Documents to Submit with British Spouse Visa Applications: General Rules
There are three common reasons for refusal of UK Spouses Visa applications:
- Couples do not meet the financial requirement
- They don’t provide enough information to prove that they meet the financial requirement
- They do not provide enough documents in support of their application. Alternatively, the documents which they provide are not in the acceptable form.
I have created the online course , explaining how to check if you meet the financial requirement for the entry clearance application. If you attend this course, you’ll also find out what information you need to provide with the application.
I also thought it would be helpful to create a series of articles (the one you are reading right now) called ‘What are the Supporting Documents to Prove the UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement?’
In this series of articles, consisting of six parts, I’ll explain which documents you should consider submitting with the application to increase your chances of meeting the financial requirement of your British Spouse Visa Application.
Let us start with the general rules.
The Permitted Sources of Income and Categories
The Home Office accepts only five sources of income, which the Secretary of State further subdivided into seven categories:
- Employment income (categories A and B)
- Non-employment Income (category C)
- Savings (category D)
- Pension (category E)
- Income from self-employment (categories F and G)
Before I explain what specific evidence are needed for the above five sources (in the subsequent five articles), let us, first of all, consider general rules, which will apply to applicants, irrespective of which source of Income they’ll be relying on when making their applications.
Under Your Control
Any documents that you intend to provide with the application will need to be either in your name or in the name of your British spouse or in both names (for joint accounts).
With some minor exceptions, the Home Office will not accept promises of support from a third party. There is a way of overcoming this challenge, though. If you have any relatives who would like to assist you financially to help you meet the financial requirement of the application, you can ask them to transfer the resources to your bank account. If they do so, funds will become under your own control.
However, for this amount to become noticeable on the Home Office’s radar, it has to be in your bank account for at least six months before to the date of application and is under their control).
Another rather apparent requirement is for the bank statements to be on official bank stationery. The Home Office can accept electronic bank statements, even if your account is not exclusively online. However, you will need to submit these electronic bank statements together with a letter from the bank in this case.
This letter has to be:
- on the headed stationery
- confirming that the documents are authentic
- official stamping every page of electronic bank statements
Bank Statement Alternatives
There are quite a few alternatives, which you can provide instead of bank statements;
- a building society statement or passbook
- a letter from the bank or building society
- a letter from a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
- if your account is overseas, you’ll need to ensure that it is with the appropriate regulatory body for the country where the institution operates, and your funds are located.
You should be aware that if the financial institution appears on this list the Home Office will not accept any evidence from it.
If you are submitting a building society passbook, it has to provide the following information:
- the account number
- the building society’s name and logo
- the information required on transactions
All bank letters will need to be on the bank’s headed, showing:
- the account number
- the date of the letter
- the financial institution’s name and logo
- the information required on transactions
Not in English or Welsh
When you submit a document, which is not in English or Welsh, you’ll need to provide this document (in the original language) and its full translation.
For the Home Office to accept such a translation, it needs to be in the appropriate form. The document will need to contain the information, which the decision-maker can verify independently.
It means that this translation will need to have a date and include:
- confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the document
- the full name and signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company
- the translator or translation company’s contact details; and
- if you apply for leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain, certification by a qualified translator and details of the translator or translation company’s credentials.
The 28-Day Rule
Where you need to provide documents relating to a period which ends with the date of application, these documents, or the most recently dated part of it, will need to be dated no earlier than 28 days before the date of application. In other words, it cannot be older than 28 days.
You should bear in mind that if decision-makers have reasonable cause to doubt the genuineness of any information or documents submitted in support of an application – they will treat this information or documents as it does not exist. However, they have to take reasonable steps to verify the information and/or documents first.
If caseworkers suspect that there was a deception, they will refuse the application. For example, there may be a decision regarding the level and/or source of income. The decision-maker can refuse the application because of perceived decision when the information was withheld. For example, that the cash savings relied upon was, in fact, a loan.
What if you cannot provide some documents or these documents are not in the acceptable format? The good news is that, in theory, the decision-makers can put your application on hold and request further missing evidence. However, in practice, they rarely do.
Alternatively, if the documents you submitted, were not in the correct format, caseworkers may ask you to provide the correct version of the document. If they chose to do so, they are likely to give you the deadline for this.
However, they will not be asking you to correct the document if, in their opinion, it will not make any difference to the outcome of the application. In other words, they’ll refuse application anyway.
Decision-makers have the discretion to allow your application if there are some minor evidential problems (but not where specified evidence is missing entirely). For this reason, for the evidential flexibility provision to be triggered in the application, it is always a good idea to explain this fully in your supporting letter.
For example, you should always tell the Home Office if you cannot provide a document because it is not issued in a particular country or has been permanently lost. If it were lost, you’d increase your chances by including police report confirming the same.
Foreign Currency Conversion
If your cash savings are in a foreign currency, the decision-maker will converted it to pounds sterling (£). The UKVI will use the closing spot exchange rate, which appears on www.oanda.com (https://www.oanda.com/uk-en/ ) on the date of application. www.oanda.com is the only website the Home Office uses for all currency conversion operations.
If your money is in different foreign currencies, then they’ll convert each into pounds and then add them together.
It is important to note here that the decision-maker will disregard any fluctuation in the exchange rate before the date of application. The exchange rate as at the date of application is the only deciding factor.
The final point, which I would like to draw your attention to with regards to general rules is that your and/or your partner’s account should be held in a financial institution that is regulated by the Financial Services Authority or the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating.
The financial institution should also not be on the list of excluded institutions under Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules. If it is, the Home Office will disregard any amount which you have there.
About this Article and How to Get Further Help
This article is a part of the article/video series called “What are the Supporting Documents to Prove the UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement?’
This article/video series consists of the following six parts:
- General Rules for All Categories
- Employment Income Documents for British Spouse Visa Applications (Categories A and B)
- Non-Employment Income Documents for British Spouse Visa Applications (Category C)
- Cash Savings – Documents to Provide with Your UK Spouse Visa Application (Category D)
- Pension Income and the Exempt Category- Documents to Provide with UK Spouse Visa application (Category E and exempt category)
- Self-Employment – Documents to Provide with UK Spouse Visa application (Categories F and G)
I’ve written the above articles and created six videos to help you understand one area of law, which a number of people find very confusing.
These articles clarify which documents you need to submit to prove that you meet the financial requirement of your UK Spouse visa application. If you would like to understand the nature of the financial requirement of your British Spouse visa application, you’ll benefit tremendously from attending THIS ONLINE COURSE.