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Spouses – The Requirements of the Immigration. If you are married to a person settled in the U.K and wish to apply to join them in the U.K we can advise and assist with the application. We can also represent you on appeals to the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal here in the U.K.

Marriage applications may be made from abroad to the British Embassy or High Commission and in certain limited circumstances from within the U.K.

Applicants are required to produce evidence that the couple have met, that the couple intend to live together permanently, and that the applicant can be financially supported and accommodated without the need to rely on public funds. (Welfare benefits and public housing). If the couple have lived together as a married couple for four years outside the U.K and have evidence to prove this the applicant may be granted permanent settlement immediately on arrival in the U.K. Otherwise the applicant will be granted leave to remain for two years and shortly before the end of that period will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) on showing that the marriage is still subsisting and all requirements of the rules have been met.  Most applicants will at the time of applying for indefinite leave to remain also now have to show that they have passed a Life in the U.K Test to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the U.K. If an overseas national who is currently in the U.K but not settled in the U.K wishes to marry a settled person or British person in the U.K then the couple will need to apply for a Certificate of Approval from the Home Office which is only available if certain requirements are met. The Certificate of Approval scheme is currently subject to legal challenge and in the meantime it may be possible for certain applications to succeed which do not meet the usual requirements.

Unmarried Partners – The Requirements of the Immigration Rules
There is little difference between applying for leave to remain on the basis of being an “unmarried partner” and applying as a “spouse” other than the requirement that unmarried partners must prove that they have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years as? partners

If you are in a long term unmarried relationship with a partner with settled status in the U.K we can advise and assist with your application to join your partner in the U.K. You must show that you have been in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years that you intend to live together permanently, that any previous relationship has broken down and that the overseas national can be supported without the need to rely on public funds.

Applications may be made from abroad or from within the U.K in limited circumstances.

Refusals and Appeals
In our experience many spouse applications are refused either because there is some doubt over the ability of the applicant to be financially maintained or accommodated in the U.K or because the applicant has failed to satisfy the decision maker that the couple intend to live together permanently. Often refusals occur because the applicant has not adequately prepared their documentation or has performed poorly at an interview. However, many applications are refused because of poor or unreasonable decision making by an entry clearance officer. We have an excellent record of successfully appealing incorrect refusals of spouse visas. We recommend that applicants always seek competent legal advice early in the application process.

The Services we Offer to Spouses and Unmarried Partners

  1. One off consultation regarding the requirements of entry or leave to remain as a spouse or unmarried partner, the application process and evidence required.
  2. Full evaluation of your prospects of succeeding with your application. This includes a detailed analysis of your supporting evidence and a full written report covering all aspects of the rules and application process.
  3. Full service including submitting the application to the British Diplomatic Post Abroad or the Border and Immigration Agency in the U.K. This includes 2 above and additionally includes assisting with completion of the application form and submitting a detailed covering letter in support of the application.
  4. Representation on appeals against refusals of spouse or unmarried partner applications.
Please telephone or e-mail one of the Partners if you would like our advice or assistance with an application.

Working Holidaymakers
Citizens aged 17 to 30 from the Commonwealth countries may apply to come to the U.K for up to two years as working holidaymakers. If they are married their spouse must also meet the same requirements and they must not have dependant children who are aged 5 years or will reach five years during the term of the visa. The visa must be applied for from abroad. They must be able to work and support themselves during the working holiday but there is no restriction on the type of employed work that they can do.  The work must be incidental to the holiday and the applicant can work no more than twelve months during their stay. We advise and assist working holidaymakers with their applications or appeals or regarding switching their status into another category such as the work permit scheme or the highly skilled migrant programme. 

Refusals and Appeals
We are often instructed by applicants who have been refused entry clearance as working holidaymakers and the most common reason relates to doubts over their intention to leave the U.K at the end of their working holiday. Sometimes the applicant has not been adequately prepared for an interview or has not provided sufficient documentation to evidence their intentions. 

Services that we offer to Working Holidaymakers include the following

  1. One off consultation regarding the requirements of the working holidaymaker scheme, the application process and evidence required or regarding any other matter related to status as a working holidaymaker.
  2. Full evaluation of your prospects of succeeding with your application or appeal. This includes a detailed analysis of your supporting evidence and a full written report covering all aspects of the rules and application process.
  3. Full service including submitting the application to the British Diplomatic Post Abroad or the Border and Immigration Agency in the U.K. This includes 2 above and additionally includes assisting with completion of the application form and submitting a detailed covering letter in support of the application.
  4. Representation on appeals against refusals of working holidaymaker visas.
If you would like further information please telephone or e-mail one of the partners.

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The Right to Marry in the UK and Closure of the Certificate of Approval Scheme on 9th May 2011.
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Changes to Student visas effective from 21 April 2011.
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Changes relating to Re-entry bans - reduced from 5 years to 2 years where individuals voluntarily return – April 2011.
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Post-Study Work (PSW) to close from April 2012.
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Changes affecting settlement applications - New criminality and income requirements – from 6th April 2011.
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Accreditation Requirements - Important news for Colleges and Universities under Tier 4.
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Faster routes for settlement for Investors and Entrepreneurs under Tier 1 – March 2011.
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Closure of Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) – 10 March 2011.
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Tier 2 - skilled workers: Changes to Tier 2 (General) – limit on visas, changes to Shortage occupations list and Graduate level requirements started. – March 2011.
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