Families divided then and now: UK spousal visa requirements in 1976 and 2013

One of the many pamphlets that exposed the difficulties faced by migrant families trying to enter the UK in the 1970s and 1980s
One of the many pamphlets that exposed the difficulties faced by migrant families trying to enter the UK in the 1970s and 1980s

Last year, new requirements for spousal visas for non-EEA spouses were introduced. These put more stricter requirements on those applying to accompany or join their spouse in the UK, with the most evident rule change being the amount of money earned per annum by the UK-based spouse (now £18,600). Several articles have been written on the families potentially divided or placed into ‘exile’ by these rule changes, such as this by Richard Fabb. A story emerges from The Guardian today that original plans by the Tories intended to make the requirements even more severe.

For the last five years, I have been researching how the UK immigration control system processed, examined and scrutinised South Asian migrants, particularly women who attempted to join their spouses or families in the UK. Many of the documents that I have read tell the story of families divided by the immigration control system and the strict requirements placed upon applicants, but also how these requirements were enforced. A pamphlet by Anne Owers titled Families Divided from 1984 said:

It is often impossible to produce the sort of evidence which entry clearance officers will accept. Marriage and birth certificates rarely exist… Application forms have to completed in English… 

The interview itself can cause fresh problems… The purpose of the interview is to detect ‘discrepancies’ in family members’ accounts… In other words, there is an assumption that the family is lying and questioning will reveal this.

From many of the cases raised by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (for example) and other NGOs, it seems that the divisive nature of the immigration control system continues to exist. One of the concerns raised from doing this research is that the immigration control system seemed to unnecessarily strict in the past, but nowadays, after 40 years of ever tightening legislation, the system seems almost impenetrable.

Coincidentally during the last week, I found a document in the Runnymede Trust archive files that is an internal circular for the British Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan that outlined the requirements for a spousal visa in 1976 (‘Wives Wishing to Join or Accompany Husbands for Settlement in the United Kingdom’, May 1976, RC/RF/1/06, Runnymede Trust archive, Black Cultural Archives, London) . I thought it would be interesting to contrast this document with the current requirements set forth by the UKBA.

In 1976, the requirements for a spousal visa were as follows:

(a)   A valid passport issued to the applicant.

(b)  Evidence that the husband is settled in the United Kingdom in the form of a declaration of sponsorship giving the husband’s full name, his address, details of his employment, passport details and the date of his entry into the United Kingdom.

(c)   Evidence that a marriage has taken place…

(d)  Any recent family correspondence relating to the applicant proposed settlement in the United Kingdom.

(e)   Two passport size photographs of the applicant.

(f)   Attested photocopies of the sponsor’s passport. If the sponsor holds a British Passport photocopies of pages 1 to 6 inclusive and all other pages bearing frontier stamps should be produced. If the sponsor holds a [non-UK] passport complete photocopies of all passports in his possession should be produced. All copies should be attested on each page by a responsible person in the United Kingdom (a Nortary Public, Commissioner of Oaths, or Solicitor) as being true copies of the original documents.

(g)  Evidence that the husband is willing and able to support and accommodate his wife.

(Paragraph (g) does not apply to cases where the sponsor was, on 1 January, 1973, a Commonwealth Citizen settled in the United Kingdom).

Alongside this list, the circular strongly emphasised that ‘[i]t lies with the applicant to satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer that she is the wife of her sponsor and she should produce at the time of her interview in support of her application… documentary evidence.’ This instruction places the burden of proof with the applicant, even though numerous government documents gave, on paper, the benefit of the doubt to the applicant and stated that the burden of proof lay with the agency to disprove any claims. (I have co-written more about the burden of proof and scrutiny in immigration control here)


So the new rules, as of 9 July, 2012, are, according to the UKBA website:

You must show that:

  • you and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;
  • your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;
  • you and your partner have met in person;
  • your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting;
  • if you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
  • you meet the suitability requirements;
  • any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);
  • you and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
  • you meet the financial requirement;
  • you meet the English language requirement; and
  • if you are in the UK and want to extend your leave or apply for settlement in the UK you will need to meet the suitability requirement.

You will notice that several of these points have further details that can be found on linked pages, which are very thorough and precise, such as the ‘suitability requirements’. There is also a list of required documentation:

You must send:

  • 2 recent passport photographs and your passport – see the Photographs and passport page
  • evidence of your age and your partner’s age
  • your marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • evidence that you were both free to marry or enter your civil partnership, if either of you was previously married or in a civil partnership
  • evidence that you have met
  • evidence of your English language ability – see the English language page
  • evidence that you meet the financial requirement.

It is unsurprising to see that the bureaucratic requirements needed to be fulfilled have grown exponentially over the last 40 years as the legislation regarding who can enter the country has grown tighter and tighter. The fear by the authorities that people are exploiting the spousal visa system far outweighs the numbers of people ‘caught’ doing so and disproportionately places an unnecessary bureaucratic burden upon those wishing to accompany/join their families in the UK. The result of British immigration control policy is the 1970s-80s, as it is now, is families divided.


  1. One small correction, the (new) rules were introduced a year and a week ago – on 9 July 2012.

    There are many blogs and articles about the affected individual families and the effects on a wider basis at jcwi.org.uk/blog and britcits.com

  2. I desperately wish for a change. My partner and I are honest hard working people who have never claimed benefits ANYWHERE in the world! Yet we are struggling to try and meet the current visa requirements. Every day that passes is another day we will be apart soon. I am thankful every day that we don’t have a child together or the requirements would feel nearly impossible. Why should people have to feel this way? It’s disgusting. and I hate how I can’t even plan my wedding without feeling my heart break knowing the hardships ahead of us.

