How To Easily Bring Your Spouse To The UK?

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There are many people in the UK (this post could also be applicable to any other country) who wish to bring their spouse or their children to their country of residence or where they are working as OFW or migrant workers.

Someone emailed me: “Dear Sir, nag-apply po ako sa asawa para madala ko sa UK pero na deny po kami. Laki po ng hirap ko at malaki din po nagastos sa pag-aaply. Ano po ang gagawin ko?

In the UK, there are at least (2) two categories of application to which this post will tackle. One is if the migrant who is also known as the Sponsor (aka Petitioner sa USA) is settled or British already. And the other one is if the migrant is under a temporary or limited leave to remain. For example here are those under Domestic Workers, Students or Work Permit Holders na hindi pa settled.

For this issue I will be dealing where the Sponsor is Settled or British. These are the major requirements that must be met and satisfied:

 

  1. Relationship Requirements– it must be seen as genuine and durable. You must show evidence of cohabitation that you are living together akin to marriage. It is not enough just to show that you show marriage certificate or photographs. If you have joint account, joint financial responsibilities like buying a real estate property or condominiums or vehicles, birth certificate of your children, if applicable.

Both of you and your partner must invest time in writing a personal statements on the details of your relationship: when did you meet? how did you meet? how did the relationship developed? how did you manage to nourish your relationship despite of a long distance and long term separation to each other? what are your future plans? what makes your partner special to you and why do you believe that this relationship is genuine?

The Immigration Rules under relationship requirements, require the following:

  • The applicant must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.
  • The partner must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.
  • The applicant and their partner must not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.
  • The applicant and their partner must have met in person.
  • The relationship between the applicant and their partner must be genuine and subsisting.
  • If the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership it must be a valid marriage or civil partnership, as specified.
  • If the applicant is a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner they must be seeking entry to the UK to enable their marriage or civil partnership
    to take place.
  • Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently
  • The applicant and partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK.
  1. Financial Requirements– you as the sponsor must be earning at least £18,600 per year to confirm that you can maintain, support and accommodate yourself adequately without recourse to public funds or asking benefits from the government. There is an additional funds if you are getting additional person like children. The average gross earnings to meet that income threshold is about £360 weekly. There was a proposal to increase the minimum income threshold to £25,700.

The Immigration Rules says that there are 3 ways to meet the minimum financial requirements:

 

Only income from sources that are specified in Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules can be considered when assessing whether an application satisfies the minimum income requirement.  The Home Office’s Immigration Directorate Instructions summarise the five acceptable income sources:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work).
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control.
  • State (UK or foreign) or private pension of the applicants partner and/or the applicant.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work).
  1. English Language Requirements – On 6th April, 2015, the IELTS Life Skillslanguage test was introduced. IELTS Life Skills is a test of speaking and listening, available at CEFR Level A1 and CEFR Level B1. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests (GOV.UK guidance)

The precise wording of Appendix FM states requirements that applicants:

  • are a national of a majority English speaking country listed in Appendix FM paragraph GEN.1.6(under the ‘General’ heading), or
  • have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level
    A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider
    approved by the Secretary of State.  [See IELTS Life Skills test above], or
  • have an academic qualification recognised by NARIC UK to be equivalent to the standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, which was taught in English, or
  • are exempt from the English language requirement under Appendix FM E-ECP.4.2.

The applicant is exempt from the English language requirement under E-ECP.4.2 if at the date of application:

(a) the applicant is aged 65 or over;

(b) the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or

(c) there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement prior to entry to the UK.

If the applicant is not from one of the listed majority English language countries (Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; or the United States of America), does not have a qualifying degree, or is not exempt as above, they must have an approved test and required evidence, as listed in Appendix O.

Appendix O appears to contain the same list as provided in Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests (GOV.UK guidance)

Final Advise

You need to be structured in your application. The Home Office or the British Embassy knows if an application has been carefully planned and done properly. Yes there may be some investment to immigration lawyers, solicitors or advisers or qualified consultants but their wit and intelligence is priceless. Look for a good immigration lawyer as the Immigration is changing rapidly. I will repeat, this kind of application is not just a matter of filling up of the forms. The merits of every application is on its substance or evidence.

  • Written by: Mr Don Magsino MBA is a qualified Immigration Lawyer in the United Kingdom

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