Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Old Feb 15th 2017, 5:00 pm
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Default Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Hi all,

My wife's passport returned yesterday with her Spouse Visa inside and we are over the moon! I first of all want to thank everyone on this forum for the help that they have given me. It has been invaluable.

The least I can do is share my requirements list and timeline on here that for me were the winning formula. I will advise however that everyone's situation is unique and your own list may vary a little or a lot depending on what is going on in your life.

Fees

Visa Cost - £1,350 (incl. overseas bank charges)
IHS/NHS charge - £635 (incl. overseas bank charges)

Also, if applying from Cebu (Philippines), there is an extra £50 fee just for a laugh.

Total cost - around £2,000. A lot more if you factor in the costs for the English Language test, TB test and the travel between these places.

Submitted Requirements:


General
  • Application form, Appendix 2, Biometrics and Fees
  • Applicant passport-sized photos
  • Applicant Passport
  • Applicant Birth Certificate
  • Sponsor Passport
  • Sponsor Birth Certificate
  • Applicant NBI Clearance (local police clearance)
  • Sponsorship undertaking form
Relationship
  • Cover letters from applicant and sponsor (covering relationship history, intention to live together and future plans)
  • Marriage Certificate (issued in Hong Kong)
  • CENOMAR - because our marriage was not registered in Philippines
  • Our son's birth certificate
  • Our son's UK AND Philippines Passport full copies
  • 10-20 Photographs
  • Flight eTickets, boarding passes and hotel bookings
  • Facebook printouts
  • Skype printouts
  • Emails, love letters and cards
  • Money transfer receipts
Financial
  • Last 7 bank statements
  • Last 7 pay slips (electronic printouts - signed by boss)
  • P60 for both 2015 and 2016 (just to be extra sure)
  • Employment Contract
  • Letter from employer stating length of employment, nature of employment and salary. Also include - how long has the sponsor been earning the salary relied upon in the application.
Accommodation
  • Tenancy agreement (AST) - signed, original copy with date
  • Council tax bill
  • Letter from landlord stating that the applicant (and my son) can stay in my apartment with me and that it is suitable, has enough rooms and is for my exclusive use.
  • An internet/utility bill (Vodafone) with my address on it
Extras (but very much required!)

  • Tuberculosis Test Results
  • English Language Test Certificate


Timeline

Application made online - 21st December 2016
Documents submitted - 27th December 2016
Email from UKVI stating that decision has been made - 13th February 2017
Most nervous night of my life - 13th February 2017
Visa and passport collected - 14th February 2017

Total actual days from document submission to visa collection: 49 days

Hope this helps
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Old Feb 15th 2017, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Wow thanks for the breakdown. Great of you to take the time out and pay back the community. Invaluable. Pretty long time frame - I think I'll pay the fee to get it done in a week rather than seven.

Do the birth certificates/passports have to be the original document or scans?
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Old Feb 16th 2017, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by Chezdon View Post
Wow thanks for the breakdown. Great of you to take the time out and pay back the community. Invaluable. Pretty long time frame - I think I'll pay the fee to get it done in a week rather than seven.

Do the birth certificates/passports have to be the original document or scans?
I certainly would have paid for the quicker service if I could afford it. I am so broke now, but it's been worth it.

So for birth certificates - they need to be original copies.

Any passports you send in (except the applicant's of course) can be copies. To be on the safe side, copy every page and print in colour. I then stapled the pages in order. Copies DO NOT need to be 'certified' or 'notified'. The Home Office will be able to check for UK passport info in their own databases if they are in doubt about anything.

Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 18th 2017, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Thanks for your post.

I'm confused about the birth certificate requirement. I don't see this listed on the 'supporting docs' info. Where did you find out this was required?
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Old Feb 18th 2017, 3:10 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by ryongsong View Post
Thanks for your post.

I'm confused about the birth certificate requirement. I don't see this listed on the 'supporting docs' info. Where did you find out this was required?
It probably isnt essential, but I included it anyway. You can see the document checklist here - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/270197/sup-docs-settlement.pdf

Under the "proof of relationship" section. I just wanted to be safe and submitted whatever documents that I had, that were listed in this guidance.
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Old Feb 18th 2017, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Cheers.

I was assuming it referred to the birth certificate of any child you'd had together. I suppose, like you say, it's best to put in everything you've got.