    • I am British, My father fought for this country. This and previous governments let thousands of people in this country, why should any government tell anyone who they can love.
      Obviously there will need to be checks, but it has gotten to the stage, especially under the conservatives it is all about money. After you have paid the ridiculous amount for Visa’s, then you have still got more money to pay out.
      In my case I had to earn £22,400, my wife has a daughter, so it cost me almost £2000 for both their Visa’s. With the paperwork and trying to get some type of advice it cost me over £2000.
      I was lucky i just made over the required £22,400 and also i have my home. And we are now waiting for the UKBA’s decision. So far it has been 2 months and we are still not sure if we are going to receive accepted Visa’s, because someone in Warsaw, Poland may say there is not enough evidence or some other stupid thing. Then you have got to pay and wait even longer.
      So my wife and family are still apart.
      UK Border Agency can’t even be bothered to state what is actually to be required, so people have got to be forced to use a lawyer, then even this does not mean you will get the Visa. The conservatives and UKBA have made a mockery of this.
      So you make the required money, your wife or husband passes the English test, you have a home and proof of accommodation, you have proof of your divorce and you have your marriage certificate, you have proved you have met, you have shown sole responsibility if you have a child, and all the other requirements you need to find out and some jumped up UKBA Officer can say this is not right, let them wait another year. They can go to court…. Ok Lawyers are happy and the judges, they make their living out of this. The lawyers help you because you pay them, not because they are nice guys.

      So it is all about money.

      Now if you look at a typical tori, they have 2 seconds of sex, pop out a kid, have a nanny to look after it, then send the kid to bording school. There is no love or family values with these people.
      Theresa May does not understand when a father or mother wants to be with their children or husband and wife wants to be together, it’s the way they get brought up. And yes, these are intelligent people, but thick at the same time.
      Theresa May will never understand what love and family is. We have just got to hope some judge will use his common sense when these cases get bought into the court room.

      And personally i do think it will get harder and harder, unless you have money.

      So understand if you are White British or you have settlement or born in this country, if you are just work class… You are scum to people like Theresa May. She does not care about you or your family, she is probably in some restaurant now, chuckling to herself, thinking “what revenue i am bringing into this country, this is what it is all about… Revenue.” Well she will get a pat on her back by David Cameron.

      When you look at these people and you feel sick, this is because you are human


      • Totally agree. I’ve just reached the stage that my income is £18,600 per year. Thank God we don’t have children yet otherwise I just couldn’t afford it! However now I find I have to pay £122 to my local council to come and inspect the property to see if it’s ok for my wife to live in and there will not be any overcrowding! The thing that really makes me wild is that to bring my money up to the £18,600 figure I had to let my own cottage out to guy from Poland and his wife who came from Brazil to live with him. He earns less that the £18,600 and because he is from the EU he is not bound by UK immigration rules. It’s just not fair. I’m white English and have lived in the country from birth. Now I’m making our marital home at my father house! All courtesy of Theresa May ! We also had to use a visa specialist because if you don’t you will certainly fail the entry procedure. However it remains to be seen if my wife will be let in to this country, that seem to favour foreigners over the people who were born here and lived here all their lives. It has cost me a fortune just to get to this stage. I really feel for those people who are less well off. It would appear if you’re rich you can have a love life or come to live her from the EU. However if you’re English and born here you can get stuffed!

  3. Hi Sam,

    I agree with what you say, i am also waiting for a result from Warsaw, Poland for mine and my wife’s Visa.

    I got advice and think we gave all the information they needed and it has just been over 2 months.

    I am having sleepless nights and it is affecting my health worrying about if we will receive an accepted Visa.

    Dani, i don’t think you have got a chance in hell. Sam is right, when you have all the paperwork and fit in with the criteria, it does not mean you will get the Visa. It would be too easy just to tick the right boxes.

    I read on some other site if i was Polish or from another European country, i could bring my wife into the country even though she is from a non-eu country. But as an English person, i have less rights.

    It cost over £800 for the Visa. If you do something wrong, you lose this money …. For instance, say you did not know about the English test requirement. Your application would be turned down and you would lose your money. They say this is because of administration fee’s.

    Also if you get your Visa, Sam is right, they are other fee’s to pay later.
    They say they do not want you to obtain public funds, but they are happy to drain all your money.

    I do agree with some things the government proposed, like the English test. And to check any person coming into the country. But this government now has gone overboard.

    I suggest anybody reading these sites are angry about the money and the way we get treated and the time factor. They should write to their MP and complain.

    When i look at Theresa May i do feel sick inside, this is not just because of her appearance. It is because what a nasty person she is.

    I want to apologise for being so negative, but Sam is right. They do not care about us, the UKBA look for reason’s to refuse Visa’s. But we are supplying them with funds and hope when it goes to court, they will bring down the threshold from £18,600 to at least £13,500.

    Dani, Sam, good luck and i hope you get your Visa’s.

    • That is so strange! I don’t understand why it is taking you guys so long to get results. 😦 It all disgusts me, but I just can’t give up hope! We are going to get through this somehow, all of us!

      I think when we are ready to apply for the visa I will go ahead and pay extra for faster results. I know its just another way of getting more money out of you, but the waiting is so emotionally draining. My partner has only just managed to find a job that meets the £18,600 requirement. It took nearly 3 months! Once my visitors status runs out in the UK I will have to go back and wait until we have the 6 months worth of payslips. That is all we are really missing. God I hope everything works out 😦 We don’t even have a place, we would be staying with his mom to start out, but we got advice and were told that this would be okay as she isn’t receiving any benefits. I love the UK location wise and all my friends here, but I am absolutely disgusted with how the system is going. It is definitely money money money!

