Spouse Visa procedure for Pakistani Applicants.Updated by Batleykhan March 2014
(Not suitable for self employed people)Introduction.
Hello and welcome.
I have prepared this document to help and guide those of you who have got married to someone from abroad. In order for your spouse to join you here in the UK, you have to first of all obtain the necessary visa for them .
A spouse visa is issued to applicants who have married a British citizen (or the person is a permanent resident of the UK)
It is issued by the British High Commission/Embassy where the applicant has a claim to normal residence or citizenship.
The visa itself runs for 60 months and is PROBATIONERY
During the probationary period, the applicant cannot seek access to public funds (See list below of what are termed as “public funds”.
They can however take up employment and may use the facilities offered by the UK’s National Health Service.
In order for the spouse application to be successful, it is important that good evidence is provided by the applicant at the time of application.
A successful application for a spouse visa will generally include documentary evidence of both the applicant and their sponsor. It must be noted that some Consulates are more rigorous than others, and some applicant profiles invite more scrutiny than others.
Some Do’s and Don’ts before getting married to some one from abroad
Prior to getting married or engaged, a number of things should be considered carefully and planned properly. Do not rush into things, which you will later regret. First and foremost consider whether getting married to some one abroad is the wise thing, particularly if you have not seen and met the person and their family.
Attempts should be made to find out about the background of the prospective spouse. Things such as their education background, prospective employment in the UK should be taken into account.
The marriage arrangements should be discussed and agreed openly with your parents. Evidence of such arrangements should be recorded (letters etc) as this would come very handy during the early stages of application.
Remember getting married to some one abroad can be an expensive matter. The cost of the initial application, to getting indefinite leave to remain, passing the English test, applying for British Nationality and passport will exceed £2500. If you are refused and have to appeal, then solicitors cost could be as much as £1000.
All these matters should be taken into consideration before committing yourself to someone from abroad. Beside the above, you will not be entitled to public funds/housing etc till indefinite leave to remain is granted.
There is a possibility of the marriage breaking down before the FIVE years ILR is granted. If that happens your spouse may well be sent back. Remember the problems that may cause particularly if you are closely related to your spouse.
Do not be forced into a marriage. This is against British law and as well as Islam. Remember that there is a small minority of spouses whose only intention is to come and live in the UK through the marriage route.Where to apply for a visa in Pakistan.
In the past anyone applying for a British visa in Pakistan would normally visit and make an application at the Embassy in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Unfortunately due to the terror threats in Pakistan, this is no longer possible.
Instead the British Embassy uses its service provider, Gerry’s FedEx for applicants to lodge their applications. The applications are then sent to British officials in Islamabad and Dubai where Entry Clearance Officers look at each application and make a decision to either grant or refuse a visa.
Here are the details of FedEx’s offices in Pakistan where an application can be lodged.
Details of how to apply, visa application fees, length of time in processing application etc, can all be found by going to this linkhttp://www.ukvacpk.com/
Most of the present day applications are decided on the basis of the documents provided with the applications. On some occasions it might be necessary to interview the applicant at the Embassy in Islamabad however this very rare now a daysGeneral Notes
All evidence should be in the form of originals or certified copies. While not strictly required, it can be helpful and save time to make an additional photocopy of each document submitted.
It is recommended and advisable that the applicant make a copy of the entire application package in the event that documents are lost in the post or misplaced by the consulate.
Most of the documents submitted as evidence will be returned to the applicant once the consulate has processed them.
There is a possibility that certain original documents may be kept by the Consulates as proof of evidence if the visa is refused and the matter goes to an Appeal HearingDocuments to be provided by Applicants
Applications will only be accepted at the visa application centre if applicants:
1. Provide an online copy of Form VAF4A which is completed online at UK4VISA website and is duly is signed and dated by the applicant. There is also another form called VAF4A Appendix 2. This form must be printed off and completed by hand. It must then be attached with the VAF4A and sent to the applicant: https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/
(Online application VAF4A)http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitec ... vaf4a2.pdf
(Download and print this form and hand complete it)
2. provide the required photographs;
3. provide your passport: For all applicants traveling to the UK; which corresponds to data on the visa application form (name, passport number, expiry date);which have not expired; which has at least 1 blank page (both sides) free for the insertion of your visa,
4. provide an original NIC card with 1 photocopy
5. provide a valid tuberculosis certificate.
