Many British citizens and those residing in the UK with permanent resident (Indefinite Leave to Remain) status, frequently have foreign spouses/partners whom they wish to bring to the UK to live together. For this to happen, the foreign spouse/partner would first need to apply for a spouse/partner visa and meet stringent Home Office criteria, supported with piles of specified evidence. Focus on ‘Specified’ in evidence is for a reason, as the Home Office states in their rules which specific documents applicant must provide in order to succeed in their application. If you decide to replace the ‘Specified’ documents with ones of your choice, it is not going to work with the Home Office and your application will most likely be refused.
Preparing a visa application can be a dauting task for applicants who have no legal experience and especially no legal experience of UK immigration. Those who nevertheless decide to do their own application without professional legal assistance, can find information about requirements for the family visa applications on the Home Office gov.uk website. When reading the Home Office rules and guidance you have to pay attention to detail and make sure that you understand all the requirements and provide the Specified evidence required in the rules.
Family visa types
The main family visa category is the Spouse/civil partner visa. This visa is for those who want to bring their wife/husband/partner to the UK to live here together as a family on permanent basis. Successful application for a spouse visa requires good knowledge of the relevant immigration rules and meticulous attention to detail in preparation.
The immigration requirements and supporting documents required by the Home Office are complex. We talk in more detail about the spouse/partner visa on a separate page.
In case of an unmarried partners and same sex unmarried partners, the requirements are in some aspects different to the married couples or those in registered civil partnerships, especially when it comes to proving a genuine and subsisting relationship which requires evidence of 2 years cohabitation. We talk in more detail about that on separate page.
In case when someone wants to bring their fiancé to the UK there rules also different in terms of some aspects of the visa. We talk about them on a dedicated page. Those who choose to apply for a fiancé visa should note that this visa does not give the right to work in the UK. Only once the spouse visa is obtained, the foreign spouse can start work in the UK.
There are several types of family visas, each with their distinctive requirements and procedures. Family visa applications are one of the most complex in the UK immigration system. It is therefore prudent to seek help from an immigration expert to maximise your chances of successful spouse or partner visa application.