  4. Hi Dani,

    I hope the courts bring down the requirement of earnings. Because you have got to be in a job for 6 months, but also after 2 years you apply for definite leave, you must still be showing you are earning the £18,600 or more.
    If you are both working, you can count both jobs if you have been in permanent work for over 6 months. I think anyway.

    Be careful what you read on some of the blogs you read on other sites. It is sometimes people saying things, but not actually knowing the proper facts.

    If you do not give the correct information, you will lose your Visa fee.

    I would say if you have got the money, pay to get your Visa results faster. It is a nightmare with all this waiting. If we do not get our Visa, it could still be another year to get to court, then it has to go back to the Visa Application Centre to be reprocessed. It is just ridiculous. We are just people who fell in love and want to start our new lives.

    My immigration advisor gave me a list of all the proper requirements needed for the Visa. I am happy to pass this on to you or your partner. The prioritor can give you my email address, if you need the list.

    It is so much time and money at stake, it is just a worry if you fail to give any wrong information or if you miss any information out.

    The UK has been known for a few years as rip off britain, but now the conservatives have made it international.

    My wife had to travel 200 miles to hand in her 2 forms, she had to do it online, then print the 2 forms off, then take them to the nearest Visa Application Centre, also to have her biometrics taken.

    What this government fail to understand, not all countries are like England. Divorce papers, Birth certificates, may not be available to hand.

    It took me and my wife 6 months alone just to get all the required paperwork together. Luckily she could speak english and she passed the English test. But it was not like it was shown on Youtube.

    I think personally the government has designed this in a way with the UKBA not showing exactly what is required, to obtain extra funds in lost Visa money.

    I hope someone with power can challenge the way it is all set up. Lawyers are happy, simply because most people would need to use them.

    This government wants your money.

    On one hand they say we do not want you to use public funds, britain can not afford it. But are happy to take your tax when you work. And then send billions of pounds abroad.

    Unfortunately this government will not take any notice of people like us. So you just need to make sure your partner makes the £18,600. This can include his overtime.

    Yes i think you can stay at your partners parents address, they must show they live there, also you must show the property will not be over crowded by the additional occupants. I paid £100 to my local authority for an accommodation report. This is one of the things they do not tell you on the UKBA website. Unless i missed it.

    I am greatful for sites like this, it shows we are not alone and we can get some advice from these sites. But remember, do not rely on any information on these blog sites. Some i read were misleading.

    Good Luck,


    • Thank you so much Jake for your advice and kind words.

      Yes I have read VERY misleading information regarding the visas on some blogs! The biggest one is some people seem to believe you only need 3months worth of payslips. I have tried to warn others about that!

      It has taken my partner nearly 3 months to find a job that pays enough, and he has just this week found something. Thank God! nearly 3 months of continuous job searching just to meet the £18,600 requirement! Yet he has turned down about 4 other jobs that he would have loved to do because they just fell short of that amount. So our countdown begins now before we are able to apply for the visa. Unfortunately that means I will have to go back to my country soon and wait until he has 6 months worth of payslips.

      Accommodation shouldn’t be an issue. I have received some advice from immigration advisory company a couple months back on this matter and they said it all is fine. There is plenty of space for us and no one would be on any sort of benefits in the household.

      I really hope everything turns out well for you and your wife. I have heard that they have put all visa applications on hold for the time being and that is why no one has heard anything for the past couple months. I do not know how true this is, but it could be possible. Theresa May went to parliament a couple weeks ago to appeal the courts suggestion of lowering the financial requirement. As far as I know all that happened was everyone argued about it and it’s been adjourned. I wish that something gets sorted soon, even now that we have the required amount I just wish things could change for others. No one should have to go through this.

      You don’t need to be married for a particular amount of time before applying do you? That’s one thing that I do worry about. I am actually not getting married until January. It will be about Marchish time before we have the payslips all together anyway and I can apply. Funny… we thought about having a quick marriage while we were traveling last year but thought ‘naaahhh, let’s wait do it with all our family and friends!’ Then we thought we could live happily ever after. Heh, what little we knew then!

      It is nice to know there are others out there who understand what we are going through. I really really hope that everything will work out though. My heart really breaks for those who have children who are going through this. I try to keep up to date on all the news, I’ve signed petitions and written to MPs asking for their help. I’m not sure what else I can do! My partner has even written to Theresa May herself explaining how difficult it is for us and he got a reply that basically said ‘we know what’s best for you so be quiet.’

  5. Hi Dani,

    I read someone got their Visa refused because they never showed enough evidence of their housing accommodation.
    I think you need to show, that it is your partners family. They will want a letter from them, they will want to see things like Council Tax bill. If it is their own home, they will want to see proof of mortgage statements.

    I know you said that your immigration adivsor said there is plenty of room. There may be, but the UKBA will want to see this in written evidence. Maybe you know this already. But you can always phone them again, just to double check.

    No there is no requirement to show how long you have been married. If the marriage certificate is in a foreign language, then you will need a certified translation of it. You can not have it translated by a friend. Sorry i am not sure what nationality you are.

    This is what makes it so difficult, we are not told exactly what is needed.

    It used to be 3 months wage slips, but it has been changed to 6 months. Plus they will want to see 6 months bank statements along with this.
    With employment they will want to see his contract of employment. If you can not send original, you must have a solicitor certify a copy. It is not much, i only paid £10. Also a letter from his work place confirming his employment, i do not know why, but that is what the contract is.

