Difference between Partner Visa and Spouse Visa

People meet and fall in love every day. The stories of how people meet are just as vast and different as the almost 8 billion people on the planet. Often, love begins between two people that reside in completely different countries. Although we live in a global social society on the internet, individual countries maintain citizenship laws that can sometimes keep two lovers from actually being together. If you live in the UK and have a partner somewhere else in the world, understanding the difference between a partner visa and a spouse visa is vital to moving forward with your union plans.

The main difference between Partner Visa and Spouse Visa

Every relationship is unique. Some couples instantly connect and desire nothing more than to commit to each other through matrimony. However, an increasing number of couples are choosing to forgo legalised marriage in favour of an ongoing partnership with no legal bindings. The Partner Visa and Spouse Visa are designed to reflect these ideals individually.

When applying for a Spouse Visa, you are informing the UK government that you have legally bound yourselves through marriage or civil partnership. Additionally, you must also prove that you have been married for at least 3 years and have a sufficient combined income to support your family without relying on government funding.

A Partner Visa is intended for couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least 2 years and plan to live together while residing in the UK. Again, the Partner Visa requires the couple to provide proof of ongoing income, demonstrating that they won’t require government funding to maintain their current lifestyle.

What is the financial requirement?

The UK must ensure that all individuals entering the country will not be entirely reliant on government assistance. This measure helps maintain a budget and ensures that individuals or couples are not entering the country solely for financial benefits. Each couple applying for a Spouse or Partnership Visa must demonstrate a minimum annual income of £18,900. This income threshold is adjusted if the couple has children.

The first dependent child increases the income threshold by £3,800, and each subsequent child adds an additional £2,400 per year. The couple is also required to have general savings of at least £16,000 and secure employment, whether self-employed or working for another business. Meeting these requirements will demonstrate to UK officials that you and your family are financially stable and do not require government assistance.

Once approved, the UK does allow couples with a Partnership Visa or Spouse Visa to apply for benefits if they face financial difficulties, provided they have had their conditional immigration status removed from their visas.

Proving your relationship

Both a Spouse Visa and a Partner Visa require the couple to prove their relationship. This requirement is designed for individuals who intend to enter the country and use marriage or partnership to achieve their goals. A relationship can be demonstrated in various ways. Your government representative may ask for records of holidays you have taken together, financial commitment documents such as a lease agreement, photographs taken throughout the relationship, or even letters written to you as a couple by family and friends.

Application process

Although income requirements and proof of a relationship are necessary for both partner and spouse visas, they have individualized application processes. Often, a Partner Visa can be a more convenient option for couples because it permits them to reside in the UK throughout the entire process. However, a Spouse Visa must be applied for and approved before the couple can enter and obtain permanent residency in the country. Additionally, a Partner Visa is generally less expensive than a Spouse Visa.

How SilverOak Solicitors can assist you

Navigating the intricacies of UK immigration laws can be quite challenging. One misstep and you will have to start the entire process over again. Silver Oak Solicitors is here to simplify the application and approval process for your Spouse or Partner Visa. We can answer your questions and guide you on the path to success, whether you currently reside in the country on another visa or if this is your first venture into the UK.

Let SilverOak Solicitors assist you with all your immigration needs. Contact our team at 020 8578 7778.

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