant and/or their partner in the UK can support them financially
for the duration of their stay
for the Settled Partner in the UK
are also various criteria that must be fulfilled by the settled individual in
the UK, in order for the foreign national’s visa to be granted. Examples of
- The settled partner must
be at least 18 years of age
- They must have formal
settled status or citizenship
- Evidence may be required
to verify the provision of suitable accommodation for the applicant and the
funds required to finance their stay
of age is typically acceptable in the form of a valid passport. For more
information on the criteria that must be filled to obtain a spouse visa, same
sex spouse visa or civil partner visa, contact the individual immigration team
at Aristone Solicitors today.
Evidence of a Genuine Relationship
couples take offence at the UK government’s immigration screening process,
which scrutinises the authenticity of couples’ relationships. Unfortunately, the prevalence of forced
marriages and sham marriages deem such scrutiny necessary.
a result, UK immigration law clearly states that in order to qualify for a
spouse visa, same sex spouse visa or civil partner visa, the couple must be
able to provide evidence that they have met each other in person prior to the
application. Acceptable forms of evidence include photographs, formal
documentation like overseas marriage certificates of bookings/travel tickets
that feature the names of both parties.
also important to be ready to answer additional questions at the behest of the
Entry Clearance Officer. Along with the provision of physical evidence of the
relationship, you and your partner may be asked individually about how you met,
the places you have visited together and other details from your past.
applications are being submitted on the basis of ‘virtual’ evidence, due to the
way in which more couples than ever before are meeting online. Unfortunately, virtual relationships and
online meet-ups are not recognised or considered by the Home Office. Hence, an
application for a spouse visa, same sex spouse visa or civil partner visa will
not be considered if there hasn’t been a physical meeting between the two
parties – irrespective of the extent of their online or remote relationship.
Evidence of Intention to Permanently Cohabit
the settled individual in the UK and their overseas partner must provide
evidence that they intend to permanently live together upon when the required
visa is obtained. In most instances, the couple’s genuine desire (or otherwise)
to cohabit is assessed in accordance with the apparent overall genuineness of
couple may be required to provide (individually or conjointly) a formal letter
declaring their intention to cohabit on a permanent basis. Evidence of suitable
and available accommodation may also be required. Entry Clearance Officers
typically ask a variety of questions to test the knowledge of the applicant
regarding the property and location in which they intend to reside in the UK.
Provision of Formal Marriage or Civil Partnership Documentation
applying for a visa on the basis of an existing same sex marriage or civil
partnership, formal documentation will be required. The vast majority of
marriage certificates issued overseas are either recognised or fairly
considered by the UK, though polygamous partnerships and marriage are not
recognised by the Home Office.
formal marriage certificate is typically sufficient as evidence of a formal
partnership to support a visa application. However, there are instances where
marriage certificates issued by certain authorities and territories worldwide
may not be deemed acceptable by the Home Office.
learn more about the documentation required to support your visa application,
contact the individual immigration team at Aristone Solicitors today.
applicant is required to provide evidence of sufficient financial resources to
support themselves for the duration of their stay, without needing to claim
benefits. Specific stipulations outlined in current immigration legislation
include the following:
- The sponsor (i.e. the
settled individual in the UK) must be earning a minimum of £18,600 per year and
be able to provide evidence of six consecutive months’ income accordingly.
- Ideally, the sponsor will
also have been with the same employer for at least six consecutive months at
the time of the application.
- The minimum annual salary
requirement increases a further £3,800 for the first Non-EEA child entering the
country with their partner and a further £2,400 for each additional child.
- Sponsors able to provide
evidence of personal savings amounting to at least £62,500 may be exempt from
the requirement to provide proof of income.
- In most cases, financial
requirements can be met by combining both savings and earnings respectively.
Sources of Funds
are imposed on the sources of funds the British Government considers acceptable
for fulfilling the requirements outlined above. The most common forms of
acceptable funds according to current legislation include the following:
and provable income from an employer
or state pension payments
savings amassed legally
legal and traceable sources of income
parties will need to provide formal evidence of their income and all savings –
typically presented in the form of the following documents:
- Recent bank statements
- Formal letters from employers
- Employment contracts
- Tax returns
- Accountancy documents
- Pay slips
from Financial Requirements
are instances where it may not be necessary to meet the current minimum salary threshold
of £18,600 per year. Different rules apply if the partner of the applicant
living in the UK receives any of the following:
Disability living allowance
Severe disablement allowance
Industrial injury disablement benefit
Suitable and Available Accommodation
individual applying for the visa must be able to provide evidence of suitable
and available accommodation upon arrival. As detailed previously, this goes
hand-in-hand with the requirement for evidence of the intention to permanently
may be scrutinised by way of the size, nature, availability and affordability
of the property the couple intends to occupy. Formal documents such as tenancy
agreements, mortgage statements and title deeds can be presented to support an
some instances, it can be helpful to obtain a letter from a local council
office, confirming the suitability of the property for its intended purpose.
seeking entry to the United Kingdom from non-English speaking country are
required to pass an English language test formally recognised by the Home
Office. If the applicant has obtained a degree-level qualification or higher
from a UK institution taught in English, this typically negates the need to pass
a formal English test.
Luton’s Leading Individual Immigration Specialists
Solicitors is proud to offer the region’s most capable and committed legal
support for individual immigration applicants. Whatever your current situation
and objectives, we’ll ensure your case is handled professionally, efficiently
and at an affordable price.
Whether ready to go
ahead or simply considering an immigration application, we’d be delighted to
hear from you. Contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today to
book your obligation-free initial consultation.