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Settlement Visa

 What is Settlement Visa ?

Wife/ Husband/ Civil Partner

Spouses, Civil Partners and Dependants of people with the right to live in the UK (such as holders of a British passport, Certificate of Entitlement* or UK Residency - known as Sponsors) who want to settle in the UK, must apply for Settlement entry clearance before they travel. The holder must enter the UK at the same time, or after, the Sponsor.

As of July 2012, there were significant changes to the qualification and issuing periods of this visa type. The majority of the burden of proof is reliant on the sponsor and a specific FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT that has been implemented by the UK Border Agency. There are a few ways this Financial Requirement can be met by the sponsor, and in short, will be reliant on previous or future employment, or having held a substantial amount of cash savings in the months prior to application.

The other significant change within this category has been the initial issuing period. Previously it was 2 years at which point the applicant could apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain in the UK. For applications made after the 9th July 2012, applicants will be granted 2.5 years on the visa, at which point they can extend for a further 2.5 years (given they satisfy the Financial Requirement in the lead up to the extension application). The UK Border Agency have brought this in line with most other visa types where the applicant needs to be living in the UK and economically active for the 5 years before being able to apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain.

In addition to the above, the UK Border Agency have set down more stringent checks on “subsisting relationships” and their genuineness. Even though you may be Married or in a Civil Partnership, you will still have to provide specific documentation to show you have been in a genuine and subsisting relationship, your visa specialist will be able to take you through the types of documents that would be acceptable.

Spouses, Civil partners and dependants of people holding a valid visa for the UK (for instance if they hold a UK Ancestry visa, Work Permit, or Student visa) who wish to accompany or join the Sponsor in the UK, must apply for the appropriate entry clearance from their home country before they travel.


As the Married/Civil Partner dependant you must show: 

•   You are legally married to each other or are in a civil partnership recognised in the       UK (or on British soil abroad)
•   Your husband, wife or civil partner is present and settled in the UK (or has the right

     to settle in the UK, eg, holding a UK passport)
•   You both intend to live together permanently
•   You have met each other before
•   You can support yourselves without help from public funds
•   You have suitable accommodation available to you
•   Your husband, wife or civil partner is not under 21, and you are not under 21 at the 

     date of arrival in the UK.
De facto / Unmarried Partner of a person Settled/ or intends to Settle in the UK (UK passport holders, Certificate Of Entitlement, UK Residency)

Unmarried Partners of people with right to reside in the UK (British Passport, Certificate of Entitlement or UK Residency – known as the Sponsor) who wish to enter the UK with a view to settlement, must apply for Settlement entry clearance from their home country, before they travel. The holder must enter the UK at the same time or after the Sponsor.

The Financial Requirement will also need to be met in this category.

*Note* Unmarried Partners of persons with limited leave to enter/remain in the UK (UK Ancestry, Work Permit – known as the Sponsor) who wish to accompany or join the Sponsor in the UK, must apply for Non-Settlement entry clearance from their home country. There will be a maintenance aspect to applications made on the back of Points Based Visa types (Tier 2 Work Permits, Tier 1 General, Tier 4 Students..) so it is important you are aware of the specific stipulations around these visa types.

You must show that: 

•   You are the unmarried partner of someone who is currently settled in the United

     Kingdom or who is applying to settle.
•   There is adequate accommodation for both parties and any dependants, and the

     accommodation is suitable for all parties
•   You and your partner (sponsor) have been living together in a relationship akin to

     marriage for two years or more (you must provide evidence going back at least two

     years to show you have been in a subsisting relationship)
•   Both parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependants adequately

     without recourse to public funds

•   Both parties intend to live together permanently.

Finally, some of the most common questions we receive in relation to Settlement/Dependant Visas are:

•      What will this visa allow me to do while I am in the UK?
•      Can I work?
•      How many hours per week can I work?
•      What money do I have to show to qualify as a dependant? Does it increase as

        more dependants are added to the application?
•      Can I set myself up in business?
•      How long does it take to be approved?
•      Can my children attend Government Funded Schools?
•      At what point will I qualify for a UK visa myself??

For a FREE visa assessment please complete the Free UK Visa Assessment and one of our consultants will respond within 48 hours of your submission

* A Certificate Of Entitlement is also commonly known as RIGHT OF ABODE. If you have dependants wishing to join you on the Right Of Abode Application, they will have to fulfil the FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT as per Settlement applications.

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