Spouse and Civil Partner
Individuals wishing to enter the UK on the basis of their relationship to a British national or a person present and settled in the UK do not have an automatic right of entry. Instead it is necessary to apply for a visa to enter the UK in the correct capacity.
The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom with a view to settlement as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom or who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement are that:
(i) (a)(i) the applicant is married to or the civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom or who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement; and
(a)(ii) can demonstrate a minimum competence in the English language;
(ii) the parties to the marriage or civil partnership have met; and
(iii) each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership is subsisting; and
(iv) there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively; and
(v) the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds (see our Maintenance section); and
(vi) the applicant holds a valid United Kingdom entry clearance for entry in this capacity
For the purposes of this paragraph and paragraphs 282-289 a member of HM Forces serving overseas, or a permanent member of HM Diplomatic Service or a comparable UK-based staff member of the British Council on a tour of duty abroad, or a staff member of the Department for International Development who is a British Citizen or is settled in the United Kingdom, is to be regarded as present and settled in the United Kingdom.
For any spouse/civil partnerapplication lodged on or after 9 July, the qualifying period before an applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) is being increased from 2 years to 5 years. As such, under the new system, an applicant spouse will initially be given a 30 month visa which is extendable in the 30th month for a further period of 30 months. This marks a major departure from the previous practice of granting indefinite leave to remain after 2 years.
A spouse or civil partner can take employment.
If the applicant continues to meet the requirements of the rules after 60 months and has passed both an English language test at level B1, plus the Life in the UK Test it will be possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain, (ILR or settlement as it is often referred to).
If the applicant is not presently in the UK, he or she will need to apply for a visa to enter the UK in the correct capacity. The application should be lodged at the nearest British overseas post authorised to deal with such matters.
For those already in the UK, with the exception of visitors and others who hold a visa for less than 6 months duration, it is possible to apply direct to UKBA via either the postal system or premium same day service.
Please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss your immigration requirements.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this brief guide is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief. However, it is written as a general guide only and it is strongly recommended that specific advice is sought before action is taken.