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Family Settlement

Kingdom Solicitors > Family Settlement

Family Settlement

A person wishing to come to the UK on the basis of their relationship to a British citizen or person present and settled in the UK must apply for entry clearance to enter the UK in that capacity.

The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the UK with a view to settlement as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the UK are that: 

  • the applicant is married to or the civil partner of a person present and settled in the UK or who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement; and 
  • the applicant provides an original English language test certificate in speaking and listening from an English language test provider approved by the Secretary of State for these purposes, which clearly shows the applicant’s name and the qualification obtained (which must meet or exceed level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference) unless: 
  • the applicant is aged 65 or over at the time he makes his application; or 
  • the applicant has a physical or mental condition that would prevent him from meeting the requirement; or; 
  • there are exceptional compassionate circumstances that would prevent the applicant from meeting the requirement; or 
  • the applicant has obtained an academic qualification(not a professional or vocational qualification), which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK or 
  • the applicant has obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, and 
  • has obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK 
  • the parties to the marriage or civil partnership have met; and 
  • the applicant must be of 18 years old
  • each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership is subsisting; and 
  • there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependents without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively; and 
  • the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependents adequately without recourse to public funds.

Financial requirements

From 9 July 2012, the existing maintenance requirement for partners will be replaced by a financial requirement based in most cases on the sponsor’s earnings from employment (or those of the sponsor and applicant where both are in the UK). The minimum required is a gross annual income of £18,600 for a couple, plus £3800 for the first child and £2400 for any subsequent children.

The income requirement can be met by:
·         Income from employment or self-employment of the sponsor (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work).
·         Specified non-employment income of the sponsor and/or applicant.
·         State (UK or foreign) or private pension of the sponsor and/or applicant.
·         Any Maternity Allowance and bereavement benefits received in the UK by the sponsor and/or applicant.
·         Cash savings of the sponsor and/or applicant, above £16,000, held by the sponsor and/or applicant for at least six months and under their control.
·         Exemption from the financial requirement, where the sponsor is in receipt of a specified disability-related benefit or Carer’s Allowance in the UK.

Previous, current or prospective employment and earnings, or any job offer, of the migrant applicant will not be taken into account when first applying from overseas for a visa to come
to the UK.

Where the sponsor is in the UK and in paid employment, they must be in that employment
(at the required salary level) at the point of application and either have been so continuously for the previous six months (at the appropriate salary throughout) or have earned the required amount through salaried employment in the 12 months prior to the application.

Promises of support from third parties will not be accepted (although they can continue to
offer accommodation).

If they meet the criteria will be granted 5 years leave. An initial period of 30 months will be granted, followed by a further period of 30 months on application and finally an application for indefinite leave. There will be fees payable at every stage. 

Common grounds for refusal
Most cases where individuals have been denied a visa for failing to meet the requirements according to the entry clearance officer (ECO) at the British post abroad. Most decisions will carry a right of appeal that must be exercised within 28 calendar days of receiving the decision. 

Some of the most common reasons for refusal are as follows:
1. Lack of sufficient documents including:
·         No evidence/proof that UK based sponsor can maintain the applicant
·         Lack of evidence to show adequate accommodation or that there will not be overcrowding
2. Marriage not conducted lawfully or accepted as genuine including:
·         Lack of contact between sponsor and applicant (i.e. emails/telephones bills/letters)
·         Proxy marriages not conducted in accordance with laws of the country in which they took place
As experienced Solicitors, we can assist you whether you are making an initial or fresh application, whether you have been refused and wish to exercise a right of appeal or even where you have been denied a right of appeal.
For further information on how we can help, please contact us on 020 7650 7970 or alternatively email us at 
kingdomsolicitors.co.uk

The requirements for an extension of stay as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom are that:
A person wishing for an extension of stay as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled here has to fulfil the following conditions:
·         the applicant has limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom which was given in accordance with any of the provisions of these Rules, other than where as a result of that leave he would not have been in the United Kingdom beyond 6 months from the date on which he was admitted to the United Kingdom on this occasion in accordance with these Rules, unless:
·          the leave in question is limited leave to enter as a fiancé or proposed civil partner; or
·         the leave in question was granted to the applicant as the spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a Relevant Points Based System Migrant and that spouse or partner is the same person in relation to whom the applicant is applying for an extension of stay under this rule; and
·         is married to or the civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom; and
·         the parties to the marriage or civil partnership have met; and
·         the applicant has not remained in breach of the immigration laws; and
·         each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership is subsisting; and
·         there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependents without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively; and
·         the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependents adequately without recourse to public funds; and
·         the applicant provides an approved original English language test certificate as applicable
·         It is to be noted that the new financial threshold has to be satisfied by any new applicant wishing to switch in to this category from another immigration status.

 

The requirements for indefinite leave to remain for the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom are that:
·         the applicant was admitted to the UK for a period not exceeding 27 months or given an extension of stay for a period of 2 and has completed a period of 2 years as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the UK.
·          the applicant is still the spouse or civil partner of the person he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join and the marriage or civil partnership is subsisting; and
·         each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner; and
·         there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any defendants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively; and
·         the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any defendants adequately without recourse to public funds; and
·         the applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, unless he is under the age of 18 or aged 65 or over at the time he makes his application; and
·         the applicant does not have one or more unspent convictions.
·         In case of any bereaved partner, the person whom the applicant was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join died during that period; and
·         the applicant was still the spouse or civil partner of the person he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join at the time of the death; and
·         each of the parties intended to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership was subsisting at the time of the death.