6. provide your SPONSORS supporting documents ( see below list of supporting documents that need to be produced besides these
7. have paid the published visa fee (via online at UK4VISA website as in No 1 above);
8. provide your biometric data.Applicant's Tuberculosis (TB) test and Biometrics
All applicants who apply for a visa MUST undertake a Biometric enrolment.
What is Biometrics?
All applicants must provide evidence of biometric enrolment. This is a matter of recording one's fingerprints and photograph at an approved biometric enrolment centre.
What to bring to the appointment
• The appointment confirmation. This is a page which becomes available once the appointment has been made. It may contain a bar code that links the enrolment to the application.
• Your passport. This is required for identification purposes
• Although not required, we recommend that you take a copy of your completed application form or at least the page which contains your name, surname, and previous names. This may help in establishing your identity if you were recently married.
The enrolment process
You will be called to an enrolment station. This is an area which contains a fingerprint scanner (see photo) and a camera. Your identification will be checked once more and the process will begin. It generally involves the following steps...
• Your left hand fingers will be scanned
• Your right hand fingers will be scanned
• Your two thumbs will be scanned together
• Each finger will be rolled around the scanning plate so as to capture the entire forefinger
• Your photograph will be taken
Once the process begins, it takes between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
Upon completion, the examiner will sign and stamp your form and return this to you.
NOTE: Once the enrolment process is complete, you have 10 days in which to send all of your evidence (including passport) to the British Consulate (or Visa Application Centre).Tuberculosis (TB) test
Applicants from Pakistan must also show that they are free from infectious pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Applicants will first be required to have a chest x-ray. If this shows signs of infection, they will be required to undergo further tests. The tests are carried out at designated medical centres and not just any health centre. Visa applicants are expected to pay for their screening and any subsequent treatment. For more info click on the link belowhttp://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/count ... %20EnglishSponsors Supporting Documents
The following documents will be provided by the sponsor (spouse of the applicant settled in the UK) in addition to the above documentsSponsor's Identification
This usually takes the form of the sponsor's British passport. It is not necessary to send the sponsors passport with the application, instead a certified copy (OF EVERY SINGLE PAGE) of it will suffice. Each page must be stamped and signed by a Public Notary Officer or a Solicitor.The sponsor's identification must confirm that the sponsor is at least 18 years old. If the sponsor is 18 years old or younger, the application will fail. Evidence of marriage
This will be in the form of the original Nikkah Namma (In Urdu and issued by the Union Council in Pakistan and not NADRA). A certified English translated one will also have to be produced with it at the same time. Beside this photographic evidence of the wedding will also have to be provided with at least one showing both couples sitting/standing next to each other in the same photo. [u]Sponsor's Confirmation.
• This normally takes the form of a letter in which the sponsors explains his awareness and support of the application. Whilst it is not strictly necessary, a brief summary(of just a few paragraphs) of the relationship can be included which addresses:
• How and where you met
• How you have maintained contact
• The place and date of your marriage
• What plans you have made for living together in the UK
• Finally, if there are exceptional circumstances about the application, or if the sponsor is seeking a concession, it should be thoroughly explained here. Financial Standing
• The application must be supported by evidence which demonstrates that the applicant will not become reliant upon public funds. In the normal case, this takes the form of the sponsors:
Bank statements for the 6 months BEFORE THE APPLICATION; These must be continuous ( i.e. Jan – June and not Jan – July etc ) showing regular deposits of SALARY ( as per the wage slips over the same period of employment)and regular withdrawals from the account for day to day expenses: ANDLetter of Employment clearly containing the following information:
(i) the person's employment and gross annual salary;
(ii) the length of their employment;
(iii) the period over which they have been or were paid the level of salary relied upon in the application; and
(iv) the type of employment (permanent, fixed-term contract or agency). Salary slips for the previous 6 months before application; AND
The sponsor’s most recent P60 (in the absence of salary slips and if it is available).
