When applying for a visa for your Fiancé or Spouse to come and join you in the UK, the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration Service (UKVI) recommends that your Fiancé or Spouse applies at least three months before they wish to travel. However due to the large numbers of applications that are being made for visas to come to the UK, the UKVI is often unable to deal with Fiancé or Spouse visa applications within the specified three months timescale. .
As of August 2017 recent visa applicants have received emails from the UKVI stating that they can expect a response to their application to take longer than the usual waiting times, due to the large volume of applications that have been submitted of recent.
Therefore when applying your Fiancé or Spouse is applying for a visa to come to the UK, they should aim to apply at least six months before they wish to travel, to ensure that their plans are not affected.
Submit your supporting documents to the UKVI office in Sheffield
Previously when applying for Fiancé or Spouse Visa to the UK, your Fiancé or Spouse could submit their supporting documents in their home country at the visa center, when doing their biometrics. However for many countries their visa centers are now unable to accept or review supporting documents, and all supporting documents must be submitted to the UKVI office in Sheffield.
To clarify if the country your Fiancé or Spouse is applying from has a visa center that can accept their supporting documents, you can call the UKVI office to find out, however beware many of the staff at the UKVI who provide telephone support are not extremely knowledgeable on the visa process and can sometimes give you incorrect information. To counter this, try calling the UKVI office at least three separate times so that you can compare and contrast the advice that you receive from different UKVI officers.
When submitting your Fiancé or Spouse supporting documents to the UKVI office in Sheffield, ensure that you provide a cover letter states the following:
• your full name as sponsor
• your Fiancé or Spouse’s full name
• your Fiancé or Spouse’s passport number
• your Fiancé or Spouse’s date of birth
• your passport number and state your right to reside in the UK e.g. British Citizen or indefinite leave to remain
• the type of application your Fiancé or Spouse is making
• your Fiancé or Spouse’s visa application number
• a list of the supporting documents that you have enclosed
All supporting documents should be sent to the UKVI office in Sheffield within 20 working days of the submission of your Fiancé or Spouse’s online application in the case of a standard visa application. When Fiancé or Spouse’s is making a Priority visa application, the submission of supporting documents should be made within 10 working days.
Ensure that all your supporting documents and photos are is submitted on A4 sized paper
A little known requirement of submitting supporting documents for a Fiancé or Spouse visa application to the UKVI office in Sheffield, is that the supporting documents must all be in A4 sized paper. This is because, as soon as your supporting documents are received at the UKVI office in Sheffield they are scanned onto the system and linked up to your Fiancé or Spouse’s visa application. Therefore the supporting documents must in A4 sized paper, so that they can easily be scanned.
If you have photos of you and your Fiancé or Spouse’s that you want to submit to support your application, you should photocopy or print these onto A4 sized pieces of paper.
Supporting documents that are not on an A4 sized piece of paper will not be accepted by the UKVI. If you do submit documents that are not on an A4 sized pieces of paper, they will not be reviewed and your application could suffer as a result.
Make sure you provide strong evidence of a genuine relationship
A critical part of any Fiancé or Spouse visa application to the UK, is being able to demonstrate that you and your Fiancé or Spouse have had consistent ongoing communication. After all, a sincere relationship would have constant communication. A Fiancé or Spouse visa application that lacks evidence of consistent ongoing communication may be regarded as being a potential sham marriage by the UKVI.
It is the UKVI’s duty to identify sham marriages. Sham marriages are marriages that have only taken place for the purposes of obtaining a visa and where the couple is not genuinely in a relationship. This has become such a big problem, that even the Home Office have warned Churches in the UK to look out for couples who are suspicious and show signs of wanting to have a sham marriage.
Therefore when the UKVI review your application they will look to ensure that there is sufficient evidence of genuine relationship such as
• Telephone bills showing calls between the couple
• WhatsApp messages
• Skype messages
In order to further prevent sham marriages from taking place, the Home Office have now placed new requirements on couples where one or both members of the couple intending to get married is a Non-EU citizen and does not have the right to remain in the UK. The couple will have to give notice of marriage at a designated registrar office. These are mainly registrar offices located in London and other major cities across the UK, as opposed to registrars based in smaller cities.
The couple will have to wait for a minimum period of 28 days before getting married; in this waiting period there notice of marriage will be referred to the Home Office Marriage Referral Team. The Home Office Marriage Referral Team will review the application and decide whether a further investigation needs to be carried out to ensure that it is a genuine marriage. If the Home Office Marriage Referral Team decides to conduct further investigations, then the period of notice of marriage will be extended up to 70 days. /span>
If you need legal advice on a visa application you can speak to a Solicitor online on Talk2Solicitors.co.uk to get the legal advice that you need.