    You both need to write a letter to the UKBA Entry Officer, basically saying how you met and when you first met. But in this letter you must show your intentions, like when you move here, you intend to live permanently with your partner and that you love him.

    Unfortunately most information like this, is not on some of these websites. I paid for advice from a immigration advisor, but to keep costs down i done all the work myself.

    Theresa May does not care about any of us. It does not matter if you are a small child, a british citizen or a foreign national. But i think if everyone wrote to their MP’s and kept writing, this is the only way you will put pressure on the government.

    People like Theresa May and the british government forget they are meant to serve the people and care about peoples welfare. I am sure some MP’s have got integrity, unfortunately these conservatives are self centred. You read on these sites about kids being torn away from their parents, and people like Theresa May simply do not care.

    Yes it will go to court, because courts want to bring down earnings from £18,600 to about £13,500. I read Theresa May and her government did not like this. And will take it to appeal.

    If you apply for a Visa and the only reqiurement that was not met was the £18,600, the UKBA will put the visa on hold until the court decides the correct figure, if they do. But if you apply for a Visa now and you are making over £18,600 the Visa will still be processed as normal.

    One lawyer on Youtube said it is worth putting in for your Visa if you are earning £13,500 or over, but i think this would be stupid and taking a chance of losing almost £900 before the courts decision.

    I will let you know how we get on with our Visa. But both me and my wife are so frustrated and fed up at the moment because of the waiting and the unknown.

    I read on one site, but i do not know if it is true, is to get your Visa application processed faster it will cost an extra £800. But please check. Remember it still may not get you your Visa, even if you pay this extra money.


  6. To add to Jake’s comment above:

    You should obtain a property inspection report from a local estate agent. It shouldn’t cost more than £30-£50 and as long as you make clear it is for the purpose of a visa application the estate agent will ensure it satisfies the Home Office by preparing it in the correct format.

    If someone else owns the property that you will be residing in then you will need to provide proof of ownership e.g. mortgage statement, council tax bill. The owner should also provide a written statement giving express permission to you and your spouse to reside at the property. If there are joint owners then they should both sign the statement.

    You need to demonstrate that your marriage/relationship is genuine and subsisting. A marriage certificate of course helps massively but photos and evidence of communication should also be provided to ensure you meet this requirement. If you have been living together then letters/bills in each of your names with the same correspondence address will help as will supporting statements from family and friends.

    The advice above regarding employment is spot on. An employment contract, 6 months wage slips and 6 months bank statements are essential.

    The statements from you and your spouse should confirm your marriage and intention to reside as a married couple. You should also go into some detail about how you met etc as it will reinforce that your marriage is genuine and subsisting. Make sure that your statements are consistent as some entry clearance officers can pick up on the smallest things!

    Even if you do the application yourself it is sometimes worth paying a small fee to have an immigration lawyer check your application. Many firms offer a checking service that is considerably cheaper than the fee for preparing the application.

    Hope this helped.

    • Thank you very much. This has all helped massively. His mother (we will be staying with her) lives alone in a 3 bedroom council house, however she receives no benefits. The council has already agreed that we both can live with her and understand our situation. She is going to get a letter from the council closer to the date of our application to confirm all of this.

  7. Hi,

    Me and my wife are still waiting for our Visa. We have not heard anything yet. I do not know if this is a good sign or bad.

    Please take Rio’s advice, if you do the application yourself, if you have got the money please get it checked by a professional immigration lawyer or adviser. This will help stop most of the worry.

    I read on one of the blogs today they have received information because their statement letters to the UKBA did not state their intentions. Mainly that they will live with the sponsor permanently and the sponsor will support the applicant. This is a very minor point, because if you get married obviously you will be living together, this shows a little mistake could hold back your Visa application.

    Yes we all know there are sham marriages, but the UKBA could use their common sense aswell.

    Today i was talking to my wife on Skype, she was crying and is frustrated with the waiting and the unknown.

    I can not even say do not worry, we will get the Visa. Because honestly i do not know myself and i do not want to get her hopes up. We know there are small minded people who say it is your own fault for marrying a foreigner, but these are the type of people who support Theresa May.


    • Jake, when did you both apply for the visa?

      I actually found a really helpful video on youtube a Kiwi girl put together. She goes over all the paperwork she included in her successful application.

  8. Hi Rio,

    It has been about 3 months now. But they only count working days so it’s been 60 days. I found the processing times, it has got upto 90 days on there for 100% processing. If they keep to this, we could be waiting for another month.

    Thank you for that “Kiwi Girl” and to UKIVSolutions. The information on this i did know. But even this video did not show all the requirements.

    I did get some advice from an immigration advisor and i went to Community Law to see their Immigration Advisor, she charged me £35 and didn’t really look at my papers. I told her what i had got, she said if it was me i would give you your visa. But with the UKBA who know’s she said.

    I also read where some online lawyers made comments to the same effect. So i think if you do have a good lawyer or immigration advisor you are still not 100% guaranteed of getting your visa. But i could be wrong on this.

    The blogs you read, you have to be careful because you do get false information. That’s why the advice that UKIVSolutions gave about getting papers checked is good sound advice.

    I watched today Theresa May on YouTube, she was saying that she was wrong about gay marriage and about them adopting children. Because if they can give a child a stable life, she is happy about it. If she cared about children why are all these divided families out there. It is like the immigrant and his cat which was a pure lie. They say she might be the next prime minister.

    How can anyone vote for someone who blatantly lies. But we can not put the world to right.

