The UK immigration system is incredibly intrusive, and you need to understand they will ask the hard questions, and to stand any chance of a Visa, you will need to answer them. Based on my experience with the unmarried partner visa application process, as in my previous article, I am writing this.
So why have I titled this “UK Immigration Buyer Beware”? Especially as I did discuss the hostile environment in last week’s article.
If I want a personal loan, buy a car or apply for a mortgage. I will be asked to supply proof of identity and proof of salary. The application process will also ask me to list my financial liabilities to see if I can afford the repayments. The loan company or bank will run the normal credit checks to see if I am a safe bet.
Once this process has been completed, there will be a decision, yes here is your money or no and come again at a later date. The process for you is free, if you get the loan or mortgage, you will pay them back through interest, but it costs you nothing if refused.
My application for a new passport is completed online, or you can get the paperwork from the post office. You will fill it in and return the application with the appropriate fee of £75.50.
If you are applying for the first time, you need to send the application, money, birth certificate, photographs and details of a witness who will sign to say you are legitimate. Usually, the post office will check all your paperwork and sign it to say you are legitimate.
So, you pass your test and then after filling in the paperwork, send your pass certificate to the agency with £34, and a few weeks later, you will receive your UK driving license.
Unmarried Partner Visa
So, let’s look at the UK immigration first application for three years, which needs to be done outside of the UK in your country of origin.
Legal fees – Minimum £1000 to prepare the application
Application Fee – £1523
NHS Surcharge – £1872 (non-refundable)
Paying is the easy part. The requirements are the difficult bit. Remember last week I said that the home office has been instructed to find any excuse to refuse applications. Well, this is how easy it is for them to do this.
For the unmarried partner visa, you need to prove to the UK Immigration office that the UK partner has the right to live and work in the UK and also earns a minimum of £18,600 per year (if the application is made without children. If there are children, this increases by £2,400 per child).
You would think this is straightforward, get a letter from your boss? Nope!
You need an official salary statement from your company which cannot be any more than 28days old at the time of application. Then six months’ pay slips showing you receiving this salary. Then the latest six months of official bank statements showing this salary being paid into your bank account.
Three steps that could easily contain a mistake and have your application get refused.
Now you need to prove to UK Immigration you have been living together for a minimum of the last two years.
This is the worst part of the process. So how do you do this?
You need to show several examples of bills going to your foreign address with both of your names in the address area.
If you were renting a house, you need to show a tenancy agreement with both of your names on it, along with a signed letter from your previous landlord confirming the agreement is legitimate.
As many photographs of you both together in different places.
Copies of your passport stamps to show that you have visited your partner’s family in their own country and sworn statements from your partners’ parents and siblings to say they are fully aware and fully support the relationship.
Sworn statements from joint friends for UK Immigration again to confirm the relationship and the length of time the relationship has been going for.
Two years’ worth of Whatsapp and Messenger conversations transcribed, showing you both talk each day. Again for me this was horrendous as these conversations are incredibly personal, and you will need to go through the transcripts to edit out anything you don’t want someone on the home office ready (especially if there is romantic content)
If you are living in a rented house in the UK, you need to provide a signed statement from your landlord saying they have no objection to your partner living there.
This proved problematic for me as the landlord’s lawyer would not issue the letter unless he had a copy of my partner’s visa. I explained that I needed the letter to get the visa. The highly educated lawyer replied, “I need to confirm her Visa before we can issue the letter”.
At this point, I gave up and instructed my lawyer to contact them due to my extreme allergy to stupidity.
Whilst all this is going on, your partner needs to take a medical to check for TB and pass the A1 Life skills IELTS English language test.
So, the lawyer completed the UK Immigration application online and gathered all the evidence. However, the application paperwork needs to be submitted in the country of origin. So all the evidential paperwork needs to be posted (copies are no good) to your partner, so they will have all the paperwork with them on the date of the application appointment.
Now you wait for around 10+ weeks for your result.
So, During this time, you will probably spend time watching all the videos on YouTube. About couples going through the same issue and mainly what to do if your application gets rejected. As a bit of advice! Don’t do this as it will make you angry and stressed.
Your application gets into the UK Immigration system.
Here is what happens.
A person at the home office will collect your UK immigration application paperwork and go through it. This is to ensure it is all there and all correct. That there is nothing missing from the list of requirements.
The immigration officer will then look at your application..
This office has ZERO legal training or qualifications! In addition ,this officer, due to workload, will give your application around 90seconds of attention before making their decision. A decision that has the potential to seriously affect your life.
This is why you will get angry if you look at the process.
Again, if you want help or advice, then get in touch with me, and I will try to help you.