If you have a partner, spouse or fiancé(e) who is living in the UK, or about to move to the UK, you may qualify to settle (live) in the UK as their dependant.
There are various scenarios:
…you are planning to marry or to have a Civil Partnership ceremony in the UK and wish to stay on in the UK to live
…you are already married to your spouse, or are a Civil Partner of a British Citizen (or someone who has permission to live permanently in the UK)
…you are a long-term unmarried partner of a British Citizen (or someone who has permission to live permanently in the UK).
There is a minimum income requirement of £18,600 to sponsor a partner (fiancé(e), spouse, unmarried partner) for settlement in the UK. The British Citizen/permanent resident is called the ‘sponsor’. The partner applying is called the ‘applicant’.
Income can come from:
Certain combinations of the above are allowed, feel free to contact us if you wish to know whether a particular combination can be used.
With most of the above, the evidence of this income must cover the 6 or 12 months prior to the application. In some cases this will mean that the sponsor needs to be present and earning in the UK for 6 months prior to their partner applying. The requirements are slightly different for each income form, however, so if you want to know what your options are please contact us with your circumstances and we’ll clarify those for you!
Sponsors in receipt of one of the following benefits will exempt their partner from the income requirement, as long as they can demonstrate they have sufficient income to maintain both people:
Additional income for children
Where children are applying, the following amounts are required as income:
There are other requirements to be met in order to qualify for a settlement visa as a partner. These include:
The initial visa will be granted for 2.5 years (or 2 years 9 months where applying from outside the UK).
After the first 2.5 years (from the date of landing in the UK) you must then apply for an extension which will be granted for another 2.5 years. After 5 years of residency with your British/resident spouse in the UK, you can apply for permanent residency (‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’). Note: this Indefinite Leave to Remain is only indefinite while you are living in the UK! If you live outside the UK for more than 2 years once you have obtained this, you will lose it.
There is also a requirement to pass a test on ‘Life in the UK’, and a higher level of English test (B1 in speaking and listening) before Indefinite Leave to Remain is granted. You’ll find info on the English requirement and Knowledge of Life test in our blog.
This is the visa type on which Nikki de Prey spends the majority of her time! As some of the longest, most elaborate and expensive of UK visa applications, Nikki will guide you as to which type of settlement visa to apply for, prepare it with you, or direct you to prepare your own. In either case she will walk you through it step by step.
de Prey Consulting is an immigration consultancy based in Edinburgh, UK. Nikki advises clients on the variety of visa applications for entering or remaining in the UK. For more information read about her background in About dPC.