COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE: Our services remain fully operational with video conferencing and remote working allowing us to offer an uninterrupted and high-quality service.
✔ Call on 0203 744 2797, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our website chat tool from Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm. Qualified and knowledgeable lawyers will answer your queries.
Applying for a Family Visa as a partner of a person already settled in the UK involves navigating a large number of immigration rules and eligibility requirements. In addition to meeting the complex financial obligations, one of the common questions we are asked relates to what is meant by 'adequate accommodation', and whether a studio flat meets the requirements. Thankfully, immigration Solicitors consider that proving the adequacy of accommodation is easier than proving the adequacy of income. A considerable amount of guidance is provided by the Home Office, including the detailed rules which are used by case officers to determine the merits of your case. In particular, Appendix FM: family member outlines what is meant by adequate accommodation, as we will cover below.
Spouses applying for settlement under the 5-year route are required to meet a specific requirement for 'adequate accommodation'. E-LTRP.3.4 of Appendix FM states that "The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively, unless paragraph EX.1. applies: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if (a) it is, or will be, overcrowded; or (b) it contravenes public health regulations". Taken on its own, this information does not provide sufficient clarity, and will, understandably can leave many confused as to whether their own accommodation is of sufficient standard.
To improve the level of guidance available for applicants, in 2015, the Home Office published Appendix FM (Section 1.7A), 'Adequate Maintainance & Accomodation'. This document alone is 27 pages, highlighting the complexity of immigration rules, even for a single requirement such as accommodation. This guidance states that the accommodation:
According to the adequate accommodation guidance, there are three steps to determining if accommodation is overcrowded:
As such, whether accommodation is sufficient from the standpoint of having enough rooms depends on the mix of people and room types available.
Based on the guidance above, a studio flat may meet the adequate accommodation requirement, however, this depends on the number of people in the flat, their relationships, and ages.
Taking these factors into account, a studio flat is fine for a couple and a child under the age of one. The Housing Act 1985 also states that for two people, the accommodation must have a floor area of 110 sq. ft. or more. If the property is rented, it is also advisable to gain permission from the landlord permitting two people to live in the studio flat.
It should also be noted that overcrowding may be permitted in very limited circumstances, including if there is a child who has just turned one, if the accommodation is of a temporary nature, or where the local authority has given specific permission for licensed overcrowding. It will be at the discretion of the Home Office case officer assigned to your case to determine whether these are acceptable and in accordance with the immigration rules. If these or similar circumstances apply in your case, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an immigration Solicitor who can advise you on the best course of action and/or ensure that a full explanation is provided to the Home Office.
Beyond the non-overcrowding requirements, you will need to ensure that the Home Office will not refuse your application on the grounds of any breach of public health regulations. While this is extremely unlikely, there are many flats and houses across the UK which do not meet the minimum requirement for habitation. Indeed, as of April 20202, any privately rented homes cannot be rented if the property has received an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of F or G, unless it subject to a statutory exemption.
When submitting your application for a spouse/partner visa under the family migration route, it is essential that you provide as much evidence that you fully satisfy the accommodation requirements. You will need to include a detailed description of the accommodation, including the number of rooms available. Also, make sure you provide your tenancy agreement and any specific permission gained from your landlord. There should leave no doubt in the mind of the case officer that there are sufficient rooms for sleeping given the number of people, their relationships, ages, and genders. Nor should there be any question that the accommodation is for the exclusive occupation of your family. By ensuring that you provide all of the evidence required, you will ensure you have the best chance of being granted your spouse/partner Visa under the family migration route.
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS