Navigating the UK Marriage Visa Process:

Expert Guidance from Our Law Firm
Welcome to LEX SAVANNAH DENVAR, your trusted partner in all matters related to UK immigration law. If you’re considering bringing your loved one to the United Kingdom through a marriage visa, you’re in the right place. Our experienced legal team specializes in providing comprehensive guidance through the complex process of obtaining a marriage visa for the UK.

Understanding the UK Marriage Visa

To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you must demonstrate to UK Visas and Immigration that you fulfil the subsequent criteria:

Status of your spouce ( British citizen/ pre-setteled or refugee etc)

Both you and your partner are aged 18 or above

There is no prohibited degree of relationship between you and your partner.

You and your partner have met in person.

Your marriage is legally valid according to UK standards

Your relationship is genuine and subsisting.

You and your partner have intentions to permanently reside together in the UK.

Any prior marriages/ relationships have broken conclusively.

You meet the financial stipulations.

Adequate accommodation is available for you and any dependents.

You possess the necessary English language proficiency at a specified level.

Prohibited Degree of Relationship Requirement

To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you and your partner must not fall under a prohibited degree of relationship, as outlined in both the Marriage Act 1949 and the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986.

This means that you and your spouse must not be related in any of the following ways:

  • Adoptive child
  • Adoptive parent
  • Child
  • Former adoptive child
  • Former adoptive parent
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Parent
  • Parent’s sibling
  • Sibling
  • Sibling ‘s child

In this list ‘sibling’ means a brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister.

A marriage between a person and any person in the following list will not qualify for a spouse visa until both parties are aged 21 or over, and provided that the younger party has not at any time before attaining the age of 18 been a child of the family in relation to the other party:
  • Child of former civil partner
  • Child of former spouse
  • Former civil partner of grandparent
  • Former civil partner of parent
  • Former spouse of grandparent
  • Former spouse of parent
  • Grandchild of former civil partner
  • Grandchild of former spouse

Requirement for Marriage to Be Recognized in the UK

In order to qualify for a UK Spouse Visa, you and your partner will need to be legally married in a marriage that is recognised in the UK

Marriage in the UK

For a marriage to be considered valid in the UK, it must adhere to the principle of monogamy and comply with the regulations outlined in the amended Marriage Act 1949, the Marriage Act (Scotland) 1977, or the Marriage Order (Northern Ireland) 2003. This entails providing the necessary notice of intention to marry, conducting the marriage at an authorized venue, and ensuring the presence of an individual authorized to officiate marriages. Additionally, both partners must have reached the age of 18 (in England and Wales) or 16 (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) at the time of marriage for the marriage to be legally valid. Proof of a UK marriage is substantiated through a marriage certificate.

Marriage Conducted Abroad (outside in the UK)

An international marriage will be recognized in the UK if the marriage type is acknowledged in the country where it occurred, the marriage adhered to the legal requirements of that country, there are no legal barriers in the domicile countries of the individuals that prevent recognition, and any prior marriages of the couple have definitively ended. An overseas marriage should be supported by documentation that reasonably corresponds to a marriage certificate and is valid under the relevant country’s legal system.

Requirements the Home Office considers regarding the genuine status of relationship

The Home Office considers various factors when deciding whether a relationship is genuine and ongoing. These factors encompass:

The present and enduring nature of your relationship with your spouse.

Whether you and your spouse have shared a residence in the past or currently live together.

If you and your spouse have children together (whether biological, adopted, or step- children) and share responsibility for their upbringing.

Joint financial obligations and responsibilities.

Visits to each other's home country and interaction with respective families.

Concrete plans made about residing together in the UK.

In case of doubts about the authenticity of the relationship, the Home Office may carry out additional investigations, interviews with both partners, or even a home inspection.

Required Documents to Substantiate a Genuine and Continual Relationship

The Home Office anticipates substantial evidence showcasing consistent communication, displays of affection, companionship, emotional support, and a sustained interest in each other’s well-being.

In addition to a marriage certificate, proof of cohabitation is essential. Ideally, documents should be jointly addressed to both partners or individually addressed to each at the same location. These documents should be relatively recent and originate from diverse sources. While official documents are preferred, unofficial evidence of cohabitation can also be submitted if official documents are not feasible.

For couples who haven’t cohabited for an extended period, informal evidence of the relationship can also be considered.

As previously mentioned, the Home Office requires substantial evidence of a genuine and continuous relationship. If there are uncertainties regarding the authenticity and continuity of the relationship, further scrutiny, interviews, or home visits might be conducted. Should reasonable doubts arise about the authenticity or continuity of the relationship, the application for a Spouse Visa may be declined.

Our immigration lawyers frequently guide Spouse Visa applicants on the documentary proof expected by the Home Office. This proof should demonstrate that the relationship is authentic, built on real affection and mutual values, and ongoing at the time of the application. Our advice is tailored to each individual’s circumstances, and we don’t rely on standardized lists of documents.

Meeting the Financial Requirement for the UK Spouse Visa

Fulfilling the financial stipulation for the UK Spouse Visa can be achieved through various approaches, which encompass;

Earnings from salaried or non-salaried employment of your spouse (and potentially yourself if you possess work authorization in the UK).

Non-employment income, including revenue from property rentals or dividends derived from share ownership.

Accumulated cash savings held by your partner and/or you, exceeding £16,000, maintained for a minimum of 6 months and under your control.

State (UK or foreign), occupational, or private pension obtained by your spouse and/or yourself.

Self-employment income, along with earnings as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, applicable to your spouse (and potentially you if permitted to work in the UK).

In specific situations, a combination of the above income sources can be utilized to satisfy the financial requirement. It's worth noting that distinct considerations emerge if your spouse receives certain state benefits or entitlements.

Moreover, individuals applying for a Spouse Visa who rely on cash savings to meet the financial condition should be aware that the required savings differ between entry clearance and extension applications compared to applying for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse.

In exceptional cases where denial of the Spouse Visa application might breach ECHR Article 8, alternative reputable sources of income, financial backing, or available funds for the couple could be taken into consideration.

Our immigration legal experts specialize in comprehending the Spouse Visa financial prerequisite regulations and routinely aid applicants for the UK Spouse Visa in navigating the intricate evidentiary prerequisites.

Comprehensive Checklist for UK Spouse Visa Supporting Documents

One of the primary factors leading to the rejection of a Spouse Visa application is the insufficiency of substantiating documentation provided by the applicant.

The Immigration Rules outline stringent prerequisites regarding the documents essential for substantiating a UK Spouse Visa application. It’s essential to recognize that each case is unique, thus necessitating varying supporting documents for a Spouse Visa application tailored to the specific circumstances of the case.

Caution is advised when utilizing pre-prepared document checklists for Spouse Visa applications. Seeking guidance from an experienced immigration lawyer guarantees the suitability of listed documents in accordance with individual situations.

Furthermore, neglecting to provide a mandatory document, using an incorrect format, or omitting crucial information within the document could result in the denial of a Spouse Visa application. The appeals process can extend over several months with an uncertain outcome, potentially leading to additional expenses and prolonged delays if a new application is required.

Our adept immigration lawyers offer expert counsel to Spouse Visa applicants concerning the necessary documents for a triumphant Spouse Visa application. Additionally, we meticulously assess supporting documents to ensure adherence to the exacting guidelines of the Immigration Rules.