    One thing we may have done wrong, we gave 6 months wage slips and 6 months bank statements. But i had an extra 2 wage slips before i got my next bank statement, so there was 6 months wage slips plus the extra 2 without having the additional bank statements. I had to send them off to my wifes country.

    I did say to her, not to put the last 2 wage slips in, but they were very good weeks and my wife thought it would help us and so did i, so they could say the last 6 months wage slips have not got 6 months bank statements.

    I did read they may ask for extra documents if they are needed. If there is only one document missing out of the series, but there are 6 months wage slips to match 6 months bank statements. Also i sent my P60 from 2012/13 showing i made over the required amount, also a letter from my employer.

    I read that one woman did not get her Visa because she made the same mistake as this.

    Could UKIVSolutions give any advice on this to help stop the worry?



    • I am a bit concerned about the P60. This is like a summary of your earnings and taxes paid for the year yes?
      My fiance and I were traveling for 1 1/2 years before we came back to the UK. He only just got a job earning the £18,600. 6 months will take us to March when I can apply for the spouse visa (we will be married by then). He will have his contract, payslips, bank statements, and letter from the employer. but his P60 wouldn’t show everything would it?

      I did not consider the fact that they wouldn’t count weekends for the waiting time. 😦 *sigh* I’m really not looking forward to sitting in America and waiting months before applying and then waiting some more for an answer. So many people like yourselves must be so sick with worry! I hope Theresa May doesn’t become Prime Minister. I have never hated someone so much.

      and my fiance was working with a girl that was purposefully avoiding getting a full time contract (even though she worked the full time hours) just so she can continue getting benefits. She is so lazy and calls in sick all the time! These people are the problem, not the innocent lovers that just so happen to be foreign!

  9. Hi Rio,

    I forgot to mention i put my work contract in aswell.

    My niece made a comment the other week saying these people only want green cards to come to England. She was saying about a guy she knew who had a russian wife. And only wants to be here for a better life.

    The fact is my niece and her boyfriend have 2 children, but have never worked in their lives and are claiming benfits. When it went to court about the £18,600 the judge said it was not against human rights.

    What if Theresa May become Prime Minister and she told my niece you and your husband can not live together, you and your children will need to go to your mothers and she will have to look after you and your children, unless you are earning over £18,600. I think the judges will say then it is against human rights.

    I am not sure, I had a full year so i put my P60 in from April 2012/13, but then they want 6 months wage slips and bank statements prior to your application. The P60 for me showed i earnt over the £18,600 the last financial year. I am not sure if you still need to put it in, but you better check before you apply.

    You cannot make any mistakes. They will refuse your application for any reason.


    • Thanks Jake!

      That is very sad about your niece. They actually had a tv show over here in the UK that was on one night just about people that live off benefits. I only watched like 5 minutes of it (never caught the name of the show) and had to shut it off because it made me so furious. This was last week that I saw it.
      I’d love for MP’s to have their families taken away. Then they will have to take an average person’s CV and try to find a job with the required salary and see how fun it is for them to spend all that time apart. I bet things would change then.

  10. Hi Rio,

    Just been thinking the letter from work what i have been told must state his NI Number, date he commenced employment and they must confirm he is employed by them full time and not temporary. And also how much he has made within the financial year. But please check all these facts.

    Your partner’s P60 remember this will be an official document from a government office. A letter just from work they can say how do we know that it is real?

    You will have 6 months by march, i think by the second week of April he should get his P60 for 2013/14. It may only show 6 months wages, but it may be worth waiting the extra few weeks. This way you have got your P60.

    So if it shows he has made over £9,300 over the time of 6 months, this will be fine.

    I done all the overtime i could to take me well over the £9,300 for the last 6 months wage slips prior to my application.

    I am not sure if UKIVSolutions will see this on here and help with this, but waiting 2 extra weeks for the P60 i think will be for the best.

    Your partner could ask his employer when the P60 will be available in April.

    We all saw the list of what is required, but it is not a formality. You need to read the small print too.

    I think some people may see this and think why do these people stress out for? The waiting is bad enough, but it is the not knowing what plays on your mind more than anything.

    I don’t want to go on, but i do not know if you read the blogs on spouse visa’s, but there was one guy who was looking for answers, even though he had a lawyer. And when he asked something this stupid woman kept saying “see a lawyer” or “why ask us? See a lawyer” I am not sure if she was a lawyer, but she failed to see the emotional and stress of this guy.

    And if she was an immigration lawyer, i don’t think i would want her to represent me.


  11. Update* My wife got an email today saying “Your processed visa application has been received at the UK Visa Application Centre and is ready for collection” plus her visa application ref number.

    I have been all through the internet and all i can see is your visa may have been granted or refused.

    My wife has now got to travel 200 miles there and 200 miles back, plus she will lose a day off work which she cannot afford.

    If it is a refusal, why can’t they just send it in an email. They could at least ask or have you sign a piece of paper to see if it is okay to do this.

    So this Monday 28th October we will know the outcome.

    She could of had it delivered by post, but she did not want to take the risk of it getting lost in the post.

    Some people may think i should be happy that we will know on Monday, the truth is even if we get the visa, i am still very angry the way people get treated.

    But the next few days are going to be hell, even if i get the Visa, my opinion of Theresa May will remain the same, she is a disgusting, heartless person and is a disgrace to the human race.


    • Jake! I really wish you all the best news for Monday. Please keep us updated!

      And I know the feeling. I will never be able to look at Theresa May in anything other than absolute disgust. My partner has been working at his job for 1 month now with the minimum £18,600. His job is being managed so poorly though and is so insecure we’re afraid he will be laid off before we get the visa. Every night we’re in tears at the moment not knowing when we will see each other again. I’m so sick with all the stress and depression.

