If you have received a refusal decision for your spouse visa you will likely be able to pursue a spouse visa appeal. This is a process that allows you to challenge the UK Border Agency’s decision to refuse your application.
You will have 28 days from the date you receive the decision to submit your appeal. The spouse visa appeal must be submitted to the Tribunal in the UK on the appropriate form along with supporting documents and representations.
The Tribunal will forward the appeal papers to the post where the original refusal decision was made and an Entry Clearance Manager will review the decision. The Entry Clearance Manager will have the opportunity to over-turn the refusal decision and grant the visa.
If the Entry Clearance Manager opts to maintain the refusal decision then the matter will be referred back to the Tribunal in the UK and the matter will be listed for an immigration hearing. This will be an opportunity to make submissions in support of your spouse visa appeal. You will be required to submit bundles to the Tribunal and Home Office before the hearing and these bundles of evidence will be relied on at the hearing.
At the conclusion of the hearing the Immigration Judge will make a determination on the day or alternatively up to 2 weeks after the hearing.
This spouse visa appeal process is your one opportunity to challenge the refusal decision and thus it is critical that you obtain legal advice to ensure you put together the best case possible.
In terms of the spouse visa application we have provided a brief overview of the process and requirements below:
In order to come to the UK to join your British spouse you will need to apply for entry clearance. Your application will need to be submitted in the country where you are currently residing.
There are two parts to the application, there is an online submission and thereafter you must submit a paper copy in person at a visa application centre.
The general requirements that you have to meet for entry clearance as spouse are:
• you and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;
• your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;
• you and your partner have met in person;
• your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting;
• your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
• you meet the suitability requirements;
• any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);
• you and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
• you meet the financial requirement; and
• you meet the English language requirement
A common stumbling block is the financial requirement and therefore we will provide a brief explanation to clarify this requirement.
In order to qualify you must be able to demonstrate that you are earning a minimum of £18,600. You must have been earning this amount for at least 6 months, you must have pay-slips that show you are earning this amount and you must have bank statements to show that you have actually been paid.
Provided that you have the above you will meet the financial requirement.
What if I do not meet the £18,600 requirement?
If you do not meet the requirement then you will need to have a certain amount of savings to make up the difference.
First you will need to workout out the shortfall. So £18,600 minus your actual annual salary will give you the shortfall. Now you need to multiply the shortfall by 2.5. The figure of 2.5 is the multiplier because that is the length of the initial visa when granted. Finally, you must add this figure to £16,000. The resulting total is the amount you must have in savings. In order for your savings to be considered in the first place you must have £16,000 in savings to begin with.
• I earn £15,000 per annum
• Shortfall is £18,600 minus £15,000 = £3,600
• £3,600 multiplied by 2.5 = £9,000
• £16,000 plus £9,000 = £25,000
• I have to show that I have £25,000 in savings
Please also note, the savings must be available to you as cash and you must have held them for at least 6 months.
The threshold of £18,600 is for a two people. If you have children as dependents then threshold is different.
The application itself needs to be submitted online and then a paper copy needs to be submitted in person to the visa application centre along with supporting documents.