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What can I do after obtaining my initial UK Spouse visa?
When initially applying for a UK Spouse visa, applicants usually have the option and intention to extend it and eventually settle in the UK. The Spouse visa is for non-EEA applicants who wish to join their partner in the UK, who must be either settled in the UK or a British citizen. Please read our brief yet comprehensive summary about the requirements needed to extend or settle a Spouse visa:
Applying for a UK Spouse visa extension
If you already have a Spouse visa and you’re looking to extend it, it is ideal to start thinking about gathering documents for your application even if the expiration of the initial visa is not yet due. This is because the extension requirements are largely the same as the requirements for the initial visa; gathering documents for the extension visa will be easier for you if you have just done so for the initial visa.
Similarities to the initial visa
You and your partner will still need to prove you have a genuine and subsisting relationship. To do this, you have to provide extensive evidence to prove you have been continuously residing in the UK over the period of the initial visa.
You can submit the same type of evidence used for your initial application but the documentation must be up to date and cover the initial visa period of 2.5 years. This is known as the cohabitation requirement. The type of documentary evidence needed depends on the individual couple and their domestic situation.
The financial requirement remains the same; the sponsor spouse must earn a minimum of £18,600 before tax to prove they can afford to sponsor their spouse on the visa. This amount increases if there are children under 18 involved.
However, it may be difficult to extend your Spouse visa if there has been a change in circumstances, such as the sponsor spouse losing their job or earning less than the required amount. In either of these or other complex scenarios it is advised to seek specialist immigration advice to discuss your options.
How can we help with your UK Spouse visa extension and settlement?
You can contact us for a 15-minute telephone consultation if you would like to discuss your immigration matter. We have extensive experience in individual immigration cases and we can guide you throughout the entire application process to ensure a successful application. Alternatively, below are some links you may find useful:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Absences from the UK during the period of the initial visa are not specified in the application but in order to avoid the Home Office believing you do not intend to permanently reside together in the UK, it is advised not to spend more than 180 days outside the UK each year for both you and your partner.
This is also the criteria for settlement (ILR) applications so it is best to abide by the criteria during both the initial and extension visa periods to avoid potential complications.
If the relationship has ended it is important that you let the Home Office know since your visa is dependent on your relationship.
Although the law states that if your relationship has ended you are not eligible to stay in the UK, they may issue a Spouse Visa curtailment which can allow you to change your visa to another route. It is necessary that
you contact a qualified immigration lawyer as soon as you can to help with this process.
If you fit the requirements for ILR you can then apply. The main factors which affect your application for ILR are:
The length of your time in the UK.
Completion of the ‘Life in the UK’ test.
English Language requirement.
Evidence of good character.
You can find more information on how NA Law Solicitors can assist you here.