  12. Hello guys, it’s been interesting reading through your experiences and i wish you the best of luck with the visa. I have a question that you might be able to help me with since you have been through the process. My situation is that i work part time at the moment and my wage is under 18,600. My wife is Chinese and works full time in China. Together our income is over 18,600. My question is can we use both our incomes to meet the financial requirement or can you only use UK based income? (i find the financial requirement document unclear)

    • Hello Andy and welcome!
      Unfortunately they are only interested in your UK based income. :/ They seem to only want to see what you have to offer really. £18,600 salary is the minimum at the moment and you need to have been earning that amount at the same place of employment for 6 months before you can apply.
      Thanks Theresa May… you really do value family life alright.

  13. Hi Andy,

    Yes, Rio is right. They will only count your wage, because obviously when your wife moves here, she will not be earning that money no more. But soon hopefully it will go to court and they will reduce this figure.

    Andy if you apply and anything is wrong, they will keep your money and refuse your visa. Almost £900 is alot to lose.

    I paid for a Spouse Visa book, which you download and it has all the information you need, to bring your wife over and how to fill in the forms.

    It is £38, but it is better than losing £900. The website for this book is http://www.ivs-uk.com/download-visa-immigration-information.html

    The good thing about websites like this, we can find lots of good information, which may help us get visa’s and save alot of heart ache. And i think it is good when people in our position help each other.


    My wife now has just got information on her visa. She was on the train all night, it took her 14 hours to get there. I did not go to work today, because of the worry and stress and i did not want to get bad news at work.

    I just got a text from my wife and we got the Visa 🙂 I have booked her flight for the end of November, we can start getting things ready now, in which we dared not to before.

    I was worrying how to pay a lawyer if they had said no. It’s like being accused of a crime you never commited and waiting for the dury.

    Rio, i put a link to a book i bought online then downloaded. Without this i don’t think my wife would have got the visa.

    I will keep an eye on this link, so if i can help in anyway, i will.

    Andy, never trust anything you read on blogs, Rio can confirm this, lots of people give wrong information. I am not sure if this is on purpose or some people may think they know it all. So always double check any information you are given or you receive.

    The book i have given you the link to will give you most of the information you require.

    I wish to thank the proprietor of this website. It’s websites like this what gives us hope.


    • Jake,

      CONGRATS!!! wow it must be such a relief to know that your wife can soon join you. I am so happy you both had good news. I had a feeling it would be good because I have read that so many others get emails when it is rejected. Hurray!
      And thank you for the link and for all your advice! Blogs and Forums like these really do help take some of the stress away.

      Andy: yes I will confirm what Jake has just said. A lot of forums have given false information. One of the things I keep seeing is people think that 3 months worth of payslips is enough. THIS IS WRONG! The absolute minimum is 6 months. How I wish it was 3, but this is not the case. The court is still debating about whether or not to lower the income threshold, but it will be several months before we hear anything more. Your best bet is to just carry on trying to get the minimum of £18,600.


    • Hi Jake,
      This maybe too late for me but congrats Jake. Hope you and wife are having a wonderful life together.
      I’m to apply for my wife in September 2014. I heard UKVisa and ImmigrationI (formerly UKBA) has changed their rules again in April 2014. Wouldn’t settle down eh! Do you think you could email me a copy of IVS’s immigration information pdf? My email ‘mmgroupzm@yahoo.co.uk’

      Many thanks


  14. Hello every one,

    I have just come across this site, while looking for help and advice
    With my wife’s visa application.
    It’s nice to see many of you are taking to helping each other, by advising and supporting each other.
    My wife is from India, and I’m a uk citizen from birth.
    We got married last month, and will be making an appointment soon to process the application.
    We meet all the requirements we need, income of above 30,000, savings of £50,000+.
    1 years Payslips, proof of meeting, contact proof,marriage certificate and photos.
    lots of proof that this relationship is genuine etc.
    Plus i live in a four bedroom house which belongs to my mother,I will get a letter from my mother saying there is no problem of her staying with us etc.
    I have a letter from my employer, my p60, bank statements etc.

    So I just want to ask any of you if there is any advice you can give me??
    As I don’t want to pay for a solicitor, as I am computer literate.
    And don’t have problems with filling in forms, and I’m sure I will make a very good presentation of the application.

    So if there’s anything you could share, it would be much appreciated.
    As I don’t want to be apart from my wife, and don’t want to spend visa fess again and again.

    Many thanks jason

  15. hiya evryone…

    plz Read my story..i went thru a lot because of ukba agency cz of them i lost everything my wife my son my career…

    they have deported me to india my country due to i wz sentenced for 8months prison without any valid crime and then deported to india.. my wife and son is in uk and nw wife has send me divorce letter as i could’nt go there back and she dnt even allow me to keep in contact with my son..
    i have take an legal aid for my deportation but they dnt even bother to answer me n my case is close since two years
    pls advice me what should i do if i want y son here with me in india? because i dnt trust my wife she will nt take a proper care of him am so dpressesd and missing my child a lot….All this happend cz of ukba and i’l hate them through out whole life

  16. these rules now are very hard and unjustified i cant live without my hubby.and ge has not much income.and i love him so much.please make easy rules please.and tell me contact number or email id of uk government office.i will request him.i m seriously telling u

  17. Hello everyone,
    First of all…my congrats to everyone who got their spouse visa and wishing you a happy life together. Good luck to everyone whos waiting for a decision.

    Second of all…..I’m to apply spouse visa for my wife after her visitor visa refusal.

