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Scenarios for Visitors Visa

Hi, I want my fiancée, who is from the Dominican Republic, to visit me in the UK. I note the requirements of a visitor visa mention ability to support oneself whilst in the UK. Given my fiancée has a limited income in terms of spending power here I would like your advice on how to complete the application. In particular she would be staying with me and I would be covering her expenses whilst here. Is this something which would be accepted in terms of being considered 'able to support yourself '. I understand there may be a requirement to get health insurance for her too. In summary I would like advice on how to correctly articulate this in a visa application. Thanks

Our Response

Your have enquired about the visit visa application for your fiancée to come to the UK, however, this may not be the most appropriate application for her if she is looking to settle in the UK in the long term. I've outlined the visit visa application process and have also given you the options of applying for a fiancée visa and/ or the spouse visa which you should consider as part of the long-term goal to settling in the UK.

Visitor Visa

This visa category is for those looking to come to the UK to visit for a period of 6 months or less at a time. The key component to this application is that the applicant, in this case your fiancée, has the intention to return to her country after the visit. She will not be able to make an application to remain further than this in the UK.

If you would like to pursue this, the key considerations the Home Office will then look at what attachments you have in your country of residence that would make you return. Examples of this are: if she owns land/ property there, what family members she has there, a job/ or course of study and any other reasons she will leave the UK after her visit and return to the Dominican Republic. The documents that she provides to evidence this will be crucial. However, recently there has been an increase in the number of fiancée/ spouses who have been refused a visit visa and this may be directly attributable to the fact that it is not normally expected for partners to continue a long-distance relationship and if a visit visa is made, the Home Office are likely to conclude that there is not an intention to return. Her low income is also likely to be used against her in such an application as it can be argued that this is even less of a reason that she will return, particularly if she is dependant on you to make the application.

In summary, a fiancée or spouse visa is advisable if she would like to remain in the UK on a longer term basis.

Fiancée visa / Spouse visa

At a glance, the fiancée visa is valid for 6 months if granted. The purpose is to enable your partner to enter the UK for the purpose of getting married within 6 months of their entry. Once married, she will have to apply for the spouse visa to extend her leave in the UK. The spouse visa will be valid for 2.5 years and can be extended for a further 2.5 years. Once she has resided in the UK for a 5-year continuous period, she will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Alternatively, if you got married outside of the UK first, she would then be able to apply for a spouse visa directly to enter the UK which will be valid for 2.5 years. This will save the need for applying for fiancée visa and follow up spouse visa thereby saving the need from making the fiancée application.

The requirements that must be met for this application are split into four main categories:

  1. English Language requirement - the applicant must have passed an English Language test to level A1 CEFR;
  2. Relationship requirement - the relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  3. Financial requirement - the Sponsor must be in employment and earn at least £18,600 per annum;
  4. Accommodation requirement - the Sponsor must have adequate accommodation in the UK for the Applicant and Sponsor ie lawful resident and not overcrowded.

The financial requirement is where most applicant's struggle to satisfy and is particularly important as there are specific documents that are requested by the Home Office that must be provided to evidence that the requirement has been met. If the correct documents are not submitted, or documents are not provided in the correct format, the application may be refused.

Additionally, each application will be considered against the Suitability requirement. This may give rise to a reason to refuse an application if a person has a criminal conviction or if a person has a poor immigration history.

If you choose to instruct us, we will work with you on each of the points above to ensure that we advise appropriately based on your circumstances and prepare a compliant application.

Application process

The process will involve two main stages. An online application form must be completed, and once this has been submitted, an appointment will be made to submit the application in person at the local visa application centre/ British diplomatic post.

Once submitted, the application will then be decided by UK Visas and Immigration. The processing times do vary. A visitor visa application would normally expect to take between 3-6 weeks to be processed. A fiancée/ spouse visa can take approximately 12 weeks to be decided and 3 weeks if the priority settlement service is purchased. More details can be provided upon request.

How we can help

If you need help with an immigration on spouse visa, fiancé visa or visitor's visa then please get in touch. Our specialist immigration solicitors are ready to help with any and all queries relating to immigration.

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