Valentine’s special: Successful family visa application as a spouse or partner
Spouse visa applications for Entry Clearance, Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Remain have been my all-time favourite. I love playing a key role in two people’s love story, making sure that Immigration rules and country borders cannot stand between families.
On this Valentine’s day, I would like to share with you a success story on how our Immigration team assisted loving couples in achieving their goal of being reunited in the UK. Thanks to our tireless effort and belief that love should not be limited by any man-made borders, the happy couples are now finally reunited and able to build their lives in the UK.
Spouse or partner visa applications may seem straightforward, at the first glance. However, given the strict guidelines and often somewhat hostile attitude towards Immigration in general, one small error could lead to a refusal. This in turn means not only waste of money and time, but also considerable stress and anxiety for the families separated by the borders. It is therefore important that you seek specialist Immigration advice, prior to embarking on this journey.
At RVS Solicitors, we offer various services to our clients, depending on the level of assistance and representation they need. If you are considering applying for a spouse or partner visa, contact our Immigration team, to have your circumstances assessed and understand your options better.
What are the requirements for a UK spouse or partner visa?
The legal requirements may slightly vary depending on whether you are applying for your Entry Clearance application, extension of Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Remain, as well as your relationship status.
Overall, to successfully apply for a UK Spouse Visa, you need to:
- Be over 18 years;
- Be in a civil partnership or marriage which is recognised by the UK;
- Prove you can meet the financial requirements;
- Meet the English language requirements;
- Have suitable accommodation;
- If you are in a relationship but are not married or civil partners, you can apply to come to the UK as the partner of a UK citizen or settled person if you have been living together in a durable relationship for two years;
- Provide TB certificate if you are resident of a country from which such certificate is required.
You can read more about spouse visas on our dedicated service page here.
How to successfully apply for a spouse or partner visa?
Preparation is key in a successful family visa, whether it’s a spouse, civil partner or unmarried visa. It is very important to have a strong knowledge of the relevant Immigration rules, inside knowledge about the Home Office decision making process, as well as expertise in bringing the story together through strong representations.
Below, I have summarised two cases, in which we have successfully acted for our clients, allowing them to relocate to the UK and join their loved ones.
If you are in a similar situation to the ones detailed below, make sure to give us a call so we can discuss your case with you.
Case 1. Successful Entry Clearance as an unmarried partner of a British Citizen following an appeal
Our Immigration Solicitors were contacted by our client who was residing in a third country with his unmarried British partner. Due to specificity of the host country and their legal system, our client had encountered some legal issues and as a result was deported. The couple had to look for an alternative home to permanently settle together and as our client’s partner was British, they had decided to relocate to the UK.
Our client sought legal advice from our expert Immigration team, as he was concerned that legal issues he had faced, together with the deportation, could make it impossible to get a spouse visa in the UK. Furthermore, the couple was also unable to show the required period of cohabitation, given that local laws of their temporary residence country did not allow for unmarried partners to live together. As such, they didn’t have the evidence that is normally expected when two people cohabit.
Given the complexity of the matter, his initial consultation was with Dr Lusine Navasardyan. After getting full details of the matter, Dr Navasardyan advised the client that even though the combination of legal issues he had faced together with the lack of cohabitation evidence, made the case a much complex one, if prepared properly, the couple still had a high chance of success.
Our team guided our client through the process, explaining to him how the application can be strengthened and what alternative evidence could be provided for the cohabitation. Knowing our client’s matter wasn’t an easy one, we made sure all available documents and information were provided. Our client met all requirements, he had savings to satisfy the financial requirement, passed the English Language test requirement and provided all of the mandatory documents needed. Once we were happy with the evidence, we submitted our client’s application and the anxious wait begun.
Unfortunately, the application was incorrectly refused. While our arguments to disregard our client’s conviction and deportation were accepted, the Home Office had made a concerning error when reviewing the case, missing evidence that was submitted with the application. The Home Office had raised a number of issues in their refusal letter, which mostly resulted from their lack of care when reviewing the application. The main issue, as anticipated was that our client did not have the usually expected official correspondence in their joint names, which could easily demonstrate their cohabitation and they were no longer living together at the point of application.
Having done our best to prepare a strong application, our team was confident that the evidence we provided had clearly demonstrated our client and his partner’s cohabitation for the required 2 years and evidence of why they cannot live together. We therefore initially contacted the Home Office, informing them that they had made an error by refusing our client’s application and we kindly gave them the chance to correct this.
When no progress was made, we appealed the decision and started preparing for the appeal. A day before our listed hearing at the immigration Tribunal, we received communications from the Home Office accepting their error and requesting that we withdraw the appeal to allow them time to correct their decision by granting our client with Entry Clearance. Due to late notice and the fact that our client had already incurred costs, we refused this offer, and the hearing went ahead. The Immigration Judge found sufficient evidence demonstrating that our client had met all of the legal requirements that were submitted with the initial application. Unfortunately, the Home Office’s incorrect decision and negligence after the refusal, wasted a lot of our client’s time and money. We have therefore claimed wasted costs, and this has now been granted.
Currently, our client and his British partner are happily reunited and settling into their new lives in the UK.
Case 2: Successful application for Leave to Enter as the spouse of a British National
On this matter, the client initially approached us for her UK visitor visa. She had three visitor visa refusals before contacting us. We had represented her on her fresh visit visa claim and successfully obtained the UK visit visa for her. Our client’s visitor visa applications were mainly refused because of the thought that, as she had a British spouse, she could potentially settle in the UK. We demonstrated that at the time of the application, this wasn’t the case, and our client successfully entered the UK.
However, a while visiting, our client and her spouse decided to relocate to the UK and contacted us for further advice. At the time of their enquiry, due to the pandemic, they had the option to either apply from within the UK or return to her Country of residence and apply for Entry Clearance the usual way. As our client had to make arrangements back home, she opted to apply from her country of origin.
In the meantime, we started working with our client to get her application ready. Our client met all requirements for the application; she met the partner requirement, passed the English Language test requirement, the sponsor also met the financial requirement and was able to provide all the mandatory documents needed. We were also able to demonstrate how our client’s views about residing in the UK changed since the visitor’s visa application. Our Immigration Solicitors reviewed all points and documents, to make sure that our client’s application was ready for submission. Following the application, our client successfully received her visa to enter the UK as a partner and is now living a happy life with her spouse. As shown above, UK spouse visas can be tricky and become complex. It is always wise to ensure that the application you are making is well prepared. The importance of having a strong application in the first place, cannot be overstated. As illustrated here, even if the application is refused due to an error on the part of the Home Office, if your application is correctly prepared and you follow the right steps, you have a chance to not only overturn that wrong decision, but also recover your costs.
Happy Valentine’s day and may love always prevail!