One odd thing from the guide document (not on your list) is the reference in the current employment or studies section to:

a letter from your employer on company headed paper – detailing your
salary and the length of your employment, confirming that you have been given
time off work, and stating whether this time off is paid or unpaid


I mean, why would someone looking to settle in the UK be asking for time off? Seems like a lazy copy and paste from the visit visa section. Does anyone know what they are talking about?
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Old Feb 18th 2017, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by ryongsong View Post
Cheers.

I was assuming it referred to the birth certificate of any child you'd had together. I suppose, like you say, it's best to put in everything you've got.

One odd thing from the guide document (not on your list) is the reference in the current employment or studies section to:

a letter from your employer on company headed paper – detailing your
salary and the length of your employment, confirming that you have been given
time off work, and stating whether this time off is paid or unpaid


I mean, why would someone looking to settle in the UK be asking for time off? Seems like a lazy copy and paste from the visit visa section. Does anyone know what they are talking about?
I did include an employment letter (it's at the bottom of the 'financial' section of my list).

What is confusing about the guidelines is that they are too general. Some documents are needed for the Spouse visa, some for visit visa etc.

You need to choose which of these documents best represents your situation. If you have worked continuously for several years without having any lengthy absences due to sickness or whatever, then you won't need to have this written in a letter.

For the Spouse Visa, all the ECO wants to see from the financial perspective is that you meet the 18,600 per year (just for Spouse). This is best evidenced by payslips, bank statements, P60s, an employment letter and your employment contract. That was the advice I was given on this forum, this is what I submitted to UKVI, and this is what got me the visa.

Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 18th 2017, 3:53 pm
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How long will the visa be valid for? Do they grant a 5 year visa or just 2.5 first and renew it for another 2.5 year visa once the first 2.5 year visa expires?
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 3:54 pm
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Phenomenal post. Thank you for taking the time. Can I ask, did Sheffield call you ... the sponsor... at any time. Thanks again. And congratulation!
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by JwBrit View Post
Phenomenal post. Thank you for taking the time. Can I ask, did Sheffield call you ... the sponsor... at any time. Thanks again. And congratulation!
Thanks so much.

No because our application was made in Philippines and thus was processed at the Manila hub.

But we weren't contacted at all, neither were my employers or landlord (I asked them!). Just goes to show that if the documents are all in order - it will all be fine.

To the best of my knowledge, the ECO will only contact you if you are missing very minor evidence (such as a single bank statement or a document submitted in the wrong format).

Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by britishfilipino View Post
How long will the visa be valid for? Do they grant a 5 year visa or just 2.5 first and renew it for another 2.5 year visa once the first 2.5 year visa expires?
Initial Spouse visa is valid for 33 months. Before it expires - an application for Further leave to remain must be made if the applicant wishes to stay in the U.K. I think this lasts for a couple of years. Finally, an application for indefinite leave to remain can be made after that. This refers to the "5 year partner route".

It's a long process that requires a stupid amount of admin, money and anxiety. But what other choice do we have...
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 5:49 am
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Hi, congratulations!.. there you go.. now its my turn, just arrived in the Philippines from Norway to process my spouse visa to live with my husband.. Can i ask something? Did you guys undergo through agency? if yes, can you refer it to me please? and how much it will cost?
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 5:52 am
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I am surprised that i have to pay for IHS to go in England, we dont have a choice. it is the requirements.What agency your wife process her papers in Manila?
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 7:37 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by Marty90 View Post
Initial Spouse visa is valid for 33 months. Before it expires - an application for Further leave to remain must be made if the applicant wishes to stay in the U.K. I think this lasts for a couple of years. Finally, an application for indefinite leave to remain can be made after that. This refers to the "5 year partner route".

It's a long process that requires a stupid amount of admin, money and anxiety. But what other choice do we have...
Thank you so much indeed
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Old Feb 24th 2017, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Spouse Visa Approved - my list and timeline

Originally Posted by MariaJon View Post
Hi, congratulations!.. there you go.. now its my turn, just arrived in the Philippines from Norway to process my spouse visa to live with my husband.. Can i ask something? Did you guys undergo through agency? if yes, can you refer it to me please? and how much it will cost?
We used an agency but I would not recommend it. If you are genuinely not confident in putting the application together, then first seek advice from this forum and see if that helps. If your situation is complex, then probably best to speak to a UK-based immigration advisor.

We paid about £600 for the agency. They helped organise the TB test, English test etc and did all the photocopying. But that was about it. Their requirements list was too general and it got to the point where I was pointing out their mistakes! Not good.

Have a go yourself first. Draw up a list of what you think you need to submit and then get advice on here. It will save you a lot of money and there are many people on here who have been through the process.

Hope this helps.
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