    I’m a British national, was working in Qatar at the time of applying family visitor visa for my wife to visit my family with me in the UK during my holidays in Jan 2014. Her visa got refused on common reasons, ie the ECO wasn’t convinced that she’d return back home and she wouldn’t seek public funding. We failed to produce her bank statements and my employer’s letter of holiday confirmation. We didn’t reapply as I had my holiday time over.

    Now I’ve found a job in the UK, current salary is £26K. I’m completing my 6-month probation period in Aug. I’ve gone through above comments thoroughly, noted down all the required docs and getting them ready.

    Anyways, my question is…would her previous visitor visa refusal and my immediate return to UK affect (possibly lead to refusal) her spouse visa??

    Any advice on this would be much appreciated.

    Trillion thanks!

  18. I have similar issue as you Zak. Even though I wasn’t refused a visa. My then boyfriend, now husband is a british citizen and I’m Australian. We met while I was on a 2 years youth mobility visa which I used to travel Europe and work in London. Before my UK visa expired, I left London to do more travelling around Europe but when I was going to go back to UK for another 3 weeks (which normally doesn’t require visa for Australian visitor), the UKBA officer denied me entry as soon as she found out I was going to stay with my then boyfriend. Even after I showed her my confirmed ticket to leave London in 3 weeks. She said the reason for her to refuse entry was that I MIGHT break the rule and overstay my visitor permit, which was really unfair as I have never broken any immigration rules or regulation. I was so surprised that they can just deny entry and put someone on a record just because someone MIGHT do something wrong. I wasn’t even allowed to see another officer. Now, I’m applying for my Spouse Visa and worried that record might be against my case. Very stressful time for both of us.

  19. Hi everyone, I just came across this blog now and it’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing your experience. Many people out there are separated from their loved ones because of the new immigration rules. It’s very comforting to know you’re not alone.

    I am in a similar position with most of you. My husband applied for spouse visa on the 28th of August,2014. I got a call from the Sheffield processing office on the 9th of October inviting me for a video interview. I attended the interview on the 16th of October but we haven’t heard from them since. My question is this, why was I invited for the interview? My husband and I have been married since 2011 and we also have a five year old daughter together. He was living in this country up until May 2013 when he withdrew his application to renew his discretionary leave because it had taken more than two years without any response or outcome from ukba. His brother and his sister passed away suddenly and he needed to travel back to Nigeria to be with his mum who took I’ll as a result of the deaths of her two children.

    We included everything in the application pack. I meet the minimum income requirement because I am a secondary school teacher. I didn’t put my written statement and his previous marriage dissolution because I didn’t think it will be a problem since we have both been living together in this country and also got married here.

    Please, what is my faith? I haven’t been able to sleep since I went for the interview in Leicester. Am literally loosing my mind. Any advise will be highly appreciated.
    Many thanks,


    • Hi Ogo,
      Just be patient, i also applied around same time as you on the 25th August 2014. We didn’t hear anything from them until today when my fiance was called for an interview in Birmingham. I also studied at undergraduate level in the UK where i met my fiance, we’ve dated for about two years whilst on a visitors visa because we met just as my course ended. We somehow managed to carry on because we just couldn’t part ways. I visited for months at a time, returned to Lagos and visited again before we decided that it was time to be together forever since the long distance couldn’t tear us apart. We applied for a fiancee visa and we’re getting married on December 30th pending the visa, although hall has been booked, wedding arrangements made, etc all vendors and organisers are only waiting to be paid as we told them of our situation.

      My advice to you is to be patient, don’t worry too much have some faith. I know many have been let down by the system but as long as you know in your heart that your relationship is genuine and you meet the requirements, then have a little faith. The process takes time and be ready with a back-up plan if anything goes wrong. I know the waiting and longing is frustrating, but keep reminding yourself that anything good is worth waiting for and these challenges will only make you stronger as a couple.

      My fiancee is a bit worried about the interview as he has never faced one in his life before. I on the other hand i’ve faced quite a few and would have loved to be interviewed in his place but he has to take this step alone. Please could you let me know the sort of questions you were asked? I imagine it is to assess a genuine and subsisting relationship so i’ve advised him to be himself and be honest as there is nothing to hide, but sometimes you can be punished for been too honest which really sucks! Anyway, keep strong and tell yourself only a few weeks to go….

      Lots of hope and fingers crossed for you,


  20. Thanks Irene. Like you rightly said, the interview is just to know if your relationship is genuine and subsisting. I was asked the usual questions like when was the first time you met each other, when did you decide to get married, what was my husband’s highest qualification, his date of birth, phone number and email address? If a relationship is genuine, it should be a straightforward case but I don’t have much faith in the entry clearance officers.

    I am just keeping my fingers crossed and believing God for a positive outcome. The waiting game is excruciating but what choice have I got? Hopefully, we will all tell our happy stories soon.
    Best of luck.

    • Thank you Ogo, sending you lots of hugs and prayers. It will work out, people in love shouldn’t be apart. I tend to think that I’m lucky than some in this regard, we get to skype everyday, talk on bbm voice chat, and some quick love sms during work hours. It’s comforting to have that, people with husbands and wives in service have a harder time with communication when they’re sent off to war that they didn’t start, a sacrifice to keep others safe. I think of that and I become grateful, whatever the outcome, keep fighting and push forward. I imagine it’s harder when children are involved but love surpasses all in the end. Take care and God bless. Xx

  21. Thanks for your prayers. I will keep you updated. Hope your fiancé,s interview goes well. Best wishes and goodluck. Love conquers all.