If there are disproportionate deposits and withdrawals in the bank statements, they should be explained in the sponsor's letter.
Consulates are reluctant to accept bank statements printed out from e-banking accounts because these can be so easily forged. Properly headed original statements can usually be obtained by visiting a branch office.
If the financial standing is marginal, and if the applicant has plans to work in the UK, a job offer letter can be included to bolster the application's strength; and failing all other evidence, the applicant may attach a CV (or academic credentials) which demonstrate favorable prospects. Note however, that this is generally the weakest form of evidence. Accommodation (home owners)
• If the sponsor owns his home, he should include a certified copy of the property’s title deed showing this. If the sponsor has a mortgage, the appropriate entry from the Land Registry should be provided, and the mortgage payments should appear in the bank statements. Accommodation (renting)
• If the sponsor rents a flat or house, the Shorthold Tenancy Agreement should be provided. If the applicant is not a signatory to the tenancy agreement, then an additional statement from the landlord (or estate agent) should be provided that attests to his agreement that the premises will be occupied by an additional person. If an existing tenancy agreement is to be used, it should have at least six months before expiry. If the tenancy agreement does not have at least six months before expiry, then an additional statement from the landlord showing intent to renew at the same terms should be provided.
• Accommodation (Living with Family Members)
• If you intend to live with your parents or other members of your family, you must get a letter from your them stating that they are prepared to allow you and your spouse to stay free( or pay a small contribution) in the property until such time that you can afford to buy or rent your own.
• Housing Inspection Report for Immigration Purposes
• This report can be obtained from your local Council (cost between £75- 125) or local Estate agents. The report will briefly outline the condition and state of the property, how many rooms it has, how many occupants intend to reside there. This is to ensure the property is habitable and is not overcrowded.
• Intervening Devotion
If the applicant and sponsor have been separated for a lengthy period of time before the application is submitted (for example, longer than 3 or 4 months), then evidence of intervening devotion should be included. This would normally take the form of telephone records or other forms of electronic communication. If the couples have lived separately for a longer period, travel receipts can be used to show that contact has been continual and proportionate.
If a prolonged separation is the result of mobility issues (which would include military duties or other foreign assignments), this would take the form of assignment letters or similar documentation.
When submitting email or instant messenger logs, it is important to bear in mind that intervening devotion means evidence of contact and not an exhaustive transcript of each on-line session.
• Other Documents
It would be helpful to send at least one or two utility bill. (Council Tax, Gas, Water, Electric or Telephone) if the sponsor is responsible for paying it.
Ok let’s go and have a look at some things you should be careful about after you have got married and are about to apply for your spouse visa.
1. ALWAYS make sure that you supply genuine documents. If genuine document such as those outlined above are not available, then explain why this is so. REMEMBER if you provide false or forged documents, your spouse visa will be refused and they will not be able to apply for another one till 10 YEARS have elapsed in some cases.
2. DO NOT use agents in Pakistan: It is well known fact that they can not be trusted and have known to have ripped some people of money and have provided them with little or no service.
3. Application Form: It is advisable to download and print the application form VAF4A AND VAF4A Appendix 2 first. Read and it and understand what it says or asks for. Hand complete the paper form carefully and once you are happy it is 100% correct, go onto UK4VISA Online website and complete it online. Once completed, submitted and paid for, print it off and send it to your spouse along with other documents. Your spouse needs to sign and date it and then via an appointment with Gerrys, take the form and hand it in.
4. Bank Statements: Make sure you send at least 6 months of bank statements with your application form. The statements must show a regular income (wage etc) coming in and things such as mortgage, bills etc going out. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T PUT A LUMP SUM IN JUST BEFORE AN APPLICATION UNLESS YOU CAN JUSTIFY AND SHOW EVIDENCE AS TO WHERE IT CAME FROM. Although there is no minimum amount that you should have in your bank account, it is advisable that anything between £2500 -£3000 should be in it for your spouse’s application to succeed, as this will show that you are a person who can save and have something to fallback on it, if you need it.
