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Immigration for your spouse


In the UK, spouses of British citizens who themselves are foreign nationals may stay in the UK under a spouse immigration or marriage visa and may also be able to apply for citizenship after three years of their stay. However, there are certain criteria that must be fulfilled for spouse immigration (marriage) visas to apply.

Firstly, the foreign national must be the spouse of either a British citizen or a person who has been granted citizenship (indefinite leave to remain). The married couple must also have been married for four years in order for the foreign national spouse to obtain a two year provisional spouse immigration visa to stay in the UK. If the couple remain together for these two provisional years as well, the foreign national will usually then be entitled to apply for citizenship in the UK.

There are other requirements which safeguard against false marriages, or those who wed purely for the reason of obtaining residency or citizenship in the UK. Under UK immigration law, the couple must have actually met before a wedding took place and that the spouses must intend to and actually live together for the time that they are declared as spouses within the UK. Sometimes immigration officials will make checks to ensure that each spouse is living in the manner and at the address listed as their marital home in official immigration documents.

Another important requirement of spouse immigration is that the UK citizen (or person granted indefinite leave to remain) has sufficient funds to provide for the couple without public benefit as foreign nationals may not have a visa to work. Also, children of the couple who are under 18 can enter the UK as dependents of the foreign national if they have resided until then with the spouse immigration visa applicant.

Although there is some help available from various government websites, speaking to a specialist immigration adviser is second to none. An immigration lawyer will be able to assist you or your spouse on the more complicated matters too.

If you would like to obtain legal advice or information on spouse immigration then Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist immigration solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local immigration solicitors please call us on 0800 177 7162 or complete the web-form above.

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