The process for applying for the UK fiancé or Spouse visa is a very complicated one. Both applicant and sponsor will have to provide a significant amount of documentation to prove to immigration officials that your marriage is not fraudulent.
However, the requirements for the applicant are significantly higher. We would recommend starting to plan out what you intend to provide at least six months ahead of your application.
1.One Passport Photo
Perhaps the easiest item on the list, your application will need you to provide one passport sized photograph. This should clearly show your face, and conform to UK passport photo regulations. The exact requirements state that these photograph should be:
- 45mm high x 35mm wide
- In colour on plain white photographic paper
- In focus, without tears or creases
- Unmarked & unedited
- Taken within the last month
For exact guidelines on the photograph, you can find more information on the UK Government website here. This page even provides examples of what is accepted and what is not. Despite all of the small details, passport photo regulations are relatively similar between countries, and you are able to have these taken either by a photographer, or automated booth for a very reasonable price.
2. Application Form
The most important aspect of the application is most definitely the application form. This is a document provided on the UK Government website (which you can find here), and is split into two parts: VAF4A and Appendix 2 of VAF4A. It is important to remember that both of these forms are for use outside of the UK, so you will not be able to submit your application while in the country. Fortunately, both of these forms are relatively straight forward; VAF4A will ask for basic personal details such as:
- Passport Details
- Contact Information
- Family History
- Past Travel/ Applied History
- English Language Requirement
- Sponsor Contact Information
Appendix 2 of VAF4A is a little more detailed, and this is where you will provide the basic information that will be evidenced in both yours and your partners supporting documents. It is important to be completely truthful when filling out this form to avoid any complications and delays with the process. There may also be some parts that you are unable to fill out straight away, but it is worth filling out as much as possible and coming back to the other parts at a later date. The form will ask you for:
- Your Relationship to Your Sponsor
- Accommodation Details
- Financial Situation & Requirements
- Financial Exemption
All UK visa applications are now made online via the visas4uk website. Once you have registered and created an account, you will be able to start your application. To apply for the fiancé visa, select: Settlement (Type) -> Marriage (Subtype). To apply for the spouse visa, select: Settlement (Type) -> Husband/Wife. From here, you will be guided through the forms listed above. At the end you must print them out and take them with you to your appointment at a visa application centre. If you are applying from North Korea, you cannot use the visas4uk website, as all applications must be made in person.
It is important that you provide two copies of your passport. The first of these must be your original passport (which means you will be unable to travel outside of the country while your application is being processed). The second must be a certified copy of the passport. To certify a copy, take both the photocopy and original document to an authorised person who must then write ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the copy, sign, date and print their name on the document. They must also provide their occupation, address and telephone number on the document.
People from the following professions (so long as they are not living at the same address as you, in a relationship with you, or related to you) are able to certify a document:
- Bank/ Building Society Official
- Police Officer
- Teacher/ Lecturer
4. Financial Evidence
Although it is not as important as your sponsor’s financial evidence, it is worth providing your previous six month’s worth of bank statements to prove that you are also in a stable financial situation. It is important to remember that this will not count towards the £18,600 threshold that must be met for your application to be successful. This must be met by your sponsor alone. However, providing evidence of significant savings can be beneficial for your application, as it shows commitment to the relationship and marriage. Therefore, while not directly beneficial, it can reflect favourably on your application.
6. Evidence of Ongoing Relationship
This is really a joint responsibility for couples to provide, but we have included it within the applicant’s documents, as it significantly affects the applicant more than the sponsor. This is probably the most vague aspect of the application, and the one that couples often worry about the most. And, unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about what counts as evidence of a substantive and ongoing relationship. So, it can be tempting to include as much information as possible, but we would recommend steering clear of this approach.
Instead, be selective of what you include, and focus on the items that you believe are most convincing in regards to your relationship. Below, we have listed some of the best forms of evidence that you can provide. Remember, not to use this as a checklist, but as a guide to help you decide on the evidence you have available to you, and that you believe is worth including.
- Flight Tickets/ Itineraries of Applicant & Sponsor Travel
- Hotel Bookings/ Other Transport Bookings
- Photographs of You & Your Partner Together
- Selective Excerpts of Skype Logs
- Selection of Emails To & From Your Partner
- Letter of Introduction from Family
It may seem a lot, but that concludes our list of documents that any UK fiancé visa applicant is responsible for providing as a part of the process. These should be provided in conjunction with your partner’s (sponsor’s) documents, as a single application. When you put the two parts together, it can seem like an overwhelming amount of paperwork. That is why we recommend starting to collect these documents early, and getting as much information on the process as possible before you apply. But, hopefully, with some of the tips we have given you in these guides you should be in a great position to get started with your application!
If you have any questions on the fiancé or spouse visa process contact us
Immigration Lawyers | Immigration & Visa Specialists | Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm | email@example.com | 020 7237 3388