5. Employment Letters: Make sure the letter of employment is on headed paper and contains the info as per above. It is very important the letter is written in a certain way and contains the above points, otherwise the application may be refused. Also supply at least 6 months wage slips. If you have your last P60 send this as this is the best proof you can show what you have earned and how much Tax and NI you have paid.
6. Wedding Photos: These are a must. They must be printed photographs. CD and films are not accepted by the Embassy. The photos must show the couple in their wedding dress and both husband and wife must be in at least one photo sat together. Do not provide photos that have been altered using photographic software. This will almost certainly lead to a refusal.
7. Letters/Phone cards/Means of Contact etc: If you have lived separately for some time, you must show how you have kept in touch and show that your marriage subsists (This is one of the moist common reason for refusal now).It is a common practice that we use cheap phone cards to call our relatives in Pakistan, but the trouble is that these cards do not show you have rung and spoken to your spouse. It is strongly advised that you use a phone where you can show an itemized bill for such calls. Write letters to your loved one, but make sure you keep them as proof. Contract by email /skype/facebook etc is accepted too. If you have been to see your spouse after marriage, keep copies of the airline tickets, photos of you being together etc would also be helpful.
8. Money Sent to Spouse: If you have been apart for some time, it would be better if you send your spouse some spending money that they might need for themselves. Ideally the husband should send some thing like £100-150 every 4 months or so. This should be sent via a bank or a money exchanger and the receipt kept as proof.( The wife should not send that often as it will go against our norm and culture) DO NOT SEND CASH BY GIVING IT TO FRIENDS AND RELATIVES TO GIVE IT TO YOUR SPOUSE AS YOU WILL HAVE NO PROOF) . Sending money is good evidence and shows that you are caring and supportive of your spouse.
9. Housing Reports/ Tenancy Agreements: Make sure you get a Housing Report for Immigration done by your local Council,Estate agents or an indpenedent qualified person, to show you have enough space in the house to accommodate all the people that are going to stay there.Dont try and exclude people who genuinely live there just because they are to many people living there already, as the ECO can make inquiries from other sources to know how many people have or are living there currently. If you live in rented property you need to send an Assured Short hold Tenancy Agreement valid for 6 months or more. You must also provide proof that your rent is up to date.
10. Incoming and Outgoing expenses Sheet: This document is helpful if it is prepared carefully. The purpose of it, is to show to the Entry Clearance officer that you have sufficient money coming in and that after paying all the outgoing expenses, you have enough money left over to support your spouse (Remember the minimum amount a couple with no children needs to live on in the UK is in the region of £100 - £110 per week). Your savings should be put into a bank account and hopefully it will be reflected in your bank statements.
11. The average wait for a settlement application in Pakistan is around 6 months. Do not make enquiries from the British High Commission or FedEx till this time is up. The BHC will not respond (or incase they do it will be standard message) until the application is gone over 3 months. Remember FedEx only handle the applications. They can not inform you of the outcome or the chances of your application succeeding etc so please don’t pester them.
12. If your spouse has been fortunate enough to be granted a visa and are now coming to the UK, make sure they bring their valid TB certificate with them, as they will be required to show it on arrival into the UK. You have 3 months from the date the visa was issued to come to the UK
13. The next stage of your spouse procedure to stay with you in the UK will be after 30 months when your spouse will have to apply for FLR ( Further leave to Remain) and then after 60 months (5 years) they will have to apply for ILR ( Indefinite Leave to Remain ( permanent stay)
14. Please note they are very strict rules when your spouse eventually comes to the UK. They have to comply as failure to do so would result them being refused FLR or ILR and maybe sent back to the Pakistan.
It is VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU READ THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENT VERY CAREFULLY to make you re complying with all the requirement and are providing the correct documents which can be found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitec ... iew=Binary