Main applicant can obtain permanent residence and British citizenship after 5 years
Children under 18 of can obtain British citizenship after three years residing in the UK
Compared with the latest Hong Kong BN(O) Visa issued by the United Kingdom, the main applicant who is granted a spouse visa will be eligible to become a Permanent Resident and British citizen after 5 years, which is 1 year earlier than the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa route.
Additionally, child dependant under 18 will be eligible to apply British citizenship after 3 years with their parents.
To apply for spouse visa, applicant has to be 18 years old or over and as the partner of a British Citizen or UK Permanent Resident. Children under 18 years old may also apply together with the main applicant.
The applicant and the sponsor have to prove the genuinity of their relationship and their intention of living in the UK on a permanent basis. The applicant has to provide evidence, including marriage certificate, family photos, travel history and children’s birth certificates.
If the applicant lives separately from the partner abroad, evidence including history of phone calls and messages would be needed to prove that they keep in touch consistently.
If the applicant or the sponsor has any divorce record, it is necessary to provide the divorce certificate and relevant information, including the name, nationality and date of birth of former spouse, and also their date of marriage and divorce.
For unmarried partners, they have to prove that they have been cohabitating for at least two years and provide related residential proof.
Under the current immigration rules, the sponsor of the applicant is required to demonstrate sufficient annual income or cash savings to support the applicant in the UK. The required amount is as follows:
Applicants may meet the financial requirement in the following 5 ways according to individual circumstances:
If the sponsor has been employed by a UK company for at least 6 months prior to the application date, only the annual salary of that company needs to be provided, together with relevant payslips, bank statements and contracts of employment.
If the sponsor has been employed in the UK for less than 6 months, the annual income of the sponsor over the past 12 months must be provided, together with relevant payslips, bank statements and contracts of employment.
If the sponsor has been employed outside of the UK prior to the application, it is necessary to provide proof of the annual income of the overseas employment. The sponsor must also obtain an offer of employment from a UK company and schedule to commence within 3 months.
Non-employment income of the applicant and the sponsor earned in 12 months prior to the application date would be accepted to fulfil the financial requirements.
This income maybe originated from the UK or overseas, such as rent income. The applicant has to submit related tenancy agreements and bank statements as evidence.
Cash saving is another option to fulfil the financial requirements. The deposit must be under the name(s) of the applicant, the spouse, or both parties. The minimum balance has to reach the requirement on a daily basis for no less than six months prior to the application date.
If the source of funds is related to selling of property, investment or MPF withdrawal, the period for reaching the minimum balance may be shortened depending on individual circumstances.
Pension income from either in the UK or overseas from a period of 12 months prior to the application date can be used to meet the financial requirement.
If the sponsor is self-employed or is a company owner in the UK prior to the application, it would be necessary to prove that the income of the sponsor over the past 1 or 2 years meets the relevant requirements.
If the applicant holds an undergraduate degree or above, for example Masters/PHD, from a UK University (note that Diploma or Associate Degree are not recognized), submission of a Degree Certificate would meet the requirement.
If the applicant holds a degree issued by a university outside the UK, they have to provide relevant transcripts and letters from the issuing University to prove that the medium of instruction was in English, and then apply to the UK NARIC to verify that the degree is equivalent to a British undergraduate degree or above .
If applicant does not meet the above academic qualifications, they must pass the IELTS Life Skills A1 exam and the certificate would be valid for 2 years.
Applicants and their spouse have to make accommodation arrangements prior to their application submission. They may purchase or lease their own property, or stay at relatives’ or friends’ place with proof of address provided as an evidence of such arrangement.
The applicant needs to prove that the property has sufficient space and bedrooms for the applicant, spouse and their children to reside in.
The applicant will be first approved a period of 2 years and 9 months visa and the extension would be a further 2 years and 6 months for the applicant to meet the minimum 5-year requirement for obtaining the British Citizenship.
In this five-year period, the applicant and spouse need to regard the UK as their ordinary residence.
One of the most common reasons for a refusal is fail of meeting the financial requirement. Applicants must ensure that they have sufficient income or cash savings and submit proper documents.
We can assist with your Spouse visa application and our service include: