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UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couples

UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couples

Old Aug 22nd 2018, 6:29 pm
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Post UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couples

Hello everyone, my husband and I were recently successful in our application for a UK Family Visa. We'd like to share our table of contents and other random notes in hopes it can help and support other couples in their journey to obtain a spouse visa. We applied using both salaried and self-employment.

Table of Contents:

Section A: Applicant

I. Applicant Cover Letter

II. Printed Online VAF4A Application & 2 signed UK standard passport photos

III. Appendix 2 form

IV. Stamped Biometric Appointment Confirmation

V. Current & Previous Passport with travel history

VI. Certified Birth Certificate

VII. Letter of Good Conduct from California’s Department of Justice

VIII. Proof of Current Employment & Active Bank Account

a. Letters of Current Employment

b. Bank Account Confirmation

c. Personal Bank Statements (2-years’ worth)

IX. Email confirmation of fee/payment

Section B: Sponsor (including Sponsor Letter)

I. SUO7/12 Form

II. Current & Previous British Passports with copy, and countersigned passport photos

III. Certificate of Birth

IV. Evidence of Meeting the Financial Requirement:

Salaried Employment

1. Letter of Authenticity & Letter of Employment

2. Payslips including a signature from the manager on the most recent pay slip

3. Bank Balance Certificate for checking and savings account.

4. Personal bank statements for the full financial year.

5. HMCR Form P60 from salaried employment, including P45’s

with employment letters from two previous employers in the last full fiscal year.

Proof of Self-Employment for the last full financial year:

1. Unaudited accounts for the last full financial year including an accountant’s certificate of confirmation from an accountant who is a member of a UK Recognized Supervisory Body

2. Self-Assessment Tax Return HMRC

3. Statement of Account: SA302

4. Letter from HMRC as proof of registration as self-employed, including Unique Tax Reference Number

5. Business bank statements for the full financial year, along with Bank Balance Certificate on official bank stationery. Bank statements provide the evidence of ongoing self-employment.

6. Misc. evidence of self-employment (booking forms and invoices)

V. Evidence of Accommodation

a. Letter of permission from accommodation owners & details of accommodation

b. Land Registry Title

C. Utility Bills (proof of address)

d. Property Rates Bill

e. Property Surveillance report

Section C: Applicant — Sponsor Relationship

I. Family Testimonials - Relationship Approval Letters

II. Wedding Certificate & Wedding Photos

III. Other photos of relationship

Iv. Skype & Chat Logs from various time periods

V. Exchanged Letters, Cards, & Notes

VI. Additional Holiday Details

Section D: Return Mailing

I. Fully addressed prepaid electronic shipping label with envelope

Additional notes that could be useful:

We applied from Los Angeles, and we paid for priority service. We received our decision within 42 working days. If you pay for priority, you need to place the payment receipt on top of your packet and write “priority service” in big letters on the mailing envelope. We also sent a copy of our entire application.

We provided copies of our family and friends passports (only the family/friends that wrote testimonial letters). We also provided a passport copy of our mutual friend who countersigned our passport photos. We were advised that this makes their letters more legitimate.

We did not include a property surveillance report. We did include pictures of the property. However, I’d recommend submitting a Property Surveillance Report (thus I included it in the table of contents). This is the one thing that I would have done differently.

We provided three cover letters: an application cover letter, a sponsor cover letter and a cover letter detailing our relationship.

Make sure all financial documents, including employer letter, follow the 28-day rule. Bank statements should be printed on bank stationery and/or signed by a bank manager stating that they are authentic. We also provided a letter of authenticity from the bank.

We included a separate letter breaking down our income, which we included after the Appendix 2 form. We wanted to be very clear on how we met the income requirement as our income was complicated.

We were advised to include the following sentence or similar at the end of the applicant and sponsor letter, “Should you require additional information please contact me before the decision by email at [email address] or by phone at [phone number].” Nonetheless, we did not assume that they would contact us before a refusal. We were also advised to mention in the Sponsor Letter that "we have followed all the appropriate processes to the best of our knowledge to obtain the UK Family Visa the correct legal way."

I (the applicant) was advised to submit two years of bank statements as evidence that I have not participated in any financial fraud, such as money laundering. In contrast, my husband (the sponsor) submitted a years’ worth of bank statement to correspond with the last full financial year because we were relying on self-employment income.

Lastly, we provided evidence that we had a bit of savings to support us until I found employment.

---Best of luck to all the couples applying for a UK spouse visa. I know how stressful and overwhelming the experience can be! If I remember any other snippets, all make sure and post.
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Old Aug 22nd 2018, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Wow, thank you so much for this information! It was very generous of you to share your advice and tips. My husband and I will be submitting our application in two months, so I appreciate all the help I can get at this point! Congratulations on your success! How long does the UK give you to move over, now that your application has been approved?
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Old Aug 22nd 2018, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Originally Posted by kvalenty View Post
......Section C: Applicant — Sponsor Relationship

II. Wedding Certificate & ........
Just a matter of interest: Did your Wedding Certificate get apostilled before being presented as a proof of marriage for the visa application?
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Old Aug 23rd 2018, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Originally Posted by inggris View Post
Just a matter of interest: Did your Wedding Certificate get apostilled before being presented as a proof of marriage for the visa application?
We did not get an apostille for our the marriage certificate. We simply submitted the certificate that was issued by the County Clerk as is.
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Old Aug 23rd 2018, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

The visa in our passport is issued for 30-days. Usually, the 30-days start around the time of approval unless you state a longer intended travel date in the online application. For example, my intended travel date was Sept. 1st, so my visa is listed between August 25 - Sept. 24th. Hope that helps!
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Old Aug 24th 2018, 12:50 am
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Originally Posted by kvalenty View Post
We did not get an apostille for our the marriage certificate. We simply submitted the certificate that was issued by the County Clerk as is.
Thanks for your reply.
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Old Sep 3rd 2018, 9:55 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

I have another question for you. How did you provide all this information? Did you send it in a binder, holepunched? Did you use tabs? We’re still trying to get all our information together and it would sure be nice to secure it in a binder or something!

Also, did they send back all of your documents, including originals? I’ve included my original birth certificate and marriage certificate, so this worries me somewhat.

Lastly, what exactly was included in your Applicant Cover Page? Was it merely a table of contents? I’d like to provide somewhat of a summary, as my UK husband has been living with me for the past 5 years on a Green Card, instead of already being based with housing in the UK.

Any advice or tips would be so helpful! Thanks, in advance!

Bree
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Old Sep 5th 2018, 9:27 am
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Hey, we provided all of our information in sections that corresponded with our table of contents. We had a titled page for all sections then we simply paper-clipped everything together. We did not use staples incase the officer made additional copies. You could send it in a binder. We received this advice, however, it became to large and thus expensive to mail. Our packet with copies was around 800 pages.

Yes, you will receive all your original documents back in the mail. I received my entire original pack back; they kept the copy packet that we provided.

Regarding the applicant cover page, I included my full name, date of birth and my parents full names and date of births. I included the dates that my husband and I met, and where. I also explained my past travel history (including visas), current employment, future employment and the layout of whats included in Section A. Please note, I briefly explained all the information listed. I provided more detailed cover letters explaining the important and extensive details in full, this included a cover letter regarding our relationship, sponsor letter & my travel history. I also provided wee annotations for current and future employment. I began the cover letter as follows:

Section A: Applicant
I. Applicant Cover Letter
To the Entry Clearance Officer/ To Whom It May Concern,
Re. Family Visa application for NAME, D.O.B

Lastly, I signed and dated the the cover letter.
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Old Sep 7th 2018, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Kvalenty — thank you so much for your reply.

800 pages is a lot! No wonder you didn’t use a binder.

I’m glad to know all originals will be mailed back to us; however, I never thought about providing an entire additional copy for them to keep. Was this also recommended to you — providing an extra copy?

Thanks for all the tips — immensely helpful! I may come up with a few more questions here and there that I hope you won’t mind me adding, in time.
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Old Sep 7th 2018, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

P.S.

1. For the copy packet, did you submit Certified Photocopies of your passport, marriage certificate, etc or just regular copies?

2. I’ve read about some instances where applicants submitted their UK spouse’s original passport, along with their own. Did you send your spouse’s passport, or just a copy? And again, certified or not?
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Old Sep 8th 2018, 12:26 am
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Originally Posted by Breefinns View Post
P.S.

1. For the copy packet, did you submit Certified Photocopies of your passport, marriage certificate, etc or just regular copies?

2. I’ve read about some instances where applicants submitted their UK spouse’s original passport, along with their own. Did you send your spouse’s passport, or just a copy? And again, certified or not?
The sponsor's passport is not required, just a colour copy of the bio page is fine. No need to have it certified.
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Old Sep 8th 2018, 3:00 am
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Default Re: UK Family Visa - Sharing our table of contents in hopes to help other couple

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
The sponsor's passport is not required, just a colour copy of the bio page is fine. No need to have it certified.
Thank you for the clarification!
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