  22. Hello everyone, please someone help me out. My husband got an email from UKVI today requesting for his divorce certificate from his previous marriage. It’s been 11weeks now since he applied for his spouse visa. We are so worried now and in a state of shock. He has scanned the certificate and emailed it immediately to visa section in Sheffield. Is this a good/bad sign? Have someone experienced this before? Please, get in touch with your response as soon as possible. I would really appreciate it.

  23. We are all in the same boat, which is sailing strong against the tempest winds.
    We submitted our application in my wife’s home country in October 2014, I sent my supporting documents to Sheffield a week later, and I got called for an interview a week after that. However, my wife has not been called for an interview in her own country. My supporting documents were sent back to me two weeks ago.
    We have not heard anything since then.

    • Hello Sam,

      I know how stressful it is as I have been through it myself. Luckily my visa was approved and i’m now in the UK looking forward to our wedding in a few months. You should hear something in the next few days, I heard back from them one week after my fiancee received the supporting documents. So you guys should keep checking the application page to see if there is any update. Good luck and don’t worry it will work out for the best!

      • Thanks Irene,

        You mentioned checking an “application page”.
        I don’t think I’m aware of this page. There is a site that the foreign spouse can send a “status update” request, but not really helpful.
        What is the web address for this application if you don’t mind me asking? Thanks

      • Where I applied from, we had a teleperformance webpage that gave us a unique login details to check status updates. It was rubbish until the very day It changed to passport ready for collection…other than that, it said submitted to UKVI for 12 weeks…whole process took 13 weeks and my partner was also interviewed.

    • I ran through the thread and saw that your supporting docs were sent 2wks b4 December 28th. I suggest your wife goes to the VAC to enquire, her passport could be there and they haven’t gotten round to update her.

      • Still no word after 12 week, so my wife made another online status request and their reply this morning/overnight is below.
        This is confusing when they already said in December that “application has been processed”.
        Should she just visit the Visa Appl Centre?

        Their Reply:
        Thank you for contacting the UK Immigrations International enquiry service.

        We would not be able to see any updates of your visa application on the
        system. Could you please provide us with the following details and we may
        be able to decide whether or not we need to escalate your case to the
        relevant department.

        a. Full Name of the Applicant :
        b. GWF Number :
        c. Date of Birth :
        d. Nationality :
        e. Passport number :
        f. Type of Visa :
        g. Biometric taken date :
        h. Date when you visited the visa application centre :
        i. Visa application centre address :
        j. Email address/Phone Number :
        k. Brief reason for Escalation:

      • Hi Sam,
        I think she should visit the VAC with a print out of the email saying her application has been processed and she would like to know if they have her passport.

        It is worrying to receive that response from them, i’m sure it has been processed and sent back to her VAC, the tracking system must be rubbish, she should respond to the email and also visit the VAC.

      • Responded and will visit VAC. Here is reply to response this morning. They seem to be replying very quickly:

        Thank you for contacting the UK Visas and Immigration International Enquiry

        Please be advised, your details have been escalated to the relevant
        department, for the matter to be looked into. You can expect a response
        within the next 3 to 5 business working days.

      • My wife went to VAC. Got her VISA at last!
        Said issued on 11th December

        It’s true then that you only need to pass the Speaking & Listening parts of the IELTS. She got below 4.0 in writing, but average of 5.0 overall.

        Praise the Lord.
        This good news should be universal for all those in the same boat. No couple should be separated no matter how far apart at the start.

      • Thank God, what a relief! I can imagine your joy, at least you both can move forward with your lives now….the limbo is over!

  24. Thanks Irene,
    We just have to be painfully patient for the unknown.
    Just finishing week 10.
    Did they email you or call you when yours was ready?

    May 2015 be a better year for everyone.

    • No, no calls or email, as soon as my fiancee received the supporting docs, I checked every day after that for an update on the teleperformance webpage. Good luck Sam, I really hope you get good news soon…x

      • My wife went through the “request status” website, and this is their reply:

        “We understand that you would like to know about the current status of your visa application. I have tracked the status and found that the application has been processed.

        Please note that your passport and documentation could still take some time to reach you whilst being sent back from the decision making centre and
        whilst other administrative formalities are completed. The visa application centre will be in contact with you regarding the collection or delivery.”

        We were hoping for something more specific (“your visa” instead of “your application”). This reply looks both standard and scary at the same time.

      • Be positive Sam. They usually say the standard passport rather than visa. Fingers crossed for you. I’m sure it’s good news, I understand your worries but have faith.

      • Hello & Happy New Year

        We are now into the 12th week.
        They’ve informed us through status-enquiry website that application has been processed. No word about collection.

        Am I allowed to make enquiries from my end (UK) via email to the Sheffield Visa Section?

      • Yes I believe that you should, although since you’re still in the 12th week, let’s hope you get a better response than the standard.

        Happy new year to you too. I believe you’ll get a response sometime next week anyway.

      • She should’ve registered with Teleperformance prior to submitting the application if this service is available in her country. I’m not sure if she’ll get anything registering now as the application has been processed already and not entered into their database from submission.

        I would advise to wait another week, then just go to the VAC and see if the passport is just sat there.

  25. Hi my names Selim.my parents are Turkish I myself is born in England I .earning 19200 an year I got married toy wife on march 20 ::2015 ..and so far she is pregnant with our first child we have applied for her visa …we meet every requirement and have sent pictures of our wedding …..our claim has been prossed and we are waiting for her to get her passport and check the decision …I am.very scared that its going to be refused because I did not send my private Facebook messages or what’s up messages …..every day I am not with my wife hurts …I just want to say do these entry clearance